Encounters
Project info

I started this series during a two-month stay in Florence and continued it in my hometown of Munich, as well as in Berlin, NYC and Havana.
What started out as an experiment to photograph people's backs became an inherent part of this project. By showing their backs to me, they have to give up some control over the scene. This somehow more vulnerable setting provides additional insight into their personalities.
I usually start with looking for a wall that somehow represents the city in which I am at. As I work with natural light, I also take into consideration the time and setting. Then I scan passersby for something that catches my interest and ask a portrait. I found that the majority of older people are reluctant to be photographed. Other subjects, but not too many, reject being photographed from the back.
The diptychs provide a nice balance and symmetry - not only for depicting the people, clothes and body language, but also for providing optical symmetry.
The real challenge is to establish an open connection within a short time so that they don't hide their real selves behind a pose.