Through the lens in reverse: snapshots of photographer Kathrin Weident

It’s a rainy, beginning of autumn day in Bucharest and I’m heading to Kathrin Weident’s photo studio to watch her take pictures. Not the best day to be outdoors but a good one to watch creativity at work. I had met Kathrin for an interview during the summer. Her story unfolded slowly as we talked: she had moved from Germany to Romania and pursued her dream to set up her own photography studio here.

By Corina Saceanu

When she holds the camera and takes pictures in her studio on a colorful street in Bucharest, Kathrin Weident seems a different person than the camera and recorder-shy one I had seen during the interview. The photographer tries to become the inspiration for the model she portrays. She shouts when the model needs to look angry and asks her to shout together to create the effect she is looking for. She constantly talks in Romanian to the girl she’s taking the picture of . You can barely see her face, almost completely covered by the camera,

but you can hear her and see her constantly moving around – arranging the lights, touching up a detail in the clothing of the model she’s shooting. She’s looking at details while pitching ideas on the model’s clothing and accessories.

Taking pictures of her while she was working proved to be a difficult task and one that triggered worries on the result. She says she doesn’t like most of the pictures with her- perhaps always with a critical eye. Being in the shoes of the photographer’s photographer was not easy, but getting a glimpse of her creative work was a glee.

Kathrin has been living in Romania for the last five years, having moved here from Germany with her husband, who is a lawyer in Bucharest. Kathrin’s husband, Christian Weident, was born in Romania. Five years ago, when he got a job here, the couple moved in.

The two had traveled to Romania and spent almost every holiday here before moving in. Once settled in the country, Kathrin wanted to learn Romanian first. So taking Romanian language classes was among the first things she has done. Then, three and a half years ago she set up a photo studio in Bucharest, Freistil Studio. Initially headquartered in Victoriei Square, the studio is now closer to a pool of creativity – the Film and Theater Academy.

Kathrin either takes pictures there or rents the studio and the equipments for other photographers, and has recently started to organize photography workshops.

“I love it here. The business has started to pick up and things have changed a lot for the better. One has to look at the development in the country also and see the bright side of things,” says Kathrin.

She seems determined and takes things as they are, not complaining much. She’s straightforward and has a touch of modesty when talking about her talent in photography and painting.

Kathrin comes from Regensburg, a city in the Bavaria area in Germany. She studied visual arts with a specialization in painting and photography there. Besides being a photographer, she’s also a painter – and at least one of the walls in her studio stands proof of her love for painting.

Most of her work now revolves around people – she takes portrait pictures or sometimes paints portraits, shoots beauty and fashion pictures.

It could have been harder for her to do the same thing and with the same success if she stayed in Germany, she admits. But it is still a lot of work and days are full for Kathrin. She goes to bed late and wakes up early, keeping herself busy in the meantime. Besides photography and sometimes painting, Kathrin teaches an after school art class at the Deutsche Schule Bukarest. Kathrin hates inactivity, which was among the reasons she started the studio. But she always knew she wanted to do something on her own in photography.

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