Carolin Unrath is a photographer based in Munich, Germany who has worked for six years on a freelance basis. The German photographer won the Lifestyle by COOPH category in the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 for her photo ‘Surfmask’.
However, the passion for photography took hold early, “I started to use a camera as a tool of visual expression and to tell stories.” She was part of the Neuer Kammerchor Heidenheim which allowed her to travel from the age of 14. ‘I guess my real starting point with photography was the concert tour in 2014 through South Africa and Namibia. I just felt the need to take pictures of everything and everyone.’
‘In 2015, I started studying Fine Arts and Multimedia in Munich and photography was also part of my degree. Besides that, I learned a lot about analog techniques as well as modern technologies. I used it (photography) as my most important tool and connected photography to every other project’
‘After finishing my bachelor in 2018, I started working on my photography business full time in 2019. From there on my work became more professional, the clients became bigger as well as the budgets and my responsibility to deliver great work. Since then, I’ve been mostly working on bigger advertising campaigns.’
‘In my opinion cameras are tools, and different conditions need different tools. So you need to learn what you want to have as a result, think about the lenses and try to use them wisely.
My commercial all-round lens is a 24-70 mm 2.8 because very often I don’t have the time to change the lens multiple times.If I only had to choose one lens it would definitely be a 50 mm.’
Here are some of Carolin’s favourite photos from her portfolio, which show the versatility of the German photographer.
‘You can see a man in the water, he is called Beach. Beach is a local Cape Town stand-up comedian and artist. I just randomly talked to him at a coffee roastery, because I was really inspired by his style and how he came into the room, the energy changed completely. He was raised in the melting pot of South Africa but his roots trace back to Kenya. Most of the work he is doing is “creative insight driven” how he calls it. That’s why we shot some pictures inside the pools of Maidens Cove, in the water. His message was to look within for inspiration, rather than outward. A message to all the creatives out there.’
‘This image was part of a video project about the Adidas Runners community in Cape Town. The main character for this project was Ndyebo Mapekula, also known as “Pax”, the captain of the Adidas Runners community. It was all about what it means to be a runner in a truly diverse city and to lead a group of motivated people, while all share the same passion, the love for running.’
‘This image was taken on 3300m above sea level on Java, Indonesia. More precisely in the sea of sands in the Bromo National Park. I was traveling all alone through Java in 2017 and captured a lot of sceneries which show the culture of the Indonesian island. In the picture you see some “sherpas” who helped tourists enter the volcanic crater of Mt. Bromo, an active volcano.’
‘For 2023, I’m planning to start working on my first book, hopefully working on great advertisement campaigns in the outdoor sports industry again and I want to take some time off for new documentary projects – like capturing the Italian dolce vita or exploring Albania.
There is so much on my list and let’s see what I can tick off by the end of the year!’
Don't forget to check out Carolin's website & Instagram