Christoph Abatzis specialises in portrait, food and travel photography. To him, the beauty in photography is the act of capturing moments for eternity. We sat down with him over a drink and had a chat about life in Berlin, the sound of silence and where graphic design and photography collide.
What’s your favourite drink at Happy Hour?
Well, I’d have to start off by saying that I’m not a ‘Happy Hour’ kind of guy at all. But if I ever found myself in a bar with a ‘Happy Hour’ I'd probably go for a Pisco Sour. Sadly, you can’t find it on most menus.
You live in Berlin. How does the city influence your work?
Berlin is a pulsating, inspiring city that never stands still. I think that’s the biggest effect it has on me. Every single day you see and experience so many different and new things. 24 hours is never enough time to do everything that you want to do. That’s why it’s easy to feel like you aren’t good enough or are missing out on something. To me, Berlin is actually a combination of a constant pressure and a source of inspiration.
You capture wild animals, breathtaking landscapes and beautiful women. What is your favourite subject to photograph and why?
That’s a hard one. I think working with people is definitely the most exciting and challenging of the three. But when I’m all by myself I also enjoy the silence of just waiting for a specific moment to happen.
From the Norwegian road ‘Trollstigen’ to tropical palm trees, you take photographs in environments that vastly differ from one another. Tell us a little bit more about the destinations you travel to for your work.
Sometimes I combine work and pleasure. But that doesn't mean that all my photographs are taken in connection to trips for specific jobs or clients. I take plenty of photos for my own enjoyment. Whether or not I end up publishing them and showing them to other people is something I decide much later on. When I get to decide where I'm travelling to, I choose destinations that are exotic with spectacular scenery.
At times your work is bright and lively, at others dark and mysterious. How does this reflect your personality?
I don’t think it really does. I’m not as moody as the question implies. It’s true that in my photographs I do often try and capture a specific mood. But it’s not necessarily one that I’m experiencing personally at that very moment.
In addition to being a photographer, you are a graphic designer. How does working in these two fields complement each other?
They complement each other pretty well. Both deal with composition, colour scheme and mood. In practice, one rarely works without the other. Lately my work as a graphic designer has been getting the shorter end of the stick. At the moment I’m focussing on photography, which has been extremely time consuming.
What is your greatest source of inspiration and why?
I resisted Instagram for a long time because I just didn’t feel like I needed another social network in my life. But people are doing amazing things there!
What music are you listening to in high rotation at the moment?
In general, the majority of my playlists are in the techno and electronic categories. Sometimes I also like listening to a bit of old school rap or some 80’s tunes. At this very moment: Higher Level (Bicep Remix).
Plants or animals?
Plants! They don’t run away when you try to photograph them.