Interview With Klaus Maria Einwanger from Germany

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Klaus Maria Einwanger | New York Photography Awards

Klaus Maria Einwanger

Klaus Maria Einwanger has been a photographer for 40 years and feels that his 'university' is life itself. He is inspired by people and circumstances and self-educated in photography.

1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?

Hi, my name is Klaus Maria Einwanger, I decided to become a photographer at a photo camp at the age of 12. Back then, I was certainly still naïve - but that's the way it had to be. Now that I've been working in this profession for 40 years, I still have a lot of plans.

2Where did you study photography?

My 'university' has always been life itself. Inspiration lies in almost every encounter with people or the circumstances that form the framework. Otherwise, I would describe myself as "self-educated."

3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?

It was probably a holiday snapshot – as a child I had already taken the camera out of my father's hand because I wasn't happy with his pictures. Since then, he has always supported me on my way.

4What equipment do you use?
Today I work a lot with LEICA SL 2 and LEICA Q3.
5What do you hope to achieve?
In both my personal and professional life, maintaining harmony and contentment is of the utmost importance. When it comes to my family, I want nothing more than to continue to experience the joy and love we share. Professionally, every photography project I undertake is unique and has its own identity. Finding the story behind each photo is always my main source of inspiration. In the same vein, my goal with my book is to inspire readers to truly appreciate and value the people and things in their lives, rather than take them for granted. As a photographer, I can decide to ignore everyday details or incorporate them to enrich the image I am capturing.
6What compliment inspired/touched you the most?

The most recent compliment was from one of the London Taxi drivers, who said - "I've been watching you for 2 hours and you always know when to click your button - never a bad shot." Professionally, the different subjects in my book were inspirations. They have a common job as cab drivers, but each of their environments is different. My role was to show them in an honest, authentic, cosmopolitan, dare I say aesthetic way that respected their individual and human perspectives.

7What inspires your unique storytelling?

My job allows me to meet so many great and impressive people. Each has its own unique story. These qualities inspire me. You could call it a key to their individuality, and in doing so inspire me to tell their story, as well as my own.

8What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?
Reality - observational and uncomplicated.
9Congratulations! As the winner of the New York Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?

Every award is special – yes, some more than others, the New York Photography Award is one of the most special awards I have received in my career. You could say it put a smile on my face and a deep breath of appreciation.

The New York Award is the best peer group recognition for this project and the book, personally, it is confirmation that we are doing our job properly, and we are achieving excellence that has been rewarded. So, thank you.

10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 New York Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

I have had the privilege of working in many of the world's major cities. I always use taxis. I was traveling around New York, using different cabs. I always made a point of talking to the driver to ask how business is, small talk, but you learn that way. After 3 or 4 conversations, it occurred to me that there was an opportunity to tell a story, not just a picture story. I wanted to show the impact of a disruptive business model – UBER – that is undermining and destroying a century-old profession and traditions around the world.

That night I looked at my schedule and realized I was going to be in London and Tokyo as well. The opportunity was there to tell a different taxi-cab story – portraits of taxi drivers and their surroundings in different world cities. New York – London – Tokyo.

11How has winning an award developed your career?

Each award contributes to the future. I consider myself fortunate to have received many awards over the past 25 years for a wide variety of work. An award is always an important moment in one's professional life and CV and is recognized by clients, the media, and colleagues.

12Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.
Albert Watson - I even had the great honor of meeting him in person in Hamburg 2023.
13What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out, by a mentor or your role model?

I can only put you in the boat – you have to row it yourself.

14What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?

Be a special and courageous person – always be truthful and honest with yourself, your family, your team, and your clients. Know who you are and what you can and can't do.

15What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

If you want to be heard, you have to sing and dance. It's about the quality of your work and the quality of your network.

16How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?
Childlike openness and curiosity combined with adult pragmatism.
17Anything else you would like to add to the interview?
Thank you to the jury for considering my work and deciding that it deserves recognition. Express my gratitude to those I have worked with throughout my career. I have been fortunate to train and work with many wonderful people over the past 40 years. I consider it a real privilege to be a photographer and to have had the opportunity to create contemporary documents for my work.

Winning Entry

Taxi Drivers. Written In Their Faces | 2023

Cab drivers in three metropolises on three continents form the backdrop for the extraordinary premium photo book "Taxi Drivers. Written In Their Faces“ by ...
(Read more at New York Photography Awards)

Klaus Maria Einwanger

Klaus Maria Einwanger has been a photographer for 40 years and feels that his 'university' is life itself. He is inspired by people and circumstances and self-educated in photography.

Read more about this article from Nicole Maria Oestreich from Germany, Silver Winner from the 2023 New York Photography Awards!