A year in transition

A year in transition

Every year, I look forward to my annual end of the year article. It's the longest and most detailed article of the year. Reviewing the entire year is always nice for me too. Only this year, it's kind of hard for me. I don't feel like I've experienced any real highlights and I'm saddened by world events.


I spent the whole year looking for a new place to live. Preferably in a small town with a population of around 50,000. I'm fed up with big city life. 27 years in Frankfurt is really enough. The city has been badly run down and — I'm sorry to say it — is really falling into disrepair. No amount of whitewashing will help and I don't want to ignore all the misery on the streets, junkies and crime on my doorstep.

At the end of Germany

That's why I want to leave and hope to find more peace and concentration in the countryside. All the advantages that the city once offered, such as a major airport, are a thing of the past. Frankfurt Airport — like so many other establishments in Germany — is in serious decline. I'm not even talking about the many homeless people who now permanently live in the airport building, which feels strange to me.

On my last visit, luggage was pushed over the conveyor belts at the security checkpoint with a broomstick, which was a very good symbol of the state of affairs. Then there were no bus drivers to take passengers to the plane, followed by a lack of de-icing vehicles. So my flight took off an hour and 45 minutes late.

The previous trips weren't any better. My luggage wasn't loaded at Frankfurt airport, which is really bad because all my styling was in my suitcase. And on the way back, 6 flights were put on a single conveyor belt in baggage claim. The wait for the first suitcase was a measly 50 minutes (or in their language: "Baggage claim will begin shortly").

Frankfurt Central Station is supposed to be a hub in Germany. But a lot of things don't work on the train either. Strikes and delays are the order of the day.

So this year I mostly sat in the car and was really glad I did. Despite the rise in fuel prices and people stuck on the roads, driving is now the best way to get around.

The world has changed.

And sometimes I had the feeling that I wasn't changing fast enough.

In terms of digitalization, I had to switch my portfolio to Patreon in February. In a way, I was the last photographer to put my work online for free. I never minded as long as I was still making money from publishing.

But if we look at it realistically, that time is over.

It won't be long before printed products are completely discontinued. That hurts me, because print has always meant a lot to me. At least my calendar will still be around in 2025. And the upcoming highlight is the printing of my new coffee table book. So I will remain loyal to high-quality print products.

However, digitalization has changed a lot more. You may laugh now, but I didn't realize that many men aren't interested in my photography at all, but only in the women I photograph. The self-marketing of the models via OnlyFans makes me, as a photographer, superfluous for the models in a way.

I actually found it very difficult to find photo models in the first half of 2023.

Desk work while on production

Nevertheless, I never got bored. Over the past 5 months, I've been working intensively on the selection of images for my new photo book. And I think I might finally be able to reveal the secret of what it will be called. After all, the book goes on sale on my website tomorrow, January 1, 2024.

So, fanfare out:
My new coffee table book is called…

Mellow as in gentle, calm, relaxed.

I've matured and a lot of my photography has become more self-evident. With increasing experience, everything becomes more interesting and somehow deeper. The motifs, the experiences, the overall feeling that I want to convey.

Memories from visual impressions from the past, e.g. movies from the 1970s, sometimes come up to my brain. And recognizing this feels great.

Beautiful Ménerbes

In June I was amazed when I was in a small village in the south of France. It was a beautiful, completely clean place. Well maintained and simply pretty. I immediately felt that someone had taken care of this with a lot of love. And so I wanted to find out more and asked Google.

It turned out that the producer of the movie Emmanuelle, Yves Rousset-Rouard, was the mayor of this small artistic village for a long time. Without knowing it, I felt the vibe straight away and I thought it was kind of magical.

XXL Camper

In the summer, the well-publicized documentary about the XXL Campers came out, where I appeared at work in three episodes. Although I was told that I would definitely be asked about it somewhere afterwards, I was never recognized on the street. It was just a guest appearance and the actual documentary wasn't about me. So my ego is definitely not hurt. I had a lot of fun working on TV and I'm very happy with the result.

Also about the fact that the broadcast was not prevented. Because censorship is now normal in my field of work. There wasn't much nudity, but I wasn't edited out either. I see that as a positive.

In addition to six Playboy publications in 2023 (three of those in Playboy Germany, the others in Playboy Netherlands), I have also had beautiful and very good productions with private individuals. So overall, I managed not to let all the negative things going on in the world get me down too much. That wasn't easy for me.

With a lot of exercise and avoiding alcohol, I took my quality of life to another level in 2023. I sleep better and feel much more comfortable. Through social media detox, I regained focus on my work.

Outlook for 2024

For the coming year I have decided to finally find a new base. That was more difficult than expected, so unfortunately it didn't work out in 2023 already.

Then I'll try to produce more, but of course for now it's all about my new photo book. It makes me a little nervous that I'm the only one who has seen the pictures so far.

In that respect, I really feel like an artist right now, as I'm a bit scared of the uncertainty. How will my new book be received? Will people like my new images? Will people say Sublime was better than Mellow? Will Mellow become a success?

But I don't think self-doubt is a bad thing. It would be worse if I were no longer self-critical.

With this in mind, I wish you all the best for 2024! Happy New Year!