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Germany's best photographers + interview | Nick Frank

Germanys best Photographers 2017/2018 + Interview in the book

Das Blickfang Buch im Fokus

In addition to two of my pictures in the current issue of Germanys Best Photographers 2017/2018, you can also find an interview with me here:

How and when did you first get in touch with photography and what does your first photo show, which you took quite consciously?

My first camera was an EOS 60D, bought in October 2010. I then consciously took the subway station "Marienplatz" here in Munich. Subways also became my main subject for a certain period of time. I had incredibly many publications all over the world with it. But when I look at my first works with a little distance, there was still room for improvement. But that's what photography is all about: Repeat, repeat, repeat ...

What made you decide to become a photographer?

There were two components that influenced my decision: computer games and my job at the time. In the case of computer games, I spent most of my free time in virtual worlds, beating up orcs and trolls. It was fun, but I was looking for a way out of this addictive spiral and decided to invest my time (with no less effort, as it turned out) in something else/more meaningful. Professionally, as my career level increased, I became less and less creative. Classic agency career, from junior to creative director. Photoshop became Outlook and brainstorming sessions became staff meetings. Maybe with a job change or two, I could have found something more ideal for me. But the bottom line is that I found something in photography that I can work on holistically. From brainstorming to the production chain to publishing, I can do it all if I just want to. That's really great.

What was your start in the profession like? Did you do a classic photographer's apprenticeship and possibly assistantships with other photographers?

Since I am a career changer, no. In my previous profession I had a lot to do with visual worlds, both in design but more recently in conception. In the end, it's just a lateral move. I am self-taught and have taught myself everything for my craft. So of course in the beginning you still lack information that someone who has had training in the field or even assisted might think is trivial: What does my pricing look like and how do I handle usage rights? How do I write a reasonable offer? What does it take for a reasonable production? Of course I made mistakes here in the beginning, but maybe that even sharpened my profile, because mistakes are always important.

Your focus today is primarily on large-scale photography, architecture and fine art. Why? What keeps attracting you to it?

Since I have a background in graphics, I feel at home in architecture. I like to play with lines, shapes and colors. Very precisely executed photographs are right up my alley. You need patience in the process. I like the stringency in my artistic projects. Pulling off a style or theme over 20, sometimes 40 images is challenging. Other than that, I like anything that is large and oversized.

How would you yourself describe your photographic style in a few words?

Reduction to the essential, condensation of the visual component, achieving clarity. I take a similar approach here as I did during my time in advertising. Disturbing factors in my pictures are eliminated until the essential stands out. This is exactly how it is with the brainstorming.

What distinguishes a truly outstanding photo for you?

That it remains recognizable among thousands of images.

Which of your works are you personally particularly proud of? Or perhaps more simply asked, which of your images do you always enjoy looking at yourself?

I have a direct client from the US (with a branch in DE) for whom I shot the entire imagery world, which includes branding and content images as well as product images and the like. It's a great feeling to see a company where all the images are really mine. When do you ever have the opportunity to do that?

When time, money and other factors wouldn't play a role at all: What would your absolute dream project look like?

Who wouldn't want to take pictures for NASA? I find the training of astronauts and all the equipment for (un)manned space flights super interesting.

Are there some colleagues, especially from Germany, whose work you really appreciate?

Besides the masters of the Düsseldorf School (such as Gursky), I can appreciate the work of Frank Herfort, who shuttles between Berlin and Moscow. Apart from that, there are some great BFF colleagues that I appreciate a lot.

What inspires you?

I think for many people the search for inspiration is similar to the hunt for the holy grail. With that said, I don't think there is a universal recipe or roadmap that you can specifically jump in or out of. In my opinion, it helps to move through the world with open eyes, to have a healthy portion of curiosity and to be a bit of a child, which is precisely what I have kept. I question a lot of things and can also take insane pleasure in little things. One or two like-minded people for a casual conversation also help, sometimes it just takes a little spark.

Many photographers are also becoming more and more involved with the subject of "film". To what extent is this also interesting for you?

There is a noticeable increase in demand on the market. More and more often customers are asking for it. So far, I have booked a video producer for this. When it comes to film, I see myself more as a director than as a cameraman. Nevertheless, I have the feeling that I would like to produce video content for my freelance works, which is not the supporting framework of the work, but underpins the subject and contributes to the atmosphere.

You've seen quite a bit of the world and worked in many different countries. Where would you most like to wake up tomorrow morning and why?

At this moment when I'm answering these questions, I've just walked the streets of Tokyo for six hours beforehand. Frankly, I would prefer to wake up tomorrow in my own bed in Munich. I've really seen quite a bit, but I just like it best in this city. Otherwise, Iceland is still an option for me.