Berlin based photographers Susann and Yannic created a food blog “Kraut | Kopf ” two years ago to share their love on making good food during the off Wedding season (Winter months) and have not looked back since. Kraut | Kopf has hosted a number of community dinner events and with a cook book under their belt, Susann and Yannic share with us their motivation and journey - creating vegetarian recipes inspired by fresh seasonal produce from local farmers. Hungry yet?
1. What does making images mean to you?
We started photography almost 15 years ago and it became such a big part of our life. We learned so much about ourselves, about life and our environment, through photography. From the beginning photography was a kind of expression for us and a way to communicate with other people.
2. What is life to you? What it should be?
Life to us is an amazing opportunity and adventure. To share love and experience and learn from others in a continuous process. We love being curious, exploring our environment in a childlike way, and doing things that make us happy. Because in the end everyone is searching for love and happiness.
3 Where did you grow up and how did that play a part in your photography?
Susann: I was born and raised in a small town in East Germany. Thinking about my hometown it was a sad place. There were a lot of abandoned houses in which I snuck in to take self portraits. I thought about unhappy people, who hoped for more in their lives. All that has resulted in a melancholia I still love to capture in my photos.
4 There are a lot of professions out there - why be a photographer?
Photography is our life and is as natural as breathing and eating. We can't imagine doing something else. It is the perfect medium for us to share our thoughts, desires, fears and emotions with other people. To do this as a full time job is really a privilege. We love our work and could not imagine anything more beautiful.
5 Are you creatively satisfied at the moment?
We’re never satisfied, but that’s our incentive, that’s what pushes us forward.
6 What music are you listening to?
Most of the time it’s soul, r’n’b, beat and garage music from before 1969.
7 Describe the path to what you’re doing now.
We both started photography in our youth. Almost 10 years ago we founded a photogroup (www.zimmer117.de) which showed photos online, organised exhibitions and published books and magazines The photos there are really personal, almost like diaries for us. Because making such an important part of your life into your daily job in scary, the decision was really hard, but in the end everything led to an apprenticeship in photography. Therefore we not only had the creative background from our youth, but also a strong technical background. Both these together affected our photographic style.
8 How did Kraut | Kopf start - you also photograph weddings for commission, how do you manage time between wedding commissions and Kraut | Kopf?
We’ve been photographing weddings for the last 5 years. Since wedding photography is seasonal we have a little more time in the colder months to try out new things and projects - that’s what makes it exciting for us - as we both can't see us doing the same thing over and over again. We need some compensation against boredom. That was the reason we started a food blog “Kraut | Kopf” two years ago. We both love cooking and it’s great that we are able to share this passion for good food with others through our photography. We would never have thought how many people we could reach within such a short amount of time. Meanwhile we have released our own cookbook and photograph food jobs for our customers on a regular basis. Even though it´s a lot of work getting it all balanced - it's still a lot of fun!
9 Do you shoot with your left or right eye?
The right one, but it’s not the eyes you’re shooting with. It’s more your soul.
10 Where do you see yourself in 10 year’s time?
We don´t think a lot about the future. We don't plan a lot of things and just let the things flow without bothering too much. We don't know if we will still be living in Berlin in 10 years time or if we will even still be photographing. Even if it sounds a little cliche we hope that we will still have each other and that we’ll be happy. That's the only thing that matters.
Bonus Q: Do you think the gear you use affects the way you photograph? Why?
We think every photo needs its own medium. We photograph using digital and film. And we use all different kinds of cameras. Every camera has its own character, which transports into the image. Our commercial work is mostly shot in digital. We want the best and consistent quality for our customers.
For our wedding work we use a Canon 5d Mark III with all kinds of lenses from 24mm to 135mm (24mm f/1.4 L, 35mm f/1.4 L, 45mm f/2.8 TSE, 50mm f/1.2 L, 85mm f/1.2 L, 100mm f/2.8 L Macro, 135mm f/2.0 L) to get the right shot in the right situation every time.
Our food photos are mainly shot with 35mm, 50mm and 100mm.
For the post production we use Adobe Lightroom with customiaed VSCO presets. Our main focus is to get a look that matches our film, because we still shoot our private work on film.
It is very important for us to take our personal work on film to deal with a picture in a more intense way. Because it’s a different process. You take a picture much more carefully, control the properties of film while developing it, pick out the final frames from a contact sheet and print it by hand in the darkroom. But we always try to keep it simple. One type of film (Kodak Tri-X) and always the same developer (AGFA Rodinal). We started with medium format cameras but with time our cameras became smaller and smaller. Actually we’re shooting most of the time with a Leica M6/M7 and compact cameras like Contax T3, Ricoh Gr1, Olympus µ-II
You can find our latest personal story on: http://bit.ly/1VtQggo.