Teresa's blog

Actors Portraits In Berlin – Tomas Sinclair Spencer

Working with Tomas Spencer on this series of portraits was a real pleasure for many reasons. One, he’s obviously incredibly good-looking, and - I won’t lie – that is usually not detrimental to the fun of a photo shoot. It just makes my job quite a bit easier. But more importantly, he was focused and professional, while at the same time being relaxed and kind, and simply fun to hang out with. A true British gentleman.

His wish for the photos were that they should be in some way cinematic, or allude to a story, and I was more than happy to take up the inspiration.

Be sure to check out his website for his news, and more photos from our shoot! xxT

P.S.: oh, and can I say that I’m a little thrilled to see my photos on his impressive Imdb-page?

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Megan and Chris – Couple Shoot in Dumbo, Brooklyn

When I think of last summer, the summer of 2013, and compare it to the past summer of 2014, strangely one small detail comes to my mind: in 2013, I had tan lines on my feet from my sandals by end of June. This year, I never really managed.

The reason is that in June 2013, we spent twelve magnificent days in New York, and it was a lovely, sunny June. I spent every minute possible outside: biking along the Hudson, walking through half of Manhattan, haggling with fleamarket sellers in Williamsburg. And, my favourite, shooting outside as much as I could.

We met Megan and Chris in a cute café just under the Brooklyn Bridge, then headed out straight into the sunshine. As a photographer, this is pretty much as good as it gets: a handsome young coupe, visibly in love, sunshine and a lovely breeze, and an afternoon worth of exploring the gritty beautiful urban landscape of Dumbo.

Megan and Chris make it look simple: committing to someone for all your life, going through thick and thin, for better or worse. It’s probably not – but you can tell by the way they look at each other, the way they make each other laugh with all their heart, that there’s really not much of a question: they’re in it for life, come rain or come shine.

For their slideshow, Megan sent me a song that fits their love so perfectly that I decided to share the slideshow, even though we usually don’t. We hope you enjoy it. Maybe not quite, but almost, as much as we enjoyed our Dumbo afternoon with Megan and Chris.

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Mimi and James' Wedding in Vienna...and a little Story about Friendship, the Beatles, and a Knight in Shining Armor

Before I tell you about Mimi and James, I really have to tell you about Mimi. She holds a special place in my heart, not only because she is a dear friend, but also because she performed an important rite of passage for me when we were kids: she introduced me to pop music.
To explain, I have to say that my Mom trained in classical piano, so there was lots of music in our house, but mostly Mozart, Brahms, Schubert and Chopin. (Not that I complain!) In any case the closest I ever came to “pop music” was George Gershwin, and I distinctly remember spinning to an orchestral version of “I got plenty o´nothing” until I fell to the floor… repeatedly. (Kids are so weird!)

I met Mimi when we were both about 12 or 13, at some kind of social event in a rural part of Austria. My parents had brought me so that I, the ever-reading, ever-unsociable kid would meet some children my age and have some fun. I wasn’t really up for that, and was all ready to get out my book and read in a corner as usual, when Mimi spotted me, for whatever reason somehow took a liking to me, and in her inimitable warm and chattery and fun way took my hand and dragged me outside to the other kids playing in the sun.

After that, we were best friends for a very short time – in fact, just long enough for said rite of passage. I spent a wonderful weekend at her family’s old mill in the countryside, and I remember this weekend so vividly that I might be convinced it was actually a whole week. The old walls of the building, the river right behind it, her father’s office filled with wondrous old object and books… and a tape recorder with just one tape: “A Hard Day`s Night”. We heard that one tape over and over and over, living through 2 days of real Beatlemania, and soon crooning along with every single song at the top of our voices. “Kenbaimi looooooo—hov. Looooo-hov…” Of course we didn’t understand a word of the lyrics.

So there it was, my introduction to pop music, via 1964sThe Beatles. I must say it was a good one.

The friendship ended only a few weeks later, in a drama of love, betrayal and revenge like only kids can devise it, and which involved me and Mimi’s best friend vying for her affection.

After that, we didn’t hear from each other for a very, very long time. The next thing I heard was that she was an actress, and living in London. And the next thing, years later, that she had just moved to Berlin. Which is when we got back in touch and discovered that we clicked just the same way we had as kids, doing impressions, cracking bad jokes and laughing our heads off.

Which is finally, finally, where James comes in. Or actually, not quite yet. On one slightly more somber coffee date Mimi and I had – she had just separated from her boyfriend – she took a vow. “The next one has to be the prince in shining armor. Someone who is courteous, intelligent, friendly, buys me flowers, and loves me for who I am. Wham. I won’t settle for less.”

Imagine my surprise then, when I heard her next about 6 months later, and she announced on the telephone that she had just gotten engaged. Engaged! And she wanted Daniel and me to meet him!

Naturally, we were skeptical. We ourselves took about 7 years to get engaged, so of course we’re highly suspicious of anybody who would take a month less. Let alone 6 and a half years less. Might he be a marriage swindler?

And then we met him. James. Who is truly one of the nicest, most thoughtful and altogether wonderful people I’ve ever met. And we were sold. Just like Mimi was sold when he asked her to be his wife, by tying a ring around her puppy Lucy’s collar.
He truly is Mimi’s knight in shining armor. Charming, intelligent, generous. They are completely different, and a perfect match.
So it really was the most joyful occasion to see the two married in Mimi’s hometown Vienna, with many guests from James’ native Holland and many friends from his home of ten years, Shanghai. And the guest of honor was, of course, Lucy.

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I got interviewed! – Teresas Interview with Eleanor on e.m. papers

I noticed the other day that I had not shared the link to the interview here that Eleanor from e.m papers had done with me a little earlier this year. Which is strange, because really, together with our exhibition in Moscow, it’s one of the nicest things that happened in the last few months! (And there were a few!)

Eleanor is a real inspiration to me – she dumped a high-paid corporate career to found her own company of paper goods, e.m. papers, that she has now been running very successfully since 2006. She’s one of the few people I know who manage to be both crazy and down to earth in the best way – clever, fun, and really just one hell of a girl.

Hop on over to her blog to find the interview in which she asked me about how we started Iconoclash Photography, the challenges and joys, as well as some future goals. Enjoy!

xx T


Moscow High – Personal Project and Exhibition

Last year we had the enormous pleasure to be invited to Moscow by Simon Mraz of the Austrian Cultural Art Forum, and spend ten days in Moscow to shoot a personal project, titled Moscow High.

We had spent a few days in Moscow earlier (maybe you remember this engagement shoot). And while we were strolling the streets at night, especially in the fashionable clubbing district around the old Red October Chocolate Factory (near the Red Square), we noticed the large amount of women, single or in pairs, always in high heels and super-fashionably dressed, who were on their way to the clubs. While the scenes in the clubs themselves often revealed boredom and loneliness – with a lot of staring at cell phones going on - the vibe on the street was one of anticipation. Walking in their skyscraper stilettos with unflinching professionalism , the women seemed concentrated and determined, as if they were on a mission. Like athletes before their performance; performers before the show.

The fruit of our exploration of this subject are right now part of an exhibition in the House on the Embankment, Moscow, and an exhibition in Vladivostok will follow in January 2015.

You can read a detailed project statement and description of our work on our website (in German), here.

And here are a few of many of the images we took in those cold Moscow spring nights. Enjoy!


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You’re cordially invited!

For most of you, it will be a bit far, but in case you happen to be in Moscow this week, pop on over to the legendary House on the Embankment (near the Red Square) to see some of our images exhibited!

Invitation Postcard Moscow High

Artists Portrait in Moscow – Eugenia Kokoreva

I met Eugenia in Moscow at Simon’s, where she was preparing her exhibition. We had no real way of talking – she speaks only a few words of German, and I only know one sentence in Russian: “I am a photographer from Berlin, may I photograph you?”. No great help in a conversation.

Nontheless, we liked each other, and I knew right away that I’d like to photograph her for my series of women’s portraits in their homes. Simon translated, and Eugenia agreed, and two days later Daniel and I set in a cab, the paper with the adress written in Kyrillic letters firmly clasped in hand. We drove for a long time – everything in Moscow seems far apart –through grey periphery, and of course with absolutely no clue where we were.

All the better then, to arrive in a quiet street, patches of snow and birch trees here and there, at the Artist’s Commune. It’s a house specifically for artist, where they both live and have their studios, from back in the times of the USSR. Almost all of the people we met had been living there for over thirty years, some closer to fifty years. 

Eugenia was warm and welcoming, she showed me her studio and her paintings, and with the help of a tiny German dictionary even related some of the stories linked to her paintings: her stay in Israel, her family’s fate in the Holocaust, and the fact that the little girl standing next to her father in the snow, holding his hand, was herself as a child.

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A different kind of holiday – The Balboa Castle Camp


Last September we had the pleasure to join the Balboa Castle Camp, a week of dancing classes and parties in the romantically derelict castle of Beesenstedt, Germany.

For those of you who are not familiar with Balboa, it’s a beautiful Swing Dance developed in California at some time in the 1920s and 30s. It’s usually danced to very fast music from the era (think Artie Shaw or Django Reinhardt), but danced in a closed position – making it intensely fun and at the same time, well, pretty romantic.

Needless to say, the week was fantastic. Some of the world’s best Balboa dancers imparted some of their knowledge and glamoured up the evenings, and every night, live bands kept everyone on their feet into the wee hours.

So put on some Swing music and enjoy the blog post and/or the extended gallery!


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Engagement Shoot in Vienna – Mimi and James

Mimi is a childhood friend of mine from Vienna, and has spent her life mostly in London and Berlin (where we finally reunited after not having seen each other for decades). James is Dutch, but has lived all over the world, and has called Shanghai home for more than ten years. Where would two people like that meet and become lovebirds? At a wedding, of course! In beautiful Amsterdam, in this case.

On the evening before their own wedding in Vienna, we took the opportunity to do a little photoshoot with them in one of my favourite corners of Vienna’s city center, the Mölkerbastei, just opposite Vienna University. It was just the sort of warm and golden summer evening you would wish for, and… well, I don’t want to sound too cheesy now, but I think you will agree with me that they were beaming like the sun!


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