Hello Georgie Pauwels, we are honored to be able to interview you and to get insights to great German Street Photography!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity and invitation!
My name is Georgie Jerzyna Pauwels, I am Computer Scientist and I live in Wuppertal in Germany. I work in big data center for health insurance in Wuppertal.
Have you been involved in the arts in some form other than photography?
I attended to music school and I play piano.
Seeing your remarkable work, I am curious where your creativity comes from?
I think family history, in my family are painters and musicians and many creative heads.
Could you share with us how you first became interested in street photography?
I photographed a very long time, streets and strange people, but I did not know this kind of photography is called Street Photography.
How did you learn about Street View Photography?
I’ve met SVP in Facebook, and post there regularly, especially in the German Section.
I started intensively two years ago, after the encounter with Thomas Leuthard and Eric Kim.
What equipment are you using now and with what did you get started? what is your favorite lens for Street Photography ?
I am pragmatic and I try out different cameras, but the camera is not the most important. I have DSRL but I prefer using small unremarkable and good cameras. Currently I am on the streets with Olympus OMD E-M5 and with Fujifilm X20. Small cameras fit into every handbag, are discreet and the photographer is not noticed and can photograph in peace.
Can you tell us about your work flow from the point you first step onto the street until you showcase the developed picture?
I love to travel and I travel a lot, I like the action on the streets, moods, hectic and loneliness. I am trying to show it in my pictures. I edit my pictures minimal, I prefer to go with my camera outside, instead sitting in front of computer.
Do you like to shoot in a groups or are you rather out alone?
I prefer to go alone, but also I like to go with others but we split and after a few hours we meet again and exchange experiences. My husband accompanied me often.
What would you say characterizes your work in comparison to other street photographers?
I like simplicity, clean lines and structures. I do not like overloaded images but efficiency and clarity. I think that is related to my profession. In many of my images you see one or a few people, because the loneliness in the urban world touch me the most.
I travel a lot and of course the pictures that I have made in India or Southeast Asia are different, more dynamic and multi-level, because the streets and the mood there are different to the streets in Europe.
We saw a lot of architecture photography, you think that is another side of Street Photography ?
In the urban, modern cities you can not ignore the architecture, it influenced our lives. The human in an inhuman environment, that is the modern street scene in today’s times.
Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?
Of course, everyone evolving, we tried out, experimenting and changing the view. I have become more selective and I search intensive for interesting faces, streets and places.
Do you often interact with your subjects?
I like to do street portraits and indeed without asking, sometimes there are conversations after I took picture, and people want to know the reason and want to see the result. Most experiences are positive.
Do you see your personality reflected in your work?
Even the selection of themes and moods show something about the soul of the photographers. Each image is a piece of personality.
We saw that you were involved in the German street photography project “Honsberg GroßARTig”, how was the experience?
It was great experience to adapt abandoned homes to a gallery. It was exhausting but was a lot of fun, response was also great, about three thousand visitors in two days.
Among your works, which is your favorite and why?
I took this picture in Duisburg in Germany, Ruhr Area, which is converted from former coal mining into a park and recreation facility. The wideness and the clean lines, the evening light and the movement of the child inspired me to make the image.
Did you ever take photograph which compromised your emotional balance in a deep and profound way?
I work as volunteer in Cambodia in my vacations and I visit this country very often. There I am confronted with the poverty that you can not imagine. The images I’m making there are a part of the documentation about this country that I am preparing.
Tell us your funniest or most awkward street photography story.
After I made a streets portrait, I was asked to show the result, the person was so excited that I got a marriage proposal. This person was a women.
What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from shooting on the streets?
Street photography teach me to have patience, to observe, to increase my surroundings more accurately and to master the unexpected.
What would you tell a newcomer who asks for your advice on how to start?
Stay authentic, stay yourself, work hard and do not give up.
Go much outside on the streets, whenever you can, and take pictures, take criticism positively, only “Likes” will not help you much.
Thank you very much Georgie for this interview!
Thank you, it was great fun.