"Hey Stefano! Tell us a little bit about your walk with your friend Senami through Cologne (Germany)."
"When I'm not shooting weddings, I love to take portraits. However, I prefer not to take traditional portraits. I usually take pictures in motion and shoot mostly 15-35 images which tell a story. They just happen and are always spontaneous. In this photo shoot, we basically just have been out for a walk through this neighborhood in Cologne, but I do have some sort of connection to most of the locations where I'm taking images.
Senami was born in Germany, but she considers Ghana her second home country. She is studying in Cologne and works as a school integration assistant and as a model as well. She made a lots of fashion shoots in the past. So, while shooting with me, she simply enjoys the feeling not to act like a model all the time.
"What is it all about the "NeuLand" - garden in Cologne that has been a basic place for your shoot with Senami?"
After travelling for a while, I came back to my hometown Cologne in 2010.
One day I heard about a gardening-flash mob. A group of people wanted to plant flowers and grow some food on a piece fallow land in their neighborhood. I was curious, so I joined the group. I met lots of new people who were interested in the same thing.
With a lot of effort, the community garden started to grow. I have photographically documented that project since day one. From that day on, the garden has constantly grown. The garden group has also created new kinds of communities such as a beekeeping group, a free bicycle workshop and all sort of other interesting things. The group members are interested in sharing skills and experiences by getting together in a free space.
I've noticed that some people in cities feel the need to reconnect with nature in their spare time and just want to have access to some beautiful places, where they can relax.
The basic idea of an urban, community garden is pretty simple. The community garden is always open for everybody. Everything inside the garden belongs to everybody. People come and go as they please. They can interact and spend as much time there as they want to.
I have heard about urban gardening projects like ours happening all over the world. Each gardening project is unique. In a lot of projects like Neuland Garden you´ll see samples of people crating a very sustainable way of life in an urban environment."
"What gear did you use?"
"I often use two D750 Bodies even on portrait shootings because that’s how I would work on a wedding, too. Only Primes from 24-85 and I have a strong tendency to the Sigma 35 Art.