Candid Moments on TV: Watch me in action

Candid Moments on TV: Watch me in action

Since 2019 I'm working on my new coffee table book and all the work on it I keep secret. Next year my book will be published and now there is something to see for the first time. Because by a funny coincidence I appear on television. During my work on a new photo series with recreational vehicles.


And it came about like this: I have a great fascination with camping, even though I've only been camping in a tent once myself. That was after I graduated from high school. It was a nice experience, but like I said, I slept in a tent. American motorhomes are a different matter! And if they're also from the 70s or 80s, they'd be perfect for a photo spread for my next coffee table book, I thought.

So I asked for a permit at US Reisemobile in Babenhausen. They invited me to come by for a visit and suddenly I was in the middle of the TV documentary XXL Camper - Die Wohnmobilschrauber about crazy mechanics with all kinds of stories around it.

I usually don't like to stand in front of the camera and I'm absolutely inexperienced. That's why I sometimes might seem a bit strange in some scenes. But you grow with your tasks and so I took part in this fun project as a broadening of horizons and enrichment.

Roberto filming Medea
Good vibes

It was really a lot of fun. And after a few minutes I had fortunately forgotten the clip-on microphone and the camera pointed at me. This was also due to the fact that the documentary was filmed by only one person, Roberto from Hessischer Rundfunk.

I know it from other shorter appearances on TV that usually at least three people are involved in such productions: Camera, sound and editor.

But that one person does everything alone was completely new to me. It is a very demanding task when 4 to 5 sound tracks are recorded simultaneously and cameras are changed in between (e.g. sometimes Roberto also filmed with a gimbal or with a GoPro). My greatest respect to Roberto for his work!

When you see the different camera angles, it really doesn't occur to you that one person alone shot this reportage.

My appearance in the tv coverage is parted into three episodes: Me location scouting, the acutal shoot and me presenting the final pictures to the guys at the garage.

TV Broadcast Dates
XXL Camper - Die Wohnmobilschrauber

While it's worth watching the whole season with all episodes, I appear in episode 2, 4 and 8. I linked the episodes below as you can watch them anytime in the ARD Mediathek.

I also realized again that soft skills are most important: The sympathetic and relaxed interaction with each other. Roberto helped Medea and me a lot to break the ice. Because it was especially difficult for my model. Normally I work very intimately, just with the model and me on set. But this time there were more pairs of eyes on her. And we didn't know each other at all before.

Medea and Roberto
Naively, I thought we would be done in 3 to 4 hours. But in the end, the shooting lasted a whole day. Longer than usual. But it was worth it.

The fact that Michael, one of the XXL mechanics, used to be a professional model himself, also lightened the atmosphere very well. His infectious manner did me good. He's a real leader, always has a snappy quip on his lips and is honest. I appreciate that very much. From a human perspective, I really learned a lot during the shooting days.

Michael speaking with Medea during a break

Everything in the documentary is real. Nothing is staged and nothing is arranged, I would claim. But then, of course, I have to admit that typically I don't drive to a location a few weeks after a shoot and present them the retouched photos.

Obviously this part was only needed for the tv audience to understand my work. So, it's part of story-telling and therefore arranged in a way. But what actually is happening and all conversations are 100% real.

It never happened that I was told to do anything. This is important to me, because I am not into this type of reality tv.

And since I'm often asked if you could accompany me on a shoot once, yes, now you can.

A friend of mine said, it had been better if they mentioned my full name Simon Bolz instead of calling me "Akt-Fotograf Simon" or "Simon aus Frankfurt" which is true. But in the end, don't forget how I ended up on tv. This is not me trying to get more followers or anything, I was simply searching for a location to do a shoot for my next photo book.

And it all worked out!

So thanks a lot to Roberto Tossuti for all the great conversations and this nice documentary. And a big hello and thanks to the guys from XXL Camper - Die Wohnmobilschrauber, I mean the whole team of US Reisemobile for being so kind, welcoming and supportive. It was super nice working in Babenhausen and with the camping vans!

Michael watching me shoot Medea, © Roberto Tossuti / ARD/hr
Medea in front of the silver bullet, © Roberto Tossuti / ARD/hr
Michael and Thorsten checking out my photos, © Roberto Tossuti / ARD/hr