Steffen Reichardt

2023 Non-Professional Architecture Photographer of the Year

Q: Can you briefly tell us about your background and what inspired you to pursue photography?
Photography has actually always accompanied me. My parents took photos. They took a lot of pictures of me as a child. Later I just found it nice to capture my own moments and those of other people with the camera. I then tried out different cameras, my parents had an old analogue GDR camera, later a Polaroid camera which I then used, then I bought an inexpensive digital camera.
The turning point was 2013. It was my first serious contact with photography. I saw a photograph by a German photographer. This photo touched my heart, I looked through this photo, did my own research. He won an Honorable Mention at the International Photography Awards in 2013 with this photo. I wanted to create photos, maybe like this one. This was my challenge and my dream. Then I started and more doors to the photography world opened.

Q: What drove you to submit your work to the IPA competition?
The International Photography Awards have enjoyed a great reputation in the photography scene for 20 years. It’s a great level. I am amazed at what is possible with the camera, what is possible with image editing, enjoy the different styles and the inspiration of the other artists. The International Photography Awards are a wonderful platform to bring people together from other countries and cultures who share the love of photography. That’s why I submitted my photographs here.

Q: How did winning this competition impact your artistic journey?
At the moment I am looking back with gratitude to my beginnings in photography. I can only imagine this long journey. I’m standing on a personal high peak and just want to enjoy the view at the moment. The path meant well. I came across wonderful people who took great pictures. I was lucky that I received lovely feedback on my photos. There were always people by my side who supported me and gave me strength to move forward. Thank you!!!

Q: Could you describe any challenges you faced while capturing this moment (winning image/s)?
I knew the location. I wasn’t looking for the best place. The challenge was that I had the photo in my head, had it in my mind and wanted to get as close to it as possible. I would have time……. The biggest challenge of all came from researching the “Jänschwalde Powerstation”. It is not a German success story and it was first of all my own story and topic.

Q: What, in your opinion, are the most important factors in creating great images?
That I love what I ́m doing right now. This is a most important factor in my life. Everything else then follows, the doors open – sooner or later, everything at the right time. I think technology is the basis of great photos, camera settings and focus are certainly important. Nevertheless, I don’t want to get lost in it, because there have been great pictures at all times. In my opinion, great photography is intentionally crafted. It shows what it is supposed to show. It is a composition of light, colors, lines and shapes.
The photo wants to be viewed. It creates a connection to the viewer. Maybe emotional, cognitive, personal or aesthetic. In any case, the photo touches the viewer and the photo tells a story. That’s all what I want to do with my photography.

Q: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of photography?
All of the above in the previous question comes together.

Q: What motivates and drives your photography?
I want to take great pictures. I want to surprise myself and inspire other people. I hope that the image has the power to reach people who start photography, who loves photography. Simply become active yourself, be creative, pursue a dream. I always want to go further. I want to see the world. I would like to see this with my own eyes, feel it with my heart and capture it with the camera.

Q: What ́s next for you in your career as a photographer?
I definitely want to create photos of a high level. I will go further and further in photography. I want to stay curious and learn a lot from other people who love photography and who love the world.