About Me - Long Read
I started freelancing as a photojournalist after receiving my journalism degree from San José State University, California in the early nineties. The local papers in Munich were my clients, as well as some small and medium-sized companies in the area. Also, I started teaching the basics of photography and photojournalism at the Deutsche Journalistenschule, one of Germany’s top journalism schools. I still spend a few weeks per year there, teaching and supporting the students during their magazine project.
Magazines were the next step in my portfolio: Stern, Der Spiegel and Focus were some of my regulars. More national media followed along with some international clients, which came through the photo agency laif. For about seven years, a very fruitful cooperation took place with a magazine published by a Christian NGO called MISSIO. It reported on social and religious issues in the developing world and I was sent on a variety of assignments to SE-Asia and Africa. My very first assignment took me to the jungles of Sumatra, where my fellow reporter and myself spent a few days with John Bingham, a British missionary, who had spent most of his life there.
Digital photography and its distribution on the web make such exotic assignments obsolete today. My journalistic work continues and while publishing houses are hiring local photographers in the farthest corners of the world, I adjusted my photographic strategy in two ways:
I have been shooting PR and advertising assignments for a variety of German and international clients. These commercial assignments help in this model of cross-financing, while journalistically I focus more and more on long-term personal projects that I finance with scholarships and other resources.
terra arMEnia was the latest one: my images and interviews with Armenians living in the diaspora are telling stories of identity and strategies for survival. Two large exhibitions in Munich and Berlin drew more than 10000 guests. There’s even a documentary movie on the genesis of terra arMEnia that has been shown in film festivals in the US, Canada and Russia.
Currently, I am working on a long-term photoessay on women and children in prison, which I expect to finish this year and publish and exhibit in Spring 2018. Also, we are putting the finishing touches on a multimedia exhibition, combining jewellery, installation art and photography. „Krokodile am Ararat“ („Ararat Crocs“) will open Jan. 18 in Munich and will show a unique artistic synthesis of the works of four artists who went on a roadtrip together to Armenia. My photoessay „Bekaa Blues“ is a work in progress, that explores the difficult lives of Syrian migrant children and women in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.