I cover politics, sports and economics.
My earliest memory of photography is a dark bathroom and the smell of black and white developer, when my father developed his films and prints every weekend.
I learnt photography from my dad during my schooldays. After I finished school I started working as a photographer immediately, through good and bad times.
My first assignment for a news agency was the funeral of former German Chancellor Willy Brandt at a Berlin cemetery in 1992. Having set up a giant tripod for the agency, I left the official press position and found another spot between some trees. I was alone and from where I was standing, I was able to photograph the coffin with Brandt’s widow behind it. The experience taught me that there is never just one angle to shoot a story from. The picture was widely published, and that was the start of my agency career.
The event that left the biggest mark on me wasn’t an assignment; it was a dinner with former AP photographer and editor Horst Faas. Horst got a lifetime award from a German photography association, and had invited some of his photo and TV colleagues for dinner. After the ceremony, we sat at a table, and those from the Vietnam War started telling stories. I was very impressed by them, including Horst’s story about how he had edited the photo of the young naked girl running on a street in Vietnam after a napalm attack.
The assignments that excite me most are covering people who are standing up for their rights or trying to change something. I think these stories are the main task for photojournalists in these times.
When I take pictures I report seriously. That’s my task. As an agency you have a real duty to stick to your journalistic ethics. You have to remember your honour as a journalist, and that you are primarily there to observe.