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Short profile

Matthias Heiderich, who lives in Berlin by choice, studied computational linguistics and initially found his way to professional photography during his free time: “The idea of working in an office quickly became less attractive.”

In the meantime, his photographs are exhibited throughout Europe and the USA, and he freelances for global brands as well as agencies and publishers. “I try to keep a little bit of the experimental character from my earlier days and not to fall into a kind of uptight and serious pattern.“

In the interview, he reveals what inspires him, how he himself perceives his style, and why photography is always represents a “bit of escapism“ for him as well.

3 QUESTIONS TO MATTHIAS HEIDERICH

Can you tell us a little bit about how you became a photographer? And please feel free to tell us about your pictures.

I've been a freelance photographer since 2011. I became seriously interested in photography around 2008. Before that time, I hardly had any experience in the field, apart from taking snapshots on trips and birthdays. From 2008 to 2011 was a kind of personal orientation phase for me. I actually graduated with a degree in computational linguistics, and becoming a photographer was not the plan. That came about gradually in the time after I moved to Berlin. I was taking more photographs in my free time and started uploading a few photos to photo websites and experimenting with Photoshop, which I thought was extremely exciting. Then on the photo sites, I saw all the many different works from real photographers for the first time and devoured them virtually non-stop. I was instantly hooked and became more enthusiastic and tried out a lot of different cameras and styles. The idea of working in an office quickly became less attractive.

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Photo: Matthias Heiderich

Over time, a style has emerged that suits me best. I like to be out and about in the city to find corners I don't yet know. And so it became very clear that I didn't want to be a portrait or landscape photographer, but rather a photographer in urban space. Personally, I think that minimalism in combination with colors is very visually appealing and calming. When I'm taking photographs in the city, I also get into a kind of meditative flow state where I can switch off easily. It's also a bit of escapism.

My photos often show something mundane, sometimes architecture - in any case, mostly a small section of reality that I personally find remarkable in some way. And as a rule, shapes, lines, geometry and colors play a role. To arrange all of this in a photo gives me joy, because I can creatively reduce the infinity of the world to a few elements.

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Photo: Matthias Heiderich

How do you get inspired? And what inspires you the most? Films, books or magazines? Or the things surrounds you?

When I have time, I walk around cities, have a look around and take pictures of everything that looks interesting. Most photos don't make it to the public and end up in the archives. But it's always a pleasure to discover something and think about compositions.

The interest in this form of expression certainly comes from the fact that it allows me to order the world for myself - to pack it into small packages whose complexity is more coherent. Probably it is a need for harmony. Also,I always feel inspired when I see work that satisfies me visually, and then it makes me want to create something like that myself. I try to keep a little bit of the experimental character from my earlier days and not to fall into a kind of uptight and serious pattern. Admittedly, that is not always that easy especially if you also want to make a living from this work. Social media and the rules there also have an influence on my work, of course. But one thing I've realized is that I lose the sense of joy in photography when I'm too focused on what's working in social media now. Then the results don't turn out well. Also, I now know that you don't have to be an all-rounder, but that you can happily exist in a niche if you work at it consistently.

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Photo: Matthias Heiderich

Inspiration is absolutely everywhere. Now you can view an infinite number of photos in the apps. I always find a lot there that I personally find beautiful and that makes me want to get straight out there. But when you're only ever on Instagram, you sometimes forget that the works of the great masters of many genres are really hard to find there, so photo books are actually always more valuable. Especially because you can see printed photos there and not just compressed files. That's also what makes exhibitions so appealing. Photography is not only taking photos, but also thinking about the presentation - about materials, dimensions, different forms of presentation. For that reason, I find books, magazines, and exhibitions more inspiring than scrolling through apps and websites. And of course other art forms are inspiring. For me it's architecture and music especially - the shapes, colors and rhythm.

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Photo: Matthias Heiderich

What are your plans for the rest of the day?

What do I have planned for the rest of the day? Of course, post-processing photos, walking the dog, answering emails and flipping through a magazine again instead of scrolling into the abyss :)

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