About 80 percent of what I do is sports, but I’m starting to cover more features too.
My earliest memory of photography is of my aunt. She was a really, really bad photographer, and it took her ages to take one family picture. It was a real pain. I remember all of us standing around, and thinking: “Please! Just push the button.”
I started working for a newspaper as a writer when I was really young and still at school. I asked the photographers there to teach me how to take pictures. That’s how I began learning photography, and I just went on and on. I worked for a sports agency as a photographer for three years, then I was hired by Reuters in Vienna.
My first assignment as a real photographer for an agency was a national league soccer game in Austria. I felt like I was completely in the wrong place. I was so stressed, I’d never done photography like that before. When I was at the paper there was no time pressure, but for this job they wanted three pictures at halftime and I had to send them really quickly.
By the time I got my first assignment for Reuters – covering a demonstration where the protestors had blocked the highway – it was pretty easy. By that point I had already been in the business for five years.
The assignment that left the biggest mark on me was covering the London 2012 Olympics. It was just so huge – you can’t get bigger than the Olympics. There were a lot of people there and a really good atmosphere.
I really like to cover Olympic Games but it is also fun to do long-term reportage. With feature stories you can be creative and play around.
My biggest lesson as a photographer has been to be patient because there’s so much time you have to spend doing nothing, especially in sport. If you’re shooting big news stories you’ll always be on the scene long before the event starts. At lot of time gets wasted, but you still have to be there.
I really respect our photographer in Frankfurt Kai Pfaffenbach. He’s a good friend and I really respect his motivation and approach to work. He doesn’t work any differently shooting a fourth league soccer match or the final of the World Cup. He tries to get the best pictures everywhere.