Karo Krämer

Edited by Odeta Catana, Photo Editor

Karo Krämer

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Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

It’s about 10 years ago I took the first photos. That time I had an analogue camera which worked mostly automatically. After this, 8 years ago, I got another, digital one which I primarly used to take photos in Great Britain where I spent about a month after Highschool. The camera I take the most of my pictures now is an analogue Canon AE 1 my father gave me 5 -6 years ago. So I go out in the streets, mainly at the weekends, and take photos of urban stuff in Berlin. As I like to travel as well, I take my camera everywhere. Right now I am traveling for 6 months in Canada, the USA and New Zealand, and of course take photos (which I limited by myself on 1-2 films per month). For some jobs (I work for a local radio station) or friends which want to be portrayed I take the digital camera, an EOS 60D. But my heart belongs to the analogue one.

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How would you describe yourself and your personality?

That’s a hard question because I do not see myself from another point of view, of course. What I see from my point of view are often the little things or moments happening for some little moments, so I’d say I’m rather an observing person. As I am interested  in paintings as well and did some in the past I guess my view is influenced by paintings a composition.

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What inspires you? Who were the first artists that inspired you? 

I am inspired by lively things as well as unlively things,  which means that aesthetics don’t have to belong to beauty in the common way. I like rough sceneries told by the city. Often I am inspired by situations in the streets as well. It can be a dead dove put on a pillow by kids in front of a kindergarten as well as a double exposition of buildings or sceneries between people like two guys, one in a former russian army uniform meeting another one in a darth vader costume

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How did you start taking photos? 

It just started I would say. I was always interested in pictures, draw them when I was a child, painted later on, then got the camera from my father 5-6 years ago. And got a friend who takes photos as well, so we often go out into the streets together.

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What do you want your viewers to take away from your work? 

I want them to be observers too. That does not mean they have to see the same as I do. But I want them to think about what they see. That does not have to  be like watching it for 10 minutes and get a load of philosophical thoughts. It can also be a consideration about what they just see or feel  while watching a photo.

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Do you take portraits? And if so, in a portrait, what is important for you?

Yes, I do. To me it is important that the person standing in front of me does behave in the way he or she wants to present him or herself. That means, he or she doesn’t always turn of his oder her mask. But then it’s the way he or she wants to present him or herself. As to reach that someone turns off his or her mask I often wait until I got the impression that the person is relaxed and do not notice that I am about to take the photo. That’s what I do in the streets as well.

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Do you think it’s important to follow a school to learn how to shoot?

As I had been to a film school which has got nothing to do with photography. So everything I learned about photography I learned by myself. Doing networking and connections, I am sure about that in media, arts and in the common cultural scence, almost everything there is about connections. So a school of course can teach you how to handle things as you do learn in every school but it’s in your hands , beneath your inspiration and creativity, how to present your work.

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Is there a personal project that you’ve had in your mind that you haven’t done, and that you probably will never do?

Why should I have something in my head of which I know I would never do? That would be depressing. If I have something in my mind, like an exhibtion I would love to do, I will try to do so. But without any time pressure, because photography is something I love and love can only exist without any pressure.

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Do you think you have your own style?

I think so. Of course everyone can take photos with a Canon AE-1 or do double exposures. But the way they do is different and so is mine. As well there are some photos, like the serial “kippen & kerle” I created following the recognition that I had a lot of photos with smoking guys. I like (contrary) moods as well, so I guess my style or humour or sense of situations or moods is maybe similar to some of the many flickr users but as you know me or my photos you will always be able to differntiate and recognize my style.

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Where’s one place you dream of taking photographs?

I am about to visit this place for 5 months, starting in November: New Zealand. I’d love to see the mountains, the wild, the landscapes. As well I would  love to visit Iceland one day. Another interesting place would be a sailing ship or underwater portraits.

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Why do you take photos? 

Because I can see and love catching things with my eyes and through the lens. And I am always excited like a child on christmas when I got my films developed. On the other hand, when I take portraits, I am excited about how people behave in front of the camera and when the moment comes they drop off  their mask – or keep it. But often it changes during the shooting.

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What keeps you going?

Curiosity. There are so many things I haven’t seen yet and want to see and take photos of. That’s why I like traveling as well.

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