Traveling around the world, atmospheric portraits, wonderful snapshots, vintage cars and lots of good mood – that’s @_hannesthun . We talked to the digital nomad, wedding photographer and self-appointed feel-good manager to find out more about him and his everyday life as a photographer. So let yourself be inspired by our interview with one of our first PICKMOTION photographers.
Could you briefly introduce yourself who you are and where you come from?
Moin, my name is Hannes, now 32 years old. Whoa, it started in 2014 with me and PICKMOTION. More on that later. Since then I have celebrated my birthday on 4 continents and aim to have celebrated ageing on the other three continents by my 40th. I came to this wish in Bali last year. You see, it’s not that easy to set my location. I lived in Berlin from 2008 to 2017 and was already on the road a lot during that time, but I have thrown this nomadic concept off its hinges since the separation 3 years ago and since then have been without a permanent residence. I am currently answering the questions in my hometown Rehna, where I was appointed house and garden minder for a week. From autumn on, I honestly like to live permanently in one place again. Very likely in Cologne for a while.
What you do for a living? And how does it relate to your photography?
I like to capture love with my photos. It probably sounds super cheesy, but that’s exactly my feeling, yes, my intention. On the one hand, of course, shaped by the weddings that I have been attending for 7 years now and on the other hand, because I like to show people how to follow their passions or to inspire them to more love. I actually have nothing to do with religion, but in essence, the world religions are also right that it would be desirable to feel more love and respect in the world. I like to make this feeling of charity, love for yourself and the things we create, visible. That’s my job. In times of this year’s crisis, I actually had the thought that a little security as a backup would be nice. A steady income through a regular job, but somehow I haven’t seen a job offer for a feel-good manager. In the end, I take my camera in hand because I like meeting people.
When and how did you start with photography? How has your style developed over time?
In order not to tell the story of the first camera, I jump a few years further. 2007, high school graduation. I have already taken photos at school events, at some point also for the newspaper to accompany my texts. Photos weren’t that important yet. I loved and love to write. Then followed the study of applied media economics with a focus on sports journalism. Oh yes, I also took over the design of the graduation newspapers for the graduating classes after me. Back then I was still completely inexperienced with Photoshop and spent the night in order to meet the printing deadline. For a while, I then introduced that the newspaper would not be complete until the prom. At this point the passion for photos, texts and design was already developed.
Through my now great best friend Farina, it became clear that photography is our gift and talent for the world out there. Due to a lack of talent in the creative metropolis of Berlin, we cancelled our excursion into the world of web design and corporate design, and concentrated entirely on photos. I bought my first, own, really professional camera in June 2014. A proud moment. Farina had the 5D Mark II from Canon at the time. I then bought the Mark III until I left it on the street in Wedding this year. Unfortunately, the entire photo bag was gone.
As for the style. Ouff, interesting question. So I still like the VSCO M5 filter on Instagram a lot. In the meantime, I have tried to get away from it. Didn’t work because I just like the warm tones. The image look in my feed is different from commissioned work. I prefer to give bridal couples very natural photos. So without big colour shifts – #Nerdtalk. I took some analogue snapshots with an old Canon last summer. Blurred images are also part of the portfolio. Basically it’s about the feeling and real emotions, less about the staging. This is how I would describe the development of my visual language.
What inspires you? And why?
Every visit to Instagram offers me new inspiration and impulses. Basically I have discovered my visual language for myself and still like to try out new perspectives or lighting moods every now and then. Breaking away from old habits is not that easy. Leaving the comfort zone is the reason for seeking inspiration.
As we can see from your feed, you like to travel, like to be out with other people and from time to time have a weakness for old cars – how do you best combine these?
The motifs listed remind me of a great afternoon in Cape Town last winter. The four of us drove out of town for a wine tasting in an old Mercedes and chose the beautiful route along the sea for the way back, while the sun set in the sea and the moon appeared next to Lions Head. I like old cars as a motif, that’s right. They create a special flair and tell a story through their design. In a nutshell: In Cape Town, everything can best be combined for me.
Does the place you come from or where you currently live has a big influence on the pictures you take? If so, to what extent?
The village where I come from and in which I am currently sitting has no influence on my pictures. Too much green around it, which is nice because then I don’t think in pictures, but enjoy the surroundings more. Same it was also back then in Sweden. A muddy grey January that gave me no inspiration to take pictures – except for the sunset with the caravan in the glaring light, which even made it onto a PICKMOTION card.
Are your photos planned? Do you work in a certain setup or are the photos more spontaneous?
Most of the photos I share are snapshots of the moment itself. Observations in the city are always a snapshot, too. Architecture quite fascinates me. When I photograph people, I look for a nice light and an interesting or totally plain background. Harmony is important to me.
What does your perfect day for shooting look like?
In relation to a wedding day, on which I am there for 8-10 hours, the sun around noon would be nice for the preparations, simply to brighten the premises. Then clouds come up in the afternoon and the evening ends in orange sunlight with a few veil clouds. It’s all about the light.
What do you think of the IG community you have built? Do you exchange ideas with other IGers or do you meet up sometimes? Have there been any special collaborations?
The medium Instagram is really wonderful as a meeting place for interesting people. With the changing accounts over the years, I haven’t really built a community. I just can’t make up my mind what to focus on. Years ago I was with Linda @lindaberlin and Maria @maryloo moving through Berlin one afternoon, that was the only time that I actively have met other passionate motif seekers. On the subject of cooperation: I actually hosted an Instagram walk for Apple in the summer of 2018. We walked along the Ku’damm and I gave them an insight into my perception of the surroundings. I wanted to sharpen their view that every picture can have an advertising effect and therefore emphasis can be placed on shapes, cuts and perspectives. I did did it out of self-interest, to flatter my aesthetic sensibilities.
How and why did you decide to use Instagram as your social media platform?
I guess it was 2009 or 2010 when I uploaded my first picture to Instagram. At @_hosthannes you can see this at the very end of the feed. Among other things, there is also the traffic light heart. Apparently a PICKMOTION classic 🙂 Nobody could have guessed how Instagram would develop in over 10 years. I still prefer to watch pictures rather than videos. Instagram has developed more and more into the personal self-presentation of many people.
Did you know PICKMOTION before our cooperation? And if so, from where?
I didn’t know PICKMOTION until the first email.
Do you actually write postcards yourself?
Unfortunately, I no longer write postcards myself. There are seldom beautiful cards abroad. 4 years ago I was happy to send a lot of cards from PICKMOTION. That summer I had received over 40 examples of cards with my motifs and wanted to give my friends and acquaintances a little gift in the form of a handwritten card.
Can you name three of your favourite IG accounts?
Is there anything else, an anecdote or a funny story that you would like to share with us? We are happy about everything 😉
In March 2018, I had a blind date with Luisa and Tom, a couple from Germany. Luisa was a model in Cape Town and Tom visited her. I like her casual style and we agreed that I would photograph her and her boyfriend together. They picked me up at 7 a.m. and we drove, with a skateboard as an accessory in our luggage, to a palm-lined street in Cape Town. Beverly Hills flair in Africa. While waiting for the first rays of sunshine, we all tried the board. I confidently told them about my childhood experiences. Downhill would not be a problem. I stepped onto the board with a swing and landed a few meters later on the street. As it turned out, I dislocated my left arm, for the second time after a soccer accident when I was 19. A little dazed with shock, I pushed my arm back in and after a tiny pause – I had a short black-out for a moment – we started with the shooting. The pictures are still one of my favourite ones. It’s the same with Luisa, as she recently confirmed to me and added that when they get married, they want me to be their photographer.
We love all the stories our photographers have to tell. You too? Would you like to learn more about the photographers who are behind the motifs of our products? Then check out all the other wonderful and interesting #pckphototalks.