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Christian Göran Photography – Captured in a dream

Christian Göran enchanted me with his underwater series and managed to capture moments that catapulted me into pure bliss, into a dream or fairytale. Read below his favorite story to one of his pictures and what made him become the photographer he is today. 

feel by Christian Göran

Who is Christian Göran? 

I bought my first camera four years ago and quickly found a way of expressing myself in this media. After about a year of digital photography I started with analog. I was born in Stockholm, Sweden. My father is Swedish. My mother is a former refugee from Chile under the dictatorship of Pinochet. Because of this, I grew up with a partly different cultural background, with different views on life, a different framework of what’s allowed and what’s not, trying to fit in to a conservative society out on the countryside. Perhaps that’s why I always had a feeling of being an outsider, trying to blend in but not quite being able to.

When I started with photography, I suddenly had a reason of being on an arm length distance from everyone else, observing instead of participating. This is part of a basic foundation to why I am the kind of photographer that I am today. Through the lens you will see through my soul on how I see things and with what feelings I look at the world around me.

2 by Christian Göran

What makes a good photographer?

Being present, noticing and capturing little details, things happening beneath the surface that others don’t see.

A goal that you want to achieve as a photographer …

Working with an underwater team in a nature film production is a dream I have. It’s more difficult to achieve than I first thought though.

lost by Christian Göran

Your first camera …

A Nikon D90

With what camera/s do you work today?

Now I work with a Canon 5D Mark II and my dad’s old Nikkormat FT from 1965.

What is important to you when taking photos?

That the surroundings inspire me and that I’m in a creative flow. Good lighting is a important ingredient in an inspiring surrounding.

where to by Christian Göran

Please tell us the story behind one of your photos that means something special to you…

It’s the story of when I took the picture “long seconds over Kabul”

I’m sitting a bit dazed in a cockpit at five o’clock in the morning preparing to get out of this bee’s nest of crazy traffic called Kabul airport, for a 30 minute flight to a military base in Mazar-a-Sharif to the north west over the mountains while I’m trying to get my brain to work properly after 8 hours of work when I put on my uniform in a hotel room in Turkey.

I look out over the dusty and messy airport, the grey concrete with the yellow lines and fire extinguishers strategically placed on each parking position, military helicopters with their machine guns hanging under the nose, American military private jets in their grey paintings with a US General or someone important on visit.

long seconds over Kabul by Christian Göran

Suddenly the traffic freezes for a couple minutes and the the hectic talk over the radio goes quiet, when two military Black Hawk helicopters on a mission suddenly come out of nowhere and land, pics up some soldiers, take off and fly off towards the horizon before everything gets back to normal again on the airport.

I look at the choppers disappearing in the distant, take a photo of the scene and then look over the barb wired fences. On the patrolling military vehicles, barracks with bored soldiers walking around them, the big bomb detector that all the trucks going to the airport have to pass through, the bunkers and behind all of this, the silhouette of the grey city and the mountains behind it.

Wow. (That’s really all I can say here)

Christian Göran supports a wide variety of our projects with his pictures. One of them is the sponsorship of Maicol in Colombia. The project aims towards providing clean drinking water and restoring children’s rights in the community that Maicol is growing up in. 

His prints are available on Acrylic Glass, Canvas, Alu-Dibond and MOAB Fine Art Paper in his gallery on photocircle.net. Especially his underwater series works best behind the shiny acrylic glass

Devotion and Philanthropy

Thirteen-year-old Jakob Berr didn’t anticipate what an impact it would have on his career, when his older brother took him to a photo laboratory that used to be their Dad’s before he passed away. Today he refers to it as “A chain of cause and effect that inevitably led to my profession as a photojournalist. Since I saw the first picture develop before my eyes, photography has never seized to amaze me.” Jakob Berr, who is now 31 years old, studied photojournalism in Munich, Hannover and at the Missouri School of Journalism in the United States, where he received his Masters degree. After having worked for US daily newspapers like the Valley News or Denver Post for three years, his Bavarian roots called him back to Munich last september, where he works as a freelance photographer.

Jakob Berr: Meditation, India

With his ability to remain perceptive towards signs and devoted to their meaning Jakob Berr became a photographer and these attributes help him to find his particular subjects – or sometimes they find him. Some of those diverse stories may seem arbitrary, but what they all have in common is a great philanthropy. He’s drawn to people, to their hopes and sorrows, Jakob Berr says. Whoever his counterpart may be, he seeks to find out more. And so every single story, as unwieldy or controversial it may come across, reveals something real, authentic and deeply human. In various picture series and multimedia documentaries Jakob Berr establishes an impressive closeness to his protagonists and their very own concerns. Hearing Aidan shows three-year-old Adian who lost his hearing after suffering a meningitis, but is now learning to use spoken language thanks to implanted hearing aid devices. I don’t belong in Heaven accompanies terminally ill Joe and his family in their everyday life. Another series portrays personalities of the Indie music festival Underground Music Showcase. These days Jakob Berr is working on a long term report about a Turk community in the south of Munich that is being sponsored by a German society that provides copyright protection for artists.

Jakob Berr: Hearing Aidan

Forgiven, but not Forgotten tells us about Valeria Brown, whose daughter Angela was murdered by her boyfriend under the influence of drugs. Initially Jakob Berr was looking for a way to deal with death penalty as a social fact. “I wanted to learn more about this chain of violence and its emotional effects – starting with the murder of a beloved person and continuing with the death sentence and possibly even the execution.” After the project had been completed, Jakob Berr came to visit Valeria again in order to show her the final results of his work. They watched the three chapters of the story together sitting on her couch. The whole time Valeria didn’t say a word. When the last chapter was over, she sat there quiet for a few minutes, gazing at the blank screen. Then she turned to him, embraced him and held him for a long moment. “It’s a wonderful reward for a photographer when his work causes a reaction like that. This gesture was priceless as it made me realize I had met the requirements of Valeria’s story. We still maintain a heartfelt friendship”, Jakob Berr says.

Jakob Berr: Forgiven, but not Forgotten - Valeria at her daughter

While Forgiven but not Forgotten arose from a personal interest, other stories developed due to external influences and Jakob Berrs open-mindedness. In 2008 he visited Kuakata, a small fishing village in Bangladesh. The region had been devastated by a cyclone three months earlier and the villagers were still struggling with the aftermath of the disaster. Inspired by their courage, Jakob Berr spontaneously began to work on a story about the fishermen and their everyday lives.

Jakob Berr: The fishermen of Kuakata launching their boat in the morning

With pictures of a slumfire in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, Jakob Berr and two of his colleagues organized a campaign that raised more than 10.000 €. Supported by the development aid organization NETZ e.V. they were able to fund emergency assitance in the Karail slum. The pictures of the fishermen of Kuakata also contributed to the fundraising campaign that enabled the most affected slum inhabitants to create their own income again. Encouraged by Jakob Berr, Photocircle will cooperate with NETZ e.V. as a project partner in the future.

Jakob Berr: Karail Slumfire in Dhaka, Bangladesh

You can find some of Jakob Berr’s work on Photocircle now. His own page jakob-berr.com shows the whole wonderful variety of his portfolio.