My story: How it all began

www.danielzihlmann.com

When I visited my godchild last weekend, she told me that she really loves to watch the wedding album of her parents. With the images I photographed – 16 years ago. Wow, how did I feel old!

[Note for prospective clients: You see how important a wedding album is. Your children will enjoy it many, many years later!]

Above is a page from the album (sorry for the poor image quality, I shot the proofs with my iPhone). Actually not that bad. I would say quite acceptable for my early years. At least I used the sun as backlight. As I still do today if I can’t find open shade.

At that time I was still in school and in my spare time I made some money by selling pictures to the local newspaper. They paid me 50 Swiss francs per image. I saved the money till it was enough to buy another lens. Or the winder I wanted for my Canon A-1 body (“winders” were used to transport the film in the camera, if you are grown up in the digital era). I had my own black and white lab in the laundry room. My parents gave me the permission to install it there as a gift certificate for Christmas. That was the kick-off for my photography business. Start small and grow.

I’m still very thankful for that support from my parents, even if later they still couldn’t imagine that being a photographer is a “real job”. So they insisted that first I had to learn a “real job” before they would allow me to try this photography thing. Remembers me somehow the story of Gary Fong. And a lot of other photographers I guess :-)

From time to time I photographed weddings. But I really didn’t like it. I preferred to shoot concerts or sport. I didn’t feel comfortable photographing weddings with a lot of people I didn’t know. So I just did it if some family members or friends asked me for a favor. Because I didn’t want to be rude I accepted the “assignment” and made it my wedding gift. So at least I didn’t have to worry to find a present.

Today I don’t photograph weddings just because I don’t have other assignments, just to fill my calendar. I specialized in wedding photojournalism because I wanted to. It became my passion. I can’t imagine doing something more special for a living. If a couple shares these moments and emotions of their wedding with you, you are blessed. It’s a gift if you can live that as a profession. And the crucial part of it: You only work with happy people. What could be more fun?!

To give you a laugh here’s an old polaroid showing me in my hippie years. Yes, the guy with the long hair is me. Cheers!

www.danielzihlmann.com

It’s always nice to see where you come from. And important to remember.

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