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About Florian W. Mueller

Florian W. Mueller is an internationally distinguished, exhibited, published and booked photographer,. Since 2013 he is a professional member of the honorable BFF (professional association of freelance photographers and film designers e.V.) in addition to big names like F.C. Gundlach, Peter Lindbergh, Sarah Moon or Oliviero Toscani. In 2016, he joined the prestigious AOP (Association of Photographers) in London and promptly became a finalist at the 2016 Grand AOP Awards. In 2017, he was a 6-time finalist and won an AOP award. Florian's specialties are architecture, landscape, people and abstract photography. In addition to many other awards, he received a "Best of Category Award" and became a 6x finalist at the AOP Awards in London, 1st Place & 2 Honorable Mentions at the Tokyo International Photo Awards, Silver & Bronze at the One Eyeland Photography Awards, Silver & 2 Honorable Mentions at the PX3 (Prix de la Photographie Paris), 1st place & 3rd place at the International Color Awards, 3x Gold at the annual BFF Magazine, 3rd place & 24 Honorable Mentions at the International Photography 2017 Awards and a 1st Place at the International Color Awards. His work has been exhibited in galleries in Paris, London, Berlin, New York, Zhouzhou (China), Dusseldorf, Cologne, Athens, Köping (Sweden) and will be exhibited in June 2018 at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado, USA. He led the first "Porsche Photography Masterclass" in Malaysia in 2017 and teaches photography and fine art worldwide.

Interview with Florian W. Mueller

Florian W. Mueller ("FWM") interviewed on Friday, 16 March.

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?

FWM : I am an internationally distinguished, exhibited, published and booked professional photographer. Since 2013 I am a professional member of the honorable BFF (Professional Association of freelance Photographers and Film Designers e.V.) in addition to big names like F.C. Gundlach, Peter Lindbergh, Sarah Moon or Oliviero Toscani. In 2016, I joined the prestigious AOP (Association of Photographers) in London and promptly became a finalist at the 2016 Grand AOP Awards. In 2017, I was a 6-time finalist and won an AOP award.I am working mostly as an artist, but also for big brands like Porsche.My work has been exhibited in galleries in Paris, London, Berlin, New York, Zhouzhou (China), Dusseldorf, Cologne, Athens, Köping (Sweden) and will be exhibited in June 2018 at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado, USA. I led the first "Porsche Photography Masterclass" in Malaysia in 2017 and teach photography and fine art worldwide.

How did you become a designer?

FWM : As a child, my father showed me the magical development of paper images in the darkroom and gave me my first camera: an Agfa Rapid with modest three setting options: sun, clouds and lightning. Soon after, an elderly Voigtländer used to learn the interaction of shutter speed and aperture, in the study came the first orders and requests, usually portraits and documentaries.After various stages as a film photographer and various assignments by advertising agencies, the desire to develop and establish one's own, independent form of photography matured to broaden the context of photographic and artistic practice.Influenced by another professional aspect, the communication, over time emerged multi-layered and ambiguous images that virtually demand an interaction with the viewer.

What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?

FWM : 1. Try to create pictures that have the little something, tell a story, evoke an emotion or transport a feeling. Mostly reduced to my own point of view. 2. Patience is not only a virtue, it is necessary. The amateur sees a building (or a landscape or whatever), thinks “oh, nice!” and takes a picture. The professional might say “Oh, great!”, but runs around the object to find an exciting perspective or angle. Or comes back the next days to see the object in another light of day or waits for the right weather.For my series “REM”, levitating tree trunks in a forest, I went nearly 20 times from my hometown the 100 Km to that forest, because I was never satisfied with the light, missed some fog or whatever…3. (Advice for photographers, for designers the same!) Keep shooting. Keep learning. Open your mind and learn to see like a child again.

Which emotions do you feel when designing?

FWM : I am driven by curiosity. This is a main engine for a journalist and for an artist too, I think. That's why I experiment with a couple of techniques like long exposure, multi-exposure, mixtures of analogue and digital stuff. But at the same time I want to make a step backwards. When I started taking pictures, there were no really usable digital cameras. My father taught me how to develope films and photographies in the darkroom - and I suggest that to everybody who works with a camera. It is an extreme slow process, a complex process and everytime a bit like a miracle, when you see the picture appeare in the developer-bath.And when you done with that, you have a unique photography in your hand. You get a different, a closer connection to your artwork than working on it in photoshop or lightroom.

What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?

FWM : My father. See above why. A lot of other photographers I admire, like Gursky, Struth, Herlinde Koelbl or colleages at the BFF or AOP. And maybe there is a thing like a photographer's gene, we have unusually many professional photographers in the line of my mother. And, as said, my father was an enthusiastic photographer too. Maybe it was inevitable...

What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?

FWM : Of course, I want to work with more fantastic clients like Porsche and on challenging projects everywhere in the world. And I want to exhibit more of my personal projects.There is a word called “Serendipity”, meaning “Finding what you are not looking for”, that’s always a special moment for me as a photographer.When I shot a campaign for Porsche last year in Taiwan, I had to create pictures for very colorful cars, “Riviera Blue”, e.g.. So I had to find proper locations for the fantastic vehicles and sceneries which transport the campaign’s claim “Life Intensified”. My team and I sneaked through the streets of Taipei and suddenly we stood in the absolute perfect location for the Porsche Macan in “Riviera Blue”. It was awesome. That was a moment you can see me grinning from one ear to another. You can do location scouting in the internet but it is something completely different when you “feel” the right location.Another happy moment is the so called “flow” when you are working. When you work totally balanced, without thinking, when it’s not your brainpower creating a picture, but your emotions. I have that flow sometimes working on landscape pictures or abstract works.Oh, and not to forget the situation standing in an exhibition with youingr work or standing on a stage, receiving an award, these are remarkable moments!

What are your advices to designers who are at the beginning of their career?

FWM : Be patient. Work for yourself. Again: Keep learning. Open your mind and learn to see like a child again.You will meet people that don't like your work and That’s ok. There will be times you do not have any idea what to design or work on. And that’s ok too. You are not a robot. Do not work for Instagram likes, work for yourself, what you want to see.

You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?

FWM : Give your work some rest. For me it is always a good way to not take a look on an unfinished project for 2 weeks or so. After some time you grow some distance to your work and that helps you to see it with different eyes. Very helpful.

What is your day to day look like?

FWM : Well, when not travelling, I get up early in the morning, I am a father to a 4 year old boy. I grab a cup of coffee and start the engine.Work on some projects, answer some mails, just normal stuff. Do some post production or work on the next project, do location scouting in the internet, make travel plans and so on...

How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?

FWM : I do not know. And I do not know if I follow some trends. If yes than unconciously.

How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?

FWM : It has to touch you. It has to have the "Je ne sais quoi". It has to be clear, if it is functional. And useful. Maybe funny too.

How do you decide if your design is ready?

FWM : At a certain point you know: "That's it". Leave it be. It won't get better.

What is your biggest design work?

FWM : It is a project I can not talk about. No, in fact it is always the current project. Even if it is a small personal project. At that time it is my biggest thing.

Who is your favourite designer?

FWM : As mentioned above, I have some favourite photographers. Talking about design, I admire architects like Zaha Hadid or Calatrava, unusual designs. I love the scandivanian designers like Poulson (love his lamp-designs), Henningsen or Jacobsen.

Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?

FWM : I love travelling. My favourite cities (so far) are Hong Kong and Taipei and New York (of course!) but also Stockholm or the island Penang of Malaysia. As a photographer all these places influence me. I love to dive into cultures and their ways of living.

Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?

FWM : I am in a privileged situation that I love what I do. But sometimes that's hard work too. But I still love it.

What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?

FWM : If there is a good humanitarian project, I would work on it right away. I do a lot of pro bono work, mostly for musicians I know and when they do not have the money to afford me in "real life".

What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?

FWM : Oh, a lot. First it's the recognition worldwide, the exhibitions you take part. Then it's the magazines and journalists who get aware of you, write something about you or invite you to an interview. Collectors, artbuyers and gallerists get aware and with a bit of luck you start your career with the help of a competition like the A'Design.Not to forget it's a big fun!

Florian W. Mueller Profile

House of Escher Photographs

House of Escher Photographs design by Florian W. Mueller


Singularity Photographs

Singularity Photographs design by Florian W. Mueller


Porsche Campaign Photography

Porsche Campaign Photography design by Florian W. Mueller


Multivision Art

Multivision Art design by Florian W. Mueller


Paramnesie Art

Paramnesie Art design by Florian W. Mueller


Nightshift Shanghai Reportage Art

Nightshift Shanghai Reportage Art design by Florian W. Mueller


Drive2Extremes Multivision Photography Artwork

Drive2Extremes Multivision Photography Artwork design by Florian W. Mueller


Multivision Porsche Shanghai Photography Artwork

Multivision Porsche Shanghai Photography Artwork design by Florian W. Mueller


IKARUS Photography Artwork

IKARUS Photography Artwork design by Florian W. Mueller


SAMSA Photography Artwork

SAMSA Photography Artwork design by Florian W. Mueller

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