Sebastian Artz: A Lust for Light and Life 

Sebastian Artz shows the bright side of life. Whether it is family, leisure activities, or work: his photographs always put us in a good mood! But nonetheless, his portraits of modern individualists in settings bathed in light are beautifully authentic. You can tell from his motifs that he also works in film, because during the shootings he often creates little photo stories with captivating narrative elements. Sebastian Artz was born in Romania, but grew up in Dusseldorf. During an exchange program, he ended up in the renowned film department at UCLA in Los Angeles. The city and its world-famous light awakened his love of photography—a passion that quickly earned him money. He has photographed celebrities, for example musicians like Green Day and the Beasty Boys, but he also realized his own projects that are regularly exhibited in art galleries.

Oliver Mark: Boris Becker

People trust Oliver Mark – and by people I do not only mean his clients. Apparently everyone feels like they can just be themselves around Oliver Mark, which is what makes him one of the best people-photographers in the world. The man from Berlin simply traveled to Wimbledon in order to meet Boris Becker for the new magazine Zeit Golfen. Of course Becker, who discovered a passion for golfing after his active tennis career, is a highly coveted motif since he is a man of the public and a real society-guy. The resulting pictures are not surprising but all the more amusing. Each picture shows an obviously relaxed and cheerful Becker, either while teeing off or while striking his winning pose. In every picture you can see his slightly roguish, boyish charm. The result is a very well-made cover and several other great pictures. Oliver Mark managed to prove yet again that he just knows how to win people over.

Mathilde Karrèr: Pinky Rose Lemonade

Pinkyrose, a Dutch label with a flamingo in their logo pride themselves on being the first producer of hand-picked syrups. They engaged the services of Mathilde Karrèr in order to visually live up to that promise. She is the number-one photographer of hand-picked product photography. She basically absorbs the esthetic world of the syrup producer and adds her very own Karrèr-touch. As a result, she created pictures which whet the viewer’s appetite for the product and she definitely dug out some fine tricks here. On the one hand you can instantly recognize Pinkyrose’s thumbprint due to the squeezer and on the other hand the composition of fresh products and the way they are effectively staged emphasize the freshness. In addition to a well-made brand image, the result is a fantastic picture which reminds of a Dutch still life. Karrèr took her chance to playfully create a crazy new still life for Pinkyrose. With a flamingo, of course! In any case, it’s an eyecatcher which stays on your mind.

Fredric Reshew: Sweden Selected

Photographer Fredric Reshew did a fine job for the Swedish lifestyle magazine SWEDEN SELECTED: If you want to put the multifaceted Scandinavian lifestyle in a nutshell, there is no other way than Reshew’s. The internationally renowned fashion and lifestyle photographer just has a way with lighting and colors. The wildly decorated model is perfectly presented in front of a blue background. He tickles this certain northern mysticism out of her. At least that is the impression you get when looking at the seemingly elfish model in the pictures. It doesn’t matter whether she is looking directly at the camera or is dreamily staring into the infinite. Reshew puts the protagonist into a crazy fashion-pastiche that is extremely impressive. Their interplay is more than successful and so is the series for Sweden Selected.

Anders Jungermark: BOLON

For his interior shots par excellence, the Swedish photographer Anders Jungermark is on everyone’s lips. And this is why even the third generation of the Swedish label BOLON counts on him: He gives their firm’s flooring materials the gloss that a modern design needs nowadays. Jungermark’s photographs stand out due to the fact that they radiate with vitality despite being reduced to their objects. The way he plays with light and shadows, with angles and positions of the picture’s elements, gives the respective arrangements plasticity and space for development. Each of the materials he depicts for BOLON instantly opens up to the eye of the beholder and triggers off a desire for haptic experiences. The pictures make you want to take off your shoes and do a little dance over BOLON’s carpets. This must be every carpet producer’s dream!

Rafael Pinho: Portobello Campaign - Fine Porcelain from Brazil

When a portrait photographer is commissioned to shoot a campaign for one of Brazil’s leading porcelain manufacturers it always ends up in a surprise. In a very pleasant one, we must admit! Rafael Pinho chose to show the magicians responsible behind the beautiful items, cherished by millions of Brazilians. His photos capture the craftsmanship that helped this company to become as famous as it is today. We like it and can’t wait to see more of his work in the future.

Florent Petitfrere: Powder Overdose

For the series „Powder Overdose“, Florent Petitfrère gets back to one of his specialties: expressive black-and-white photography. As the title already suggests, the higher stylistic element is powder, which Petitfrère placed in the foreground. So he chose three male models and for each one he created close-ups. The emphasis is placed on their faces. Two of the three models show faces blackened with powder which creates wonderful structures on their skin. The third model, however, looks completely natural and fascinates with his expressive face. Another noticeable point is that two of the three models show similar postures and facial expressions while one looks more candid and playful. In the end, it is the needle-sharp photographs and the powerfully stages portraits which make for the impact of Petitfrère’s work. An impressive work, as is customary of Petitfrère.

Buki Koshoni: Gun Porn

Buki Koshoni is the kind of guy who would just throw two or three jalapeños into his chili. There is no other way to explain the practiced way he understands to combine sharp things with sharp things. Anyway, in his new picture series “Gun Porn”, various wet dreams come true. The formula is simple: a woman with guns. The realization, however, is esthetic in a way that completely contrasts every common redneck blueprint. Koshoni, who can draw from a wealth of experience as filmmaker and fashion-lover, has his finger on the right trigger. His target, a dark-haired beauty wearing lingerie, represents the kind of woman whom you’d rather not betray. At least that’s what the black-and-white pictures communicate: she’s a woman who does not only know how to bring in the big guns but she also knows how to use them. Koshoni’s pictures are fun to look at and they awe with the way the model is made to look seductive and attractive even in a suicide scene, a western homage and, of course, a sexy pose. Luckily, Koshoni is a safe bet for not letting “Gun Porn” look obscene. Sure shot!

Atli Thor Alfredsson: Naked Unnaked

Atli Thor Alfredsson, strikes with his series “Naked/ Unnaked”. He manages to whip up pictures with his camera that graphic designers could not put together with 10 Photoshop layers. But of course, we know that the photographer does not leave anything to coincidence with such a staging. Spells and magic are just as important in the pictures of the Icelandic photographer as his love for depth and hidden secrets. This is exactly what enfolds while looking at this picture series. The half-naked dancers are wrapped in strange fabrics and wear curious accessories. Some of them seem almost demonic, while others seem more like angelic creatures. Alfredsson knows how to play with this contrast and puts a superordinate esthetic above it all. He created powerful but also slightly bizarre and clear pictures that actually leave room for your own interpretation. We wonder what this extraordinary photographer will come up with next.

Sivan Miller: Chaotic City and beautiful girls

Sivan Miller, the self-taught and talented photographer from Cape Town, again proves his gift for giving fashion photography a stunning impact with “Chaotic City”. In Chaos City, we don’t see a big story. We see a young, attractive model who makes her way through a metropolis on high heels and equipped with various fashion accessories. In contrast to the title, however, Miller manages to create a certain air of tranquility in this chaos. His model is a metropolitan gazelle who strolls through the scenery, sometimes looking spry, sometimes looking dreamy. Elegant, seductive and unapproachable. By Miller’s way of depiction, she finds leisure and becomes a muse of a great photographer herself. Even though we have seen similar pictures a dozen times, Miller manages to turn them into real eyecatchers. The poses, the angles, the lighting. Everything is unified by Miller. The extraordinary relationship of the two electrifies the viewer.

Tillmann Franzen: Peeking into St. Petersburg's Eremitage

There is barely a more qualified photographer for documentaries than Tillmann Franzen. This series, which he created in the Eremitage in St. Petersburg, proves it yet again. Franzen goes on a picturesque voyage that feels just as smooth and quiet as an actual visit to the museum. He subtly takes photographs of the people and the objects that fill the museum with life through the lens of an art lover. Each of the resulting pictures turns the viewer into a fly on the wall of one of the world's biggest museums. You get an exclusive look at the work behind the art. And you realize the effort that the people who restore, exhibit and guard the great masters' works put into it. Franzen makes sure to catch the museum's employees in a certain angle and a great lighting, which works out perfectly and which gives each picture a warm glow. A great picture series that really worships the Eremitage and its employees.

Julia Fullerton-Batten: Sets a fantastic scenerie for Oxfam

Oxfam managed to excite Julia Fullerton-Batten about a great project. Now, two strong partners with great ideas become a pair. Julia Fullerton-Batten, who is known for her awesome way of staging and creating small worlds with her pictures, meets a formerly small but growing community that has created a big world of public interest and fair consumerism. The campaign's shooting takes place in one of Oxfam's warehouses. And as if this wasn't enough, the models for the shooting are casted from customers. Very unusual, but a great idea! Fullerton-Batten chooses her props from the extensive stock of Oxfam's repositories which create exciting worlds in combination with the protagonists. The results are six fantastic pictures which show wit, sensitivity and, most of all, their creator’s eye for composition. Fullerton-Batten and Oxfam are a win-win duo.

Denis Rouvre: Shows virtuously the advantages of a Renault - Tailleur

Renault hired the world-famous portrait photographer Denis Rouvre, who is known for his sense of depth and expressive motifs, for a picture series which shows the advantages of a custom-made Renault. Different than usual, we see three masters of their profession: First of all, a florist who is arranging an elaborate flower bouquet, secondly, a patissier who creates desserts of the finest sort with his craftsmanship and, lastly, a stonemason who is working on an extravagant jar. The common denominator between the three is the individuality and the extravagance of their works, which creates a direct connection to the custom-made cars of Renault. Each of Rouvre's pictures is a small, meticulously prepared motif with an incredible force of expression which focuses on the person and their work. The most outstanding features of this picture series are the extraordinary lighting and the intense colors. This beautiful work perfectly matches Denis Rouvre's whole oeuvre.

Johannes Knuth: Holi Youth

Traditions are a great thing. Especially if you forgot what you were celebrating, but the party was awesome. And so it came that parts of an ancient Indian tradition were passed down to our western civilization, the Holi festival's fun and bright colors, which Johannes Knuth dared to join with his camera. The result is a colorful collection of impressions. On the one hand, there are Knuth's well-made snapshots which seem to find a funny moment in each situation and on the other hand there are numerous colorful people who make for great sure-shots. You can feel that Johannes Knuth developed a talent for feeling people and situations, but also for switching over to instantly capture the moment. Anyway, the project picture series of the Holi festival is a nice collection of cheerful people and great festival shots.

Bo Hylén: Shows his love for horses in the new Raiffeisenbank CH campaign

When it comes to photography, nature and engineering are Bo Hylén's hobbyhorses. Thus, we usually get pictures of dynamic new cars depicted in fantastically staged landscapes from him. That's one reason why it is a bit curious that Raiffeisenbank managed to win over Hylén. So this time, we don't get to see cars. But speaking of hobbyhorses…! One might suppose that Bo Hylén has a certain liking for horses, since he already went to the stables for Range Rover. Now horses are again the key motif of the campaign. In order to visualize the slogan: “We are the right investment partner for increasing standards”, Hylén visually presents a comparison of a rocking horse and two real horses in their stables. We get a beautiful close-up of a funny scenario that perfectly communicates Raiffeisenbank's message: If you had small dreams before, you can let them grow up with Raiffeisenbank! What’s more, Bo Hylén proves that no matter the theme, he knows how to rock the horse!

David Maurer: Mercedes Benz E-Class global Campaign

The fact that Batman was filmed in Chicago because the setting just perfectly shows off the bat and its gadgets, proves that David Maurer will have all the more fun there. Mercedes Benz did everything right and flew Maurer in to present their new E-Class in all its splendor. Just like it is typical for Maurer, he perfectly caught every detail of the car, which was strictly secret at the time. David Maurer makes the car look elegant and sexy in the city, but he knows how to also emphasize the sportive qualities of the car line. In addition, the various interior shots reveal the fancy design and the loving detail. Maurer tops it off with various different effects, playing with the city's multitude of facades, using the reflections to model the vehicle, which definitely perfects the depictions of Mercedes Benz' new masterpiece. Maurer proved once again that he's the right man for the big picture.

Knotan: Mes Dames Lookbook

What happened here? The Swedish fashion label Mes Dames commissioned Knotan for their new Lookbook and the result is a very different and much more moderate aspect of his work. Impressive! Usually Knotan equals anarchy. Models are paired with the most curious scenes and his artistic genius. This time it’s different. The Lookbook he created for Mes Dames is plain but expressive, reduced but effective. All we see is a model wearing pieces from the latest collection of Mes Dames. Knotan manages to tease an effective mix of elegance and grace out of her which perfectly matches his style and the label. The chemistry of interaction between Knotan and the person, or persons, he takes photographs of seems to be just right. This extraordinary atmosphere can be seen again and again in his pictures. The wild Knotan is great but the reduced one also knows how to expertly handle a camera.

Schall & Schnabel: Nimbus

The studio Schall & Schnabel has delivered an impressive picture series for the fashion and beauty magazine „The Storm Magazine“. The combination of various stylistic devices is what turns this series into a must-see. By now, we are used to seeing special motifs from Eileen Huhn and Pierre Horn, who are Schall & Schnabel, but this time the two of them really dug out some special techniques. The fashion series mixes analogue and digital photography and perfectly contrasts high-gloss photographs with vintage pictures. The connection between those two is the idea of making special indoor and outdoor photos which depend on the place where they were made. They are connected by the ink that is artfully integrated into the different motifs. The viewer is overwhelmed by the number of motifs that arose from this project and by the way they are assembled. The models and places are splendidly interwoven. At times they are reduced and at times ostentatious, but all of the pictures have a certain magic about them. Each motif has its own story and esthetic which make for Schall and Schnabel’s memorability. This studio produces great ideas and pictures and we can’t wait for what’s yet to come.

Joel Cartier: Burning Man

Are we still on Earth? This is a valid question when looking at the impressive picture series “Burning Man” by Joel Cartier. It’s beyond dispute that the event “Burning Man”, which takes place in the Nevada desert every year, has an other-worldly air. The most bizarre figures meet there for an eight day party-séance and drive around in ostentatious wagons and masquerades. In the past years, a lot of pictures have been made of this event in order to convey the Burning-Man-feeling. But the line between dream and reality is finally blurred when Joel Cartier gets behind the lens. Cartier has a unique talent for great staging. This makes his pictures marvelously transcendent. All the festival’s art seems sublime. The visitors become messengers of a lost world and the festival itself becomes a place which you long for. Cartier plays with close-ups, extreme close-ups and portraits in a way that can only be described as a transfigured reality in a seemingly real place. It is this special mix that turns this picture series into a documentation of an otherworldly journey. A great show!

Oliver Mark: Beuys

Mixing the unusual. Tush magazine, especially the online version, are known for their unusual fusions in the areas of beauty, fashion and trends. They have commissioned Oliver Mark to deliver a picture series which fits their fictive interview with the deceased artist Beuys. As expected, the result of this cooperation is an extraordinary and funny creative chaos, which is harmonious and right to the point on closer inspection. Oliver Mark, who is known like no other for his exclusive and personal portraits, is facing the task of portraying someone who is long deceased. Of course, just like with his numerous other portraits, he succeeded in fulfilling the task and presented a series of Beuys artworks adapted in his own portrait style. Close, but with a certain distance. Affectionate towards an otherwise rigid object, he manages to push forward into a depth in the end into which Beuys viewer also pushes whenever he gets involved with his artwork. Mark managed what he always does: he researches, he analyzes, and he delivers pictures that seem to have developed by coincidence but which unfold their whole impact in the end. This is a great tribute to Beuys and a wonderful picture series for Tush magazine and their creative people.

Mathilde Karrer: To the Point

A summit of elegance. There is no other way to describe the collaboration between Mathilde Karrèr and the German firm Kaweco. Kaweco have been producing high-class writing utensils, which can be recognized by their octagonal design, for more than 125 years. If you want to stay on top even today, you get people with distinctive skills. Karrèr is one of these people. She is a still photographer who has her own handwriting and as such she is the perfect partner for giving the traditional pencil manufacturer the required prominent glow. The picture series she created for Kaweco perfectly mirrors the charm of her still photographs. It consists of draped charts which manage to precisely catch the characters of the Kaweco pencils. Thereby, she uses highly contrasting geometrical backgrounds in order to emphasize the distinctive touch of the pencils. Especially the strong colors which contrast the black pencils catch the viewer’s eye. She has the gift of presenting rigid objects with a certain floating lightness which makes her as a still photographer absolutely essential. The pictures create the impression that writing utensils can be useful in various situations and that they are great partners any time. In any case, this is what Mathilde Karrèr is for Kaweco.

Florent Petitfrere: Carmen

For Florent Petitfrere’s new work, Georges Bizet would probably applaud at least as loud as the whole audience of his opera Carmen! Maybe this work is Florent Petitfrere’s way of bowing his head to the grand master Bizet, who knows? What I do know is that these pictures have been beautifully realized. We have grown accustomed to nothing less by the former model who can now be found behind the camera and who has specialized on scenic, mostly black-and-white pictures. And this is what we see in his work titled “Carmen”, in which the two protagonists reconstruct scenes from the same-named opera in gorgeous garments. At least this is the first impression you get when looking at this passionate couple. On closer examination, you can see Petitfrere’s sense of fashion photography and his feeling for sensual staging. These two features make his pictures utterly unique and turn them into real eye-catchers. This work really makes you curios about the next theme Petitfrere will take up. We can definitely look forward to terrific pictures.

Denis Ignatov: MusasMusas

MusasMusas are a fascinating female duo from Berlin who take their lifestyle and their impressions out into the world from the heart of Germany in their blog. And this blog is just as colorful as the two personalities Albina & Julia are. It is the contrast between the minimalist interface and the contentful posts that bristle with attractive pictures which makes a visit to their blog an absolute must. Of course, the two clever ladies got a top-notch lifestyle photographer to really get it going again this year. I am speaking of no less a figure than Denis Ignatov. Despite his young age, he is extremely experienced and so he went to the capital in order to get swept away by “Musement”. The results are two wonderful picture series and short films which show the girls and their posse while partying on the one hand and while chilling on Berlin’s beautiful rooftops on the other hand. Evidently, authenticity was very important to Ignatov here. None of the pictures seem posed, the people never seem out of place. Everything moves fluently, just like the girls move through their vivid Berlin. Even the pictures that are set up on the rooftops catch cheerful goings-on which perfectly mirror the girls’ vigor and vitality. MusasMusas hit the jackpot with Denis Ignatov, they couldn’t have been luckier.

Buki Koshoni: Everything

Buki Koshoni, the photographer from London, is known for his candor, his slightly provocative streak and his gusto for nude photographs. So the protagonist of his new short film “Everything” is wearing sometimes more and sometimes less clothes again. As Theodor Fontane would say, Everything is a wide subject and it could mean anything in this context. What can be said without a doubt, though, is that Koshoni’s clip is very similar to a home video. It is worth mentioning that this esthetic film shows a girl who is obviously flirting with the camera, but most of all with the person behind it. In her dance with the camera she is seductive and luscious, desirable but also unapproachable to a certain extent. Koshoni is walking a fine line between closeness and distance, between the obvious and the fantastic. We never see everything but we see enough to exalt our imagination. The vintage filter in the film strengthens the impression of watching a bygone romance, the cuts create frenzy in an unreal time. Koshoni created a very appealing video here.1:

Johannes Knuth: Trainspotting

The German photographer Johannes Knuth finds fulfilment not only in Buddhism, but also in creating new and beautiful worlds which he realizes in the form of photographs and films. And we have the honor of convincing ourselves of it again. To his set of pictures called “People”, there has recently been added a picture series called “Trainspotting”, which is definitely fun to look at. According to the motto “preparation is fine but surprise is better”, he created a shooting that just radiates with pure vitality. We see a young couple. She is wearing an innocent white dress and he is wearing comfortable streetwear. Close to the railroad tracks, the two of them are enjoying the sunlight and this nice spot that has been taken back by nature. Looking at these pictures makes you long for the bygone summer and creates a feeling of melancholy. At the same time though, you are keen on watching the model couple who seem to be enjoying themselves. The pictures are vivid and brilliantly staged and every scene overwhelms us with the feeling of freedom. This is the successful work of a photographer who took up the cause of pure joy of life.