In the beginning of 2017 I sold my complete stock of lingerie and high heels. Over the years I had built up quite a big collection, but felt it was time for new things. Two wardrobes full of exquisit pieces were sold and I am happy to re-stock now. After my sales, I could concentrate on photography again. Due to the weather, I photographed indoors for calendars. At winter time this is what I mostly do. And we had a long winter in 2017 in Germany. Darkness drives me nuts. Planning trips for the summer kept me busy luckily and in the beginning of April, finally, I headed to shoot in the sunshine for the first time again.
23 degree Celsius and a warm breeze. The smell of sunscreen in the air. I was the most lucky guy and my shooting trip meant for me that winter was finally over. The photos that I took are for my next book, so I can't show them yet. The place I visited was one that I had dreamt of to go to for many years. This year, I managed to find flights that were suitable and hired a driver to take us to the bay that I had scouted on Google Maps before.
Only a few weeks later I was blessed to fly to Mallorca. I hadn't been on the island for nine years. In my memories, it was a big island, but I had not remembered it to be that big. This made things a bit difficult as driving to locations took many, many hours. In only one week of production, I drove 1,200km by car. Speaking of the car, crazy things happen all the time. The car rental company tried to charge 43,000 € for the car. Obviously, my credit card company denied this payment. But the next morning I woke up having over 40 messages on my phone telling me that payment attempts from all over the world had been denied. Ending with a lapidary: Your card is blocked now. This does not come in handy when you are abroad and have hotel bookings for your models and so on.
Luckily, I still managed and concentrated on the good stuff. Two lovely new stories for my book. For one location, Chris, someone I only knew via Facebook, had hooked me up with the right people in Mallorca. I am very thankful for this. For the other shoot, I had scouted the place on Google Maps again. What a dreadful amount of work, but I happened to find the exact type of location I was looking for. This was supercool. Mallorca really is a lovely island. And so are the people. Very warm and friendly. And open to nude shootings as well.
This was very different when I was back in Germany. I had organized a shooting with a special car in Frankfurt. You would think finding a location for a car shoot can't be difficult. Especially if you reside in the city you shoot in and know a few people. But asking for permissions is a tough job. I searched places, made many phone calls and wrote mails to people. Most of them replied to me, but none of them allowed me to photograph on their property. I started getting nervous. After six weeks of searching for a suitable location, I had finally spotted a place. Here's a light test of my own car during location scouting. Can you imagine this photo was taken with an iPhone and available light only?
Artists know that diligence counts more than inspiration.
In Portugal I had a great time in summer. João, a very nice person, had organized a great location for me: the house of a famous Portugese painter. The villa had seven metres high ceilings, many paintings everyhwere and two baby goats running around. A place full of inspiration.
I complimented the artist on his works and he opened my eyes by saying: "Simon, art is just a big pile of work. Don't wait to get kissed by the muse. It's all about diligence." I think I already knew that, but hearing it from another artist felt special to me. Those were very memorable moments for me. Oh, and I photographed the cover for my next book in his place.
The baby goat was very jumpy. So, I set my camera to silent shooting mode to capture this behind the scenes picture.
I work for Playboy since 2012. There are many talented photographers working for Playboy and it is everyone's turn sometime. So, I was overly happy when I received a phone call from Munich getting asked to do a production in Paris in September. You can view the resulsts in the December 2017 issue.
In the November issue there already were six pages by me, but a Playmate production is something else. Always makes me happy to do that.
And not only that I love Paris, I also had the chance to produce both photos and video clips and finally was able to work with my Zhiyun Crane gimbal on a big production.
I was not very lucky with the weather in Paris, but no worries, I was prepared. For the video, we worked under a bridge which gave us shelter from the rain. The photos were taken inside a sweet hotel. After two days of work, we had so much great material to choose from, I was very curious to see which images would get chosen by the editor in chief. Now, in December I must say: I am very, very happy with the results.
I have to admit, I skipped a few trips and quite a few shootings in this article. Mainly, because I really want to keep my next photo book a surprise until it comes out. And secondly, because I worked on a few commissioned commercial productions abroad, too. Those are projects which are meant to be kept confidential and secret until the date of publication. So, I will let you know about those when the time has come.
2017 has been incredibly exciting for me. I would like to thank everyone who supported me! All the best for 2018!
Simon Bolz, Frankfurt
Tel.: +49 (69) 95 82 02 12
Mob.: +49 (172) 620 55 18