dealing with the ordinary

by Daniel Hofmann

Two days before Christmas I traveled to Berlin to meet some friends from India and show them around. Also I hated it that my precious Fuji was collecting dust in my bag. If you know a city well, it gets harder and harder to see the special things. I would love to feel inspired like I felt in India. This is probably one of the most important lessons I learned as a photographer: it is easy to take good pictures in a special place. The unknown feeds my muse in so many ways, which made it hard for me to come home to Germany. I was afraid I would lose my creativity when I was confronted with my ordinary surroundings. In some ways this fear came true, because I felt no need to photograph for a long time. I tried, but nothing I captured really inspired me like India did.

I'm still in a process of finding a new voice here in Germany. It is without a doubt a different voice and maybe even a little bit darker. One reason is that it is not so easy to connect with people here. Most of the time I want to talk to the people I take photos of. It gives me an idea on how I want to photograph them. Germans are less welcoming when you start talking to them on the street – there are exceptions of course, but it’s definitely harder than in other countries I've been. I'm still trying to connect with them, but a lower success rate forces me to try new things to tell the stories I want to tell.

A few of these attempts I will share with you here. They are from my two days in Berlin with Lopamudra and Sabyasachi. Both of them are amazing photographers and when I saw how many pictures they took in Berlin – probably thrice as much as I did – they showed me that there is something special here; I just have to start looking again.