Interview: Photographer Simone Maiwald
Simone Maiwald is a freelance photographer from Stuttgart. Following her apprenticeship and various jobs in the fields of advertising and fashion photography, she realised that, for her, taking photographs was a vocation. Since then, she has worked in a wide range of areas ranging through portraits, work for documentaries, product images and stills, for both private clients and companies. She is a fan of clean Scandinavian design, cappuccino at work, good music – and most of all, family life. Simone Maiwald is the pin around which our Hoffmann campaign shoots revolve. She shares the same values as we do, and so we have been able to work together closely for more than three years already. We invited her to share a cup of tea with us and tell us a little about herself.
Hello Simone – first of all, thank you for taking the time to meet us. Let’s get warmed up by asking a couple of quick introductory questions:
Can you describe yourself in three words?
It would be easier if you asked people who know me! (she says with a laugh). But off the cuff I’d say I have a love of harmony, am full of energy and I’m an emotional person.
Can you tell us briefly how you came to work with Hoffmann Natural Eyewear?
I knew Philip Mautner from previous work, in particular a photo-production that we were both involved in in Lucerne. We hit it off straight away. One day he called me and asked if I would like to take a few pictures for Hoffmann, and that was the start of the first Hoffmann Natural Eyewear shoot that we planned and created together.
You come from Stuttgart, where you live with your family. What are your personal family values? What do you want to pass on to your children?
For me, harmony is important and I want them to value concepts like having respect for one another and treating people fairly.
What do you want to achieve in your work as a photographer? What should people feel when they look at your pictures, what message should they receive?
If, as a photographer, you manage to engage people’s emotions when they view an image, or if they can share the mood of the photo… then I think that a photographer has achieved what should be at the core of photographic work. I allow my feelings and moods to lead me when I work and try to transfer these into the picture.
Hoffmann symbolizes sustainability and mindfulness, and has lived these principles for just over 40 years. What fascinates you about nature and how do you ensure that you treat the natural world sustainably?
My roots are in the country and I grew up on a farm, so for me it’s completely normal to live with the rhythm of the seasons and use resources in the way nature offers them to us. I try to treat nature mindfully and apply this principle to everything around me.
Today the world is turning faster and faster and individual, handcrafted products, and time, are a form of luxury. People spend a lot of time occupying themselves with thoughts of the future. What do you do to live in the present?
“The mountains are calling and I must go“ (with a laugh). I try to spend time in the mountainsas often as I can. To get away from social media and the excessive stimuli that we are exposed to everywhere we go. I have been doing yoga for years and I like to regularly withdraw into a peaceful place. I like to do creative projects. This all feeds my energy reserves.
Is there an image or a shoot that you are especially fond of? What does it mean for you?
Really I like all the shoots, each one is different and I have to place myself in a new “situation“ each time – I see that as my task. But just that is the good thing about my job – it’s extremely full of variety. You could say, after the shoot is before the shoot.
The last campaign shoot for Hoffmann is still at the forefront of my mind – all the details harmonized wonderfully and we got a great result.
What inspires you, at work and at home?
Good music – preferably all the time and everywhere – a good cup of coffee or tea, an exchange of ideas with creative, loving, warm-hearted people. My kids, of course. Often it’s the little things, it might just be a quotation that I’ve read somewhere. People who are passionate about what they do… all these things inspire me. Often it’s simply everyday things.
You’ve worked with Hoffmann for a few years now. What links you to Hoffmann Natural Eyewear? What’s special about working together?
Most of all I love the close way of working together, there’s a great flow of communication and we share the same tastes, appreciating the pure essence of a matter and its authenticity. The work with Hoffmann also offers me a great deal of freedom. I enjoy the trust placed in me and the chance to be part of the creative process. That definitely isn’t always the case. It results in a mutually relaxed atmosphere, and it’s brilliant to be able to work like this… for me these are the best conditions for producing authentic images.