After watching an online workshop by the wonderful photographer and filmmaker Sarah Mason, 2 photographer friends and I decided to do one of her exercises.

The task was to look through the photos we’ve taken over the past couple of years and choose our favourites. Then narrow it down to 5 images and analyse what we see and feel and connect with them. The goal is to find a connection and word that represents the photos. With these images being our personal favourites, this word most likely would represent our work and whole portfolio as well.

Defining my photography style through my 5 favourite photos

My approach

I took a lot of photos last year since I’ve been doing a project 365 and was worried that going through my last 2-3 years would be just a bit too much. But then again, I know I wasn’t able to photograph as many things as I have been used to – thanks to the pandemic and lockdowns. I’ve never done this exercise before and feel that over the past 3 years I’ve really managed to develop my style to be a bit more grown-up and grounded. So I’ve decided to look further than 2020 and include a few different street photography trips in my selection since those have been so valuable for my journey as a photographer.

Narrowing down my favourite images from more than a year was hard. I did it in stages and took my time. In the end I came up with a collection of photos that really speak to me. I love the memories attached to them, the connections between the subjects and my own attachment to each of those moments.


My 5 favourite images

Without giving the photos a rating or order, let me go through them individually.

Free of sins

free of sins street phorography in India Ganges Varanasi

When I went to India for a 2-week street photography trip, I learnt a lot about documenting life and catching fleeting moments. We went to Varanasi and saw Hindus bathe in the Ganges to wash away their sins. This woman had just dipped her head underwater and looked so happy, being guided through the ritual by this smiley man. It’s one of my favourite shots from the whole trip and perfectly illustrates a culture that is so foreign to me.

Family Christmas

family christmas documentary family photography

Christmas 2019, the first Christmas I didn’t spend with my parents in Germany and my first Christmas with Lee. We had Lee’s daughters around and during dinner, they started a silly string fight. I was perched in the corner of the room, couldn’t move even if I wanted to and had perfect view (and light) to document what’s going on.

I think my favourite element is Lee’s dad in the left corner of the image: He’s given up trying to fight the girls. This image is now the centrepiece of our gallery wall in the living room. It screams family and happiness to me and is so representative of the relationship between Lee and his daughters.

Home views

view form my kitchen, hove brighton

I took this photo as part of my project 365 last year. When lockdown was announced in March, I kind of moved in with Lee, leaving my flat to my flatmate and her boyfriend. At that point I had lived there for almost 6 years – I love this flat, my room, my neighbourhood, the view from the different windows. When I came back occasionally during summer, I soaked in all the views that used to be so familiar. This is why this image means so much to me. And I was lucky enough to catch the flock of birds across the street to add to the feeling this photo evokes in me.

The Runner and the Fruit Lady

colombia street photography cartagena palenquera

This image is from another absolutely brilliant street photography trip I went on – Colombia. With a group of photographers, I roamed the streets of a few different cities, talked to people that I couldn’t understand (because my Spanish is so bad) and experienced a colourful and welcoming country that gave me so much more than I ever expected. The weekend we stayed in Cartagena was the weekend of the Iron Man. The city was full of athletes competing and runners supporting the competitors. The fruit ladies, called Palenqueras, are well known to be the symbol of Cartagena. They don’t let you take photos unless you pay them so after buying a bowl of overpriced fruit, this one happily posed for me (although I didn’t want her to pose but you can’t really stop them). I felt so lucky when one of the runners sat down next to her to have a little snack and rest from the heat. This is a moment I couldn’t plan, I could only wait for it to happen and hope to get lucky.


summer time with friends

Just before I left my full-time job in 2019, my work family organised a summer picnic in the park. It was the most wonderful sunny day with a bbq and music and drinks and silliness. My friends Chrissa and Oscar were dancing around at one point and I managed to catch their silhouettes with a bit of sunlight left shining on their faces. This screams summer, freedom and friendship to me.

My photography word

To be fair, my favourite images change on a weekly basis but these are definitely 5 that I love looking at for different reasons. When analysing why I loved them so much and what they told me about the moments, my approach to photography and my own aesthetics, the word “carefree” came to my mind. That’s what all these images have in common to me – happy, relaxed, at ease and calm. So this is my word representing my work:


What do you think? What’s the word you connect to those images? Is there anything they make you feel? I’d love to hear what you see when looking at them. Please leave a comment below if you’d like to share your thoughts!

My friends Saskia and Franki have done their own version of the exercise. Saskia’s result can be found here, Franki is currently working on her website so I’ll add the link to her blog post later.

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