JAPAN 2019.

Was verbindest du mit Japan? Nimm dir eine Minute Zeit, um darüber nachzudenken. Schreibe dir bei Bedarf auch die ersten fünf Begriffe auf, die dir in den Kopf kommen.

Was verbindet die Welt mit Japan? Was fällt dir hierzu ein?

Ist es nicht interessant, wie sehr sich diese beiden Kategorien unterscheiden können? Wie die eigene von der allgemeinen Wahrnehmung abweicht? Wie Reisen einen selbst verändert und das Bild von einem Land, einer Kultur, das wir bewusst oder unterbewusst in uns tragen, transformiert und anpasst?

Japan hat mich schon immer fasziniert. Generell finde ich Asien total spannend, aber besonders Japan hat mich schon sehr früh in den Bann gezogen – Samurai, Kirschblüten im Mondlicht, geheimnisumwitterte Tempel in den Bergen. Für mich ging es nie um abgefahrene, kunterbunte Outfits, blinkende Werbeschilder oder maid cafés. Klar, kann man machen, aber meiner Meinung nach repräsentieren diese Dinge Japan nur sehr unzureichend. Es ist nur ein ganz kleiner Teil dieser wunderbaren Kultur und die meisten Japaner haben damit auch nicht viel am Hut. Viel interessanter ist es doch, eine Reise dazu zu nutzen, zu erfahren, wie die Menschen einer Kultur wirklich leben, was ihnen wichtig ist, was sie ausmacht, wie sie „ticken.“ Man beschäftigt sich zwar vorher mit kulturellen Besonderheiten und Verhaltensweisen, aber vor Ort gibt es einfach so viel mehr zu entdecken und zu lernen – und gerade das, diesen Trümmer von einem Eisberg, der sonst nur unter der Wasseroberfläche verborgen ist und nur die obere Spitze preisgegeben hat, finde ich spannend. Aus den knapp 3 Wochen Japanreise habe ich so viel mitgenommen, so viele neue Eindrücke gewonnen und habe mein Weltbild ein Stück weit verrückt – und dafür bin ich dankbar.

Diese Eindrücke sind natürlich zu zahlreich, um sie alle hier zu beschreiben, aber ein paar davon möchte ich doch gerne teilen und auch durch meine Fotografien unterstützen.

Was verbinde ich also mit Japan (nach meiner Reise)?

Schiebewände. Lautlose Tatami-Böden. Enge Straßen ohne Bürgersteige, überhangen mit Stromleitungen, die sich wie Schlangen durch die Lüfte winden. Transparente Regenschirme. Warmes Vulkanwasser auf nakter Haut. Nächtliche Spaziergänge über Friedhöfe, vorbei an rechteckigen Grabsteinen, die sich vor der hell erleuchteten Kulisse der Hochhäuser abheben. Neugierige Katzengesichter in der Dunkelheit. Süße, schwere Luft. Laut zirpende Zikaden in den Bäumen. Rote Tore, durch die man wie in eine andere Dimension hindurchschreitet. Goldenes Abendlicht, das durch Blätter fällt und auf dem Asphalt tanzt. Reizüberflutung in den geschäftigen Straßen, Gewusel von Menschen. Wilde Karaoke-Nächte. Verhaltenes Lächeln in fremden Gesichtern. Family Mart. Automaten an jeder Ecke. Regentropfen auf Kiefernnadeln. Die besten potato wedges, die ich je gegessen habe. Der mächtige Mount Fuji, der in seiner perfekten Symmetrie alles überragt. Tausende hungrige Mücken. Stille Seen. 250 km/h-schnelle Züge. In knöchel-hohen, lauwarmen Pfützen tanzen, während ein Monsun-artiger Regen von oben auf den transparenten Regenschirm einprasselt. Flohmarktbesuche, die allerlei Leckereien und antike Schätze entdecken lassen. Interessierte Einheimische, die einen in Gespräche verwickeln. Offenheit bei gleichzeitiger Zurückhaltung. Winzige Glöckchen, die eine magische Atmosphäre kreieren. Manga- und Anime-Verrücktheit. Takoyaki. Schweißausbrüche, das Retten in die kalte Luft der Klimaanlagen.


 

T O K Y O


 

K A W A G U C H I K O / MT. F U J I


 

K Y O T O


 

K U R A M A


 

N A R A


 

O S A K A


 

 

T O K Y O

 

 

 

 

BIENVENUE EN STRASBOURG.

Old houses.

Little cafés.

The calm canal.

The smell of fruits, spices, cheese and lemon tarts.

Soft colours.

 

– La petit France –

 

RAINY EDINBURGH COUPLE SESSION.

 

Oh, Edinburgh.

I love your hills.

Your beautiful buildings, made of stone.

Your streets, telling hundreds and thousands of stories.

Your roughness, rawness.

Foggy, windy and cold.

ICELAND EDITORIAL.

It was truly a day well spent. On our trip to Iceland we had rough winds, snow storms and bitter cold – and then there was THIS day. Julia and I found a beautiful hot spring and basically spent the whole day there until our fingers looked like we were 100 years old :D

Honestly, If you have the opportunity to relax in one of these, natural stones on the ground and surrounded by the beautiful Icelandic landscape – it’s the best!

Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes. After this very nice trip to the hot spring, Julia and I decided to have a little shoot on our way back to our apartment in Reykjavik. We found this lovely landscape full of moss-covered hills, gorgeous golden sunshine and cute Icelandic horses. No Make-Up, the wind in her hair and a dress that screams spring! I’m still in love.

ALGARVE BEACH SHOOT.

When in Portugal, go see the beach. No really, do it! These cliffs are just amazing and there are so many nice spots to explore. My travel tip for you: Just get in the car and drive along the coast of the Algarve, there’ll be so many times you want to stop, trust me. Red cliffs, dangerously huge waves (if you’re into surfing) and breathtaking views.

With this in mind, Kathrin, Rebecca and me wanted to have a couple session during our #unrealalgarve trip back in October 2018 to capture love and also the beauty of nature. We got to know Natascha, who’s also a photographer, and her husband Witali via instagram and they were up for a couple shoot at the beach with us – right at Praia de Coelha, a very relaxing place full of the sound of crashing waves, yellow stone cliffs shimmering in the sun and shells everywhere – the perfect place for a couple session!

I loved the easy-going atmosphere during the shoot and I’m so, so happy with these images! It was truly a pleasure to experience shooting a couple with three photographers/videographers and to meet Natascha and Witali for they are such nice people (and I think they also had quite the fun during the session, as you might see below :) )

If you’re also interested in a photoshoot during your holidays, let me know. I love to travel and when I’m exploring another country, I’m always looking for interesting people to shoot with.

UNREAL.ALGARVE.

 

After our ‚unreal mallorca‘ trip (click HERE) last year, we, that is to say all the lovely photographer ladies, decided that this should become a ritual for us, a yearly pleasure to get away, celebrate our creativity and to simply have a good time together and enjoy each other’s company.

Although our group of female photographers was cut down to three this year (due to very positive news concerning travelling the world, nursing a newborn and being pregnant – so exciting!), we had lots of fun planing our trip. Actually, the Algarve didn’t pop up first while planning … We had (and still have – there are more trips to come, you guys!) other destinations in mind, but we wanted to explore something new – some place none of us had been before. Rebecca, Kathrin and I went on this adventure and we had so much fun :)

 

Arriving

We arrived in the evening and were greeted by beautifully golden light – the perfect setting for driving to our AirBnB, which was basically located in the middle of nowhere in the hills near Estorninhos. 

 

A beautiful morning / new friends

Each morning we woke up to the first sunrises – after our first night at ‚Le Moulbot‘, we were able to explore our beautiful AirBnB with its huge garden (with fig and olive trees), the interesting architecture (sleeping in a tower was quite fun!) and the pool. Also, we got to experience one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen – the sun crept up right between two hills with some lonely houses and everything was so quiet, it was amazing.

Each morning we were not only greeted by sunlight but also by two four-legged (and very cute!) guys who made my day. These dogs were so darling and although we didn’t know where they came from, we cuddled them and gave them love – to me, this is how a day is supposed to start!

 

Tavira

On the first day after arriving we decided to drive to Tavira, which is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the Algarve. We had a lush breakfast among (beautifully!) run-down buildings, bright colours and bought some very delicious chocs before heading to the local castle. We climbed up the stairs to the fortress and when we started hearing a guitar playing and a guy singing. We listened to the song these two locals were playing and I was really touched by the song since the singer was singing about his mother and he even started crying. I just love when people put their heart and soul into their art and when they tell stories that really matter.

If you’re looking for a fun city trip in the Algarve you‘ should definitely visit Tavira and its beautiful little shops and architecture :)     

 

Exploring the beach / low tide

After wandering through Tavira, we wanted to see the beach so badly that we drove to the ‚Ilha de Tavira‘, which is basically a sand island on the coast of Tavira. We didn’t expect to see the water gone but with all the tiny and bigger boats lying on the beach at low tide, it was such a beautiful scenery.

We took off our shoes and as soon as my bare feet touched the sand and I saw the palm trees swaying in a light breeze, it immediately felt like being on holiday to me. We took the time to shoot portraits of each other in the golden light and we were so mesmerised by the landscape that we didn’t even notice the tide coming back in again :D We had to rescue Rebecca’s backpack and her shoes (thank God she kept her camera hanging around here neck!) and drove back home after trying to get rid of all the sand between our toes – which didn’t work that well to be honest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road trip along the coast

Because we wanted to see as much as possible of the Algarve, we took our time to drive along the coast (3 hrs to the edge of Portugal). Our first stop was a quite lonely field with a decayed bridge BUT unfortunately I didn’t take any photos there because suddenly we were witness to a guy in a van getting stopped by 10 police man including one with a huge machine gun (Yep, you read that right) and we made sure to back up slowly and drive away as if nothing had happend :D True story.

Our next stop was a very unique ceramic store near Sagres with lots and lots of colourful and strangely shaped plates decorated all over the place. Of course, we had to stop here and take some photos. They had some lovely mugs that I would’ve loved to buy but I was afraid they’d break on our journey back to Germany, so we headed on to the cliffs that are literally the end of the world – it’s the most southern west place in Europe! The vibrant orangy colours was so fascinating in combination with the blue water (and the waves were HUGE!).

On our way back we stopped at Algar Seco, one of the most beautiful cliff formations that the Algarve has to offer. We saw some images on the internet and wanted to have a little photo session there (take a look at Rebecca’s dress – so gorgeous!) but we weren’t really impressed with the tiny ‚pool‘ that we saw on instagram (it was rather a puddle). Instead, we went down some stairs on the other side and climbed the cliffs and ended up finding ourselves in the midst of an AMAZING view – the light, the waves crashing against the steep cliffs and a larger pool – of course I had to get in there (all for the one shoot :D) – and despite being quite uncomfortable in there, it was worth it!

 

A fun day in the pool / at the beach

On wednesday it was so hot outside that we decided to have a large breakfast in the garden (I bet it would’ve looked quite funny seeing us three girls trying to carry the huge tray down the steep hill of our garden :D) and jumping into the cool – VERY cold but we had so much fun, really! We had the most amazing view into the lonely valley and we played music and enjoyed ourselves while being silly with a huge inflatable cactus Kathrin brought (how on earth did she manage to fit this into her suitcase?!).

After that we drove to the beach again, a different one this time – and it was even more beautiful! Everywhere you looked you could find huge shells in the sand, I’ve never seen anything quite like this, really!

We had a lovely couple shoot there (coming soon!) and we were so happy because the weather was just perfect and the couple was just too cute to be true :) Thank you again for doing this, N+V!

 

In the Eucalyptus forrest / Olhao

On our last day befor heading home, we wanted to stop at an Eucalyptus forest we had seen along the way some days before and we took our time to admire the differently shaded trees and the fragrant branches. We drove on to Olhao, which is said to be a cute little city with lots of white houses. To be honest, we had to look quite hard to find these alleyways, but we managed to and it felt like being on Santorini, everything was coloured white and blue.

We ended the evening at the harbour, seeing the sunset turn the ocean into a painting of pastels and watching the planes fly over our heads. The next day we went to the airport early in the morning while it was heavily raining, but having arrived at the airport, the sun rose and we even got to see a rainbow, which was beautiful and a nice way of saying Goodbye to us form the Algarve :)

 

Thank you, Rebecca and Kathrin,

for being such lovely travel companions and for always making me laugh!

It was a pleasure :)

SCOTLAND.2018.

Spending the summer in the Scottish Highlands is usually a dance between wind, fog and rain – except this time, the sun was shining bright and greeted us with a warm breeze! When I arrived at the most beautiful old cottage, Balnald Farmhouse near Fortingall, to meet my husband and our families, I took some time to take photos around the property while the sun was still shining and the golden evening light provided a lovely toning. The house dating back to the 1880s is such a cosy place to stay and we enjoyed having a jacuzzi and a tennis court over the holidays! The garden even features its very own stone circle!What I also loved about it was the huge kitchen with a very perculiar oven that always stayed warm – you could literally always have a cup of tea for the water was always heated.

The next morning after I arrived I woke up really early, around 4.30am, and found the house quiet and the garden full of dew and fog. I decided on taking a little walk and explore the neighbourhood. I stumbled upon beautiful cottages and an old graveyard with a yew tree, that was 5000(!) years old – what a sight!

On another day, we were heading to Loch Lomond, where we all took a tour on the Loch with a speed boat (any adrenaline junkies out there?) That was so much fun and we got to experience the longest lake in Scotland from a whole different angle! After that, we drove back home and stopped at a beautiful river with stones to climb on and relax our feet in the cooling water.

We wanted to visit the valley of Glen Coe and on our way, we came across the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary (OMG!) near Oban on the west coast and I begged to visit it since I’m crazy about animals (especially otters!!) and my husband and I got to meet rays, seals and – yes, you guessed it right – otters! The sanctuary is not that big, but I highly recommend it to everyone in love with rescued animals – you can read more about it HERE. 

Another stop was Castle Stalker (originally Caisteal an Stalcaire), a castle from around 1320 lying in the middle of Loch Laich. Since it was low tide, the water was gone, but it looked beautiful nonetheless and my mum and I got to explore the area a bit.

Having finally arrived in Glen Coe, I was blown away! The waterfalls along with the fog above the mountains was just very impressive! That’s what I love about this country: It’s harsh, it’s rough, but at the same time it’s so full of heart and beauty.

But there was yet another highlight waiting for me: ridinf the Jakobite Steamtrain, the very one that inspired J. K. Rowling with her story of Harry Potter (can I get an AMEN! please?). As a major potterhead, I was very excited to travel to Mallaig via the train (no, unfortunately not to Hogwarts). The fisher village is very small, but it’s the gateway to the Isle of Sky.

On our way back home to Perthshire we came trough Glen Coe again and it was even more beautiful than before, since the last golden sunrays touched the mountains and there were no tourists left. It was just so quiet and I really enjoyed this brief silence. I could’ve stayed there to watch the stars come out, but it was time to head home and enjoy the evening with some tennis and a bath in the jacuzzi.

Before we had to fly back to Germany, we went hiking behind the cottage. The area was quite impressive – lots of small streets, lots of sheep and lots of sunshine! When we found a big waterfall, we couldn’t help ourselves but take off our shoes and cool our legs in the flowing water. There was a little pool in between and we spent some time sitting there with our legs in the water, until our bodies got used to the cold (what a joy!). And, last but not least, we finally met some Highland Cows on our way back to the cottage – so cute!

I can’t wait to see you again, Scotland ♥️

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDINBURGH.2018.

And I miss the way

You make me feel

It is real

When we watched the sunset

Over the castle on the hill

(Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill)

 

Have you ever wandered the streets of a city you’ve never been to before (or at least not consciously) and fell in love with every building, every street corner and detail? Edinburgh did that with me.

Together with two of my best friends, Christina and Yanick, I flew to the Scottish capital on March 8 to visit my twin sister Laura and her room mate Aline, who is currently studying at the University of Edinburgh. Furthermore, we wanted to celebrate Christina’s birthday on March 11 – what better way to do this than by flying to the oh so beautiful Edinburgh?

 

DAY 1

We started our first day by exploring the city by bus and heading to the University and afterwards, my sister surprised me with a trip to Victoria Street – the very street J. K. Rowling got inspired to create Diagon Alley for her Harry Potter books and we also visited Greyfriars Kirkyard with Tom Riddle’s grave, which wasn’t hard to find since it was the one grave with all the ground in front of it trodden down. The cemetery itself was also beautiful (Is anyone else also inspired by old graveyards or is it just me? :D) and we ended up in a very special shop, the Diagon House, in which I could’ve stayed forever with all the Harry Potter stuff! We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill and the amazing view from Castle Hill and I couldn’t help myself but be longing for the Highlands once again! Another highlight of the day for me was a little spontaneous photo shoot with an art installation called „Edinburgh Lumen“ – Christina and I had lots of fun experiencing the light and music coming together!

 

DAY 2

Saturday then provided us with a very intense taste of typical Scottish weather, which basically consists of rain and wind! Nevertheless, the castle on the hill looked quite spooky and impressive in the fog and I also managed to meet a lovely couple, Joe & Jenny, in a stylish modern café and have a little couple session with them (coming soon!) before heading back to have dinner with my friends and my sister in a tiny place near Victoria Street.

 

DAY 3

On Sunday, which was Christina’s birthday (YAAAY!), we went to see the owls at Gladstone’s Land, which is a house from the 1600s. We found a new friend in Hazel, the most beautiful and cutest owl in the world (special thanks to Alex, the most amazing bird keeper, who has such a deep love for his animals, which was touching), and learned a lot about living in 17th century Edinburgh. Afterwards, we headed back to the castle and met Adam on the way, an epic guy teaching about Scottish history. He was dressed as a king of the Picts and greeted Christina with a very hearty version of „Happy Birthday“ – even some of the random passersby joined in and we talked for a long time about the Jacobites, teaching children and Manowar ( Warriors of the world unite! :D), which led to the most epic group photo ever taken on this street (prove me wrong)! We ended the day at „The World’s End“, one of the oldest pubs in the city. Fun fact: The name of the pub comes from its original location for it stood right at the walls of the city and, beyond that, there was basically nothing important – thus: The World’s End).

 

DAY 4

We wanted to spend our last day in Edinburgh at the beach, so we headed to Portobello to stick our toes in the sand (well, our shoes, to be correct) and to watch happy dogs play around on the shore. It was the perfect ending for our trip! It was such a nice expirience meeting my twin again, exploring the city (we walked arond 50km by foot) and making new friends in Scotland! I can’t wait to go back in July with my family :)

 

 

REYJKAVIK COUPLE SESSION.

 

 

Oh, Iceland. There are no words to describe your beauty.

But let me try to describe this special couple shoot with Miriam & Claudio in Reykjavik back in April 2017.

Julia and I were strolling through town, visiting the old flea market at the harbour, when we spotted a cute couple. At first, we hesitated to approach them to ask them if they were interested in a couple session, but then again – Who cares? And, thank God, we did! In fact, it was Miriam’s birthday and Claudio told us they were about to have a lovely evening with nice food and watching the Nothern Lights.

We met next day and started right in the middle of the city at a typically icelandic looking yellow wall before heading back to the harbour, enjoying or view of the blue water and the snowy mountains. After that, we headed to the famous KEX hostel, which used to be, fun fact, an old biscuit factory, and warmed up while reading magazines and finished our shoot right in front of a beautiful map of Icleand – you ice cold beauty! Hope to see you again soon ;)

UNREAL.MALLORCA.

 

Gosh, where to begin? Okay, let’s just start by saying that I actually never thought I’d like Mallorca. The first things that came to my mind when thinking of Mallorca were party animals, drunken jerks on the beach and bad taste in music. I mean, really bad music. Nothing more to it, really.

Oh, had I been wrong!

The journey you’re about to read about changed my perspective. And I’m not only talking about the island itself here, it actually changed me as a person. You know, everybody carries around their own individual worries, fears and self-doubts, me included. We may not think about them all the time, but that doesn’t make them go away. On the daily basis, we see other people doing amazing stuff, living their „life goals“ and pursuing their dreams. As a logic consequence, we compare ourselves to them – maybe only subconsciously:

Why am I not living like this? Why am I not perfect? Why can’t I pursue my dreams and live the life I ever wanted? Why am I afraid of the future? Why am I afraid to fail? Why am I here and what is my purpose in life? Why is my work not as good as theirs? What do I do wrong? Why are they more successful than me? Why does their work, which is not even that good, get more recognised than mine, although I shed my skin and put my bones in it?

These questions sound familiar? Welcome to the club – You’re a human being!

Why am I writing all of this, when this post was originally supposed to be about my trip to Mallorca? Because I travelled with five awesome and talented fellow human beings and photographers (of which I only knew one personally – I know, crazy, right?) and in these four days we spent in Mallorca, we grew so close and although I left my olf self behind, I won five new friends and started to think about these questions more consciously.

You see, it wasn’t just a trip to take beautiful photos, it was a creative journey with lots of emotional input. Tami and Melli, who basically brought this project to life, spoke about fear and about ways to find your inner calm in such a personal way, that I was deeply touched by their words. What got stuck in my mind was the phrase

„To be afraid of fear is pointless. Fear is a decision. Fear is restricting. Fear is temporary – Regret is forever.“ (Tami)

Even as I’m writing this right now, my eyes start to fill with tears, because I once again realise how personal this journey was and that these words really spoke to me. I felt so addressed by them – almost as if God gave me a sign. This spot, right on this finca in Mallorca, was the place I was supposed to be in this moment, to hear these words. You know what I mean?

To face your fears and to start writing about yourself and your thoughts can be so hard. But it’s oh so worth it! Talking to the girls about everything, laughing, crying and letting loose by running aroung naked just set something free inside of me. Sounds cheesy, I know. But I don’t know how to describe it any other way. Along with Sandra, Rebecca and Kathrin, we spent unbelievably amazing days in Mallorca – you could say, it was UNREAL.

Together with Tami, I drove to the airport (very) early in the morning. After two hours of flying, renting cars and picking up the other three girls at the airport, we started our journey south to the lovely Finca Es Moli near Santanyi – and guys, we were BLOWN. AWAY! This finca was everything! It was SO huge and full of surprises – for example the pool, the beautiful open kitchen and living room, a hammok, an outdoor shower, an awning in the garden and a patio with a tower to overlook the whole area – could be worse! Also, Kerstin, the landlady the finca, is an amazing and adorable person – she popped the champagne corks right after we met her (literally)!

On our first day, we hiked to a hidden bay, Caló des Moro, and took a dive in the crystal clear turqouise water – all the exhaustion of the arrival were immediately forgotten and SO worth it (also, if you’re ever planning to visit this beach, make sure you’re wearing the right shoes – sandals are NOT the best choice here). On the way there we stumbled upon beautiful spots and took the chance to shoot each other.

Day 2 was all about exploring the beautiful spanish nature – I started in the morning and captures the first sunbeams fighting their way through the fog and after that, we went to a beautiful cactus park (I didn’t expect to fall in love with these plants, they always seemed so aggressive to me with their spikes).

The third day also began quite early for us, because we wanted to watch the sunrise above the area at a very old monastery. Funny enough, we didn’t know we could drive right up to the building – instead, we climbed the stairs up, which was very exhausting, but also very rewarding. It was truly a very special time for everything was quiet and the landscape awoke so gently and slowly right in front of our eyes.

Day 4, our last day on the island, we spent hanging out naked by the pool of our finca and enjoying our last moments of the journey by meditating and thinking about what makes us tick.

All in all, I couldn’t be happier to have set forth on this journey. What I learned is: GO YOUR OWN WAY & LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF. I would’ve never thought that one could get to know and love each other so much in only four days (also, we hung out naked all the time, no shame here!) and I’m looking forward to our next trip together. I am so happy to be party of this awesome squad and I can’t wait to see what the girls will accomplish in the future!

I could write so much more about Mallorca, but for now, let’s let the images speak! Have fun!

 

(shot by Melli)

(shot by Sandra)

(shot by Sandra)