A couple of weeks ago this beautiful young lady came to Stuttgart and we had a killer time at her photography slash business slash life consult. A few years ago Anja's photography journey embarked into the wedding field, and I was incredibly impressed about her very unique business concept. She has found her niche and clientele which is very important in this super saturated market.
Besides photography in general and some posing guidance in detail, we talked about how important it is to sometimes just take a day or more days off, meet people who inspire and motivate you and who give you a new perspective when you feel stuck or if you just need another lift-me-up. From every encounter you have, you always (hopefully) take one important message with you. I remember a few years ago I attended a photography workshop in Stuttgart. Although I was already familiar with most things discussed there, I took one little piece of advice with me which later on saved me hundreds of time on Photoshop. We should always have an open mind, because we can learn from every person we encounter. Everyone can teach us something.
Happy Tuesday, everyone! I'd love to leave you with a few images of one of my favorite people out there. This girl shines as bright as the sun. In most of my mentoring sessions, time always flies so flippin' fast that I never get a chance to snap a few images of my wonderful mentees. I will change that.
The other day I gave my good friend Ulli's good friend Andrea a mentoring session. Andrea had booked my so-called „mamarazzi session" to learn how to take that fancy DSLR camera off automatic and photograph her kids more like a pro. We talked about common beginner mistakes and how to avoid them. About how to capture light to make photos more dramatic, and above all how to capture the uniqueness and wonder of our families. After two hours of lots of theory, I thought now it would be great to show everything in practice. As our luck would have it, Ulli's handsome and almost 18-year-old son happened to stop by to deliver something from his Mom. I saw my chance and persuaded him to model for us real quick. And OMG, not only did he agree (I was convinced he thought that would be „uncool"), but he also did so great and I spotted some real talent there. Both Andrea and I had to bite our tongues, because we couldn't believe that he is no longer the cute little Benni (I've been knowing him since he's 5), but has grown up to a very smart and super handsome young man. I would say Brad Pitt has some serious competition growing here!!! ;-) Ugh, I wished I could see Ulli's face now when she'll check out this post and his images, because I know she will totally fall off her chair in total surprise AND pride!
Of course, I couldn't help asking Benni my 30 questions ;-) Please enjoy and have a great Wednesday! Time flies way too fast!
1. Was machst Du beruflich?
Ich mache eine Ausbildung zum Industriemechaniker im zweiten Lehrjahr
2. Dein Lebensmotto?
Hab ich nicht.
3. Dein heimliches Vergnügen?
Party bis zum Morgengrauen, aber das ist ja eigentlich nicht heimlich.
4. Was liebst Du auf Deiner Pizza?
Schinken und Salami
5. Karnivore, Vegetarier oder Veganer?
Ich esse alles, was es gibt.
6. Was war das Verrückteste, das Du je gegessen hast?
Rebhühner, aber ich habe noch viel vor.
7. Wie trinkst Du Deinen Kaffee?
Ich trinke keinen Kaffee.
8. Welcher Film hat Dich zuletzt so richtig zum Lachen gebracht?
9. Welcher Film hat Dich zum Weinen gebracht?
10. Wenn Du mit jemandem ein Duett singen könntest, wer würde es sein?
11. Mit wem würdest Du Dich gerne einmal zum Kaffeetrinken verabreden?
Ich trinke doch keinen Kaffee ;-) . Aber Tee trinken würde ich mit Opa, wenn er noch leben würde.
12. Was schätzt Du bei Deinen Freunden am meisten?
Ihre Zuverlässigkeit und ihren Humor.
13. Was schätzen Deine Freunde am meisten an Dir?
Dass sie mir vertrauen können und es mit mir nicht langweilig wird.
14. Welches Kompliment hast Du zuletzt erhalten?
"Du bist ein hübscher Junge!"
15. Welches gemeinnützige Projekt würdest Du unterstützen (oder unterstützt Du bereits)?
16. Was war der beste Ratschlag, den Du jemals bekommen hast?
Von meinem Vater: "Junge, mach 'ne Ausbildung!"
17. Welche drei Lektionen hast Du in den letzten drei Jahren gelernt
* Von nix kommt nix.
* Man muss sich gegenseitig respektieren.
* Man lernt nie aus.
18. Was ist deine wichtigste gesunde Gewohnheit?
19. Dein Lieblingswitz?
Wie viele Liegestütze schafft Chuck Norris? Alle!
21. Dein letzter Urlaub?
Bodensee mit den Kollegen
22. Star Wars oder Star Trek?
23. Facebook oder Twitter?
24. Hiking oder Biking?
Weder noch, sondern Fitness.
25. Zartbitter- oder Vollmilchschokolade?
26. iPhone oder Android?
27. Anzug oder Jeans?
28. Hunde oder Katzen?
29. Pool oder Meer?
30. Wo finden wir Dich Samstagabends um acht?
Hausparties bei Freunden.
I hardly post my beloved „Mentoring Sessions" here on the blog, but I promised myself to get better on that, because I always enjoy meeting the most intriguing people and talking with them about the most interesting topics - so it's definitely worth sharing. This week I had the great pleasure of meeting Steffi, and I was extremely touched and moved. I even cried, and usually I only cry when watching movies like „An affair to remember" or "Titanic" :).
Steffi's mentoring session was a birthday gift from her best friend Susi. When I met these two darling girls, I was so touched when I realized what they mean to each other, how much they love and respect each other, and it reminded me that a best friend is the best and most precious thing in life. When I told Susi that I am so impressed by her gift and that Steffi must really mean a lot to her, she responded (also in tears) that Steffi is the best thing that ever happened to her and that she is so very grateful for having her as a friend, because she loves and appreciates her just the way she is - with all her flaws and weaknesses.
Well, now I was definitely curious to get to know Steffi better and finding out why she is such a precious and special person. Our mentoring session started the usual way. Steffi wanted to bring her photography skills to the next level, asked all kinds of photography-related questions as she's still struggling with switching from automatic to manual mode. After we talked a lot about technical stuff, I told Steffi that in my opinion photography is not about technique, but the heart and eye of the photographer. Seeing beauty .... and showing it to people is the key. It's all about the right attitude. YOUR attitude. Steffi's response made me cry. She said that she can see beauty, but sometimes it's tough, especially when people are mean to her. Mean to her? Mean to this beautiful, very shy, but lovable young woman?? When I shook my head in total disbelief, she told me a sad story.
I have found that some people love to stir the pot and create trouble. We cannot control how other people treat us in life. We can only control how we react to it. Reacting nice when someone is mean to us is tough and takes tremendous self-control and self-discipline.
There are two things I believe in. First: Karma. What goes around, comes around. What you put out comes back to you. I believe that everyone will have a time when they are called accountable for the way they treated others. Secondly: Taking the higher road. With that I mean NOT lashing back or fighting fire with fire (eye for an eye). By doing so we become no different than them. Instead trying to being nice to them. This will not make it hurt less, BUT at least we will not lose our own integrity. Instead, we will feel good about ourselves. Because we will be also one of those people who will be held accountable for how we treated others. The meanness of mean people says more about them than it does us. „Hurt people hurt people". But we always have a choice. We have the choice to lash back or to take the higher road.
I gave Steffi a job assignment when she left, and now I can't wait to hear back from her and whether it worked. :)
Here's to taking the higher road! And if you made it until here, please let me know. Because I owe you a cappuccino with double espressi - at the least! Mwuahaha! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Tomorrow we'll be celebrating Theo's birthday with a big sports event, and on Sunday I am meeting one of my oldest and closest and bestest friends in beautiful Baden-Baden.
Anja is one of the most thoughtful, sweet and beautiful women I know and an absolute pleasure to be around. When she came to Stuttgart for another mentoring session - and another round of Hugos and Donuts, which obviously makes the learning experience so much for fun ;-) - we, among lots of other things, talked about how to act in a difficult shooting situation where you have poor light and a poor background (hence we snuck into the backyard of the Donut shop). We also talked about „the moment". As one of my favorite photographers, Joe Buissink, once said: „A good photographer knows how to capture the moment and the essence of the person in these moments." The photography industry is a competitive field and a rapidly expanding one with more photographers getting into the business than ever before. It's not just about getting the „great moments" shots. It also involves long hard work, artistic talent in quite several genres, good people skills, extensive knowledge in your gear, and business savvy. Anja has beautiful talent behind the camera, but also in front of it - she makes a darling model. Please enjoy a few images of this cute girl and have a lovely Wednesday!