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Hellmut Schlingensiepen, IDEA and IMAGE

I was given my first camera aged seven. At 15 I went over to a two-eyed Yashika 6x6 and bought my first dark room. After leaving school I qualified as a bank clerk. Following this I went to the University of Bonn to take a general course of studies (Political Sciences, Art History and Philosophy). Finding the course too theoretical, I went to the Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf in 1990, to work as a director’s assistant. I began taking portrait photographs of actors and musicians, bought a Leica M3 and received my first commissions. Soon a Nikon F90x was added to the collection. It was at the Schauspielhaus that I met my wife, with whom I have two children.

From 1994 to 1995 I was employed by the stage designer Michel G. Peter, before starting my studies in visual communication at the Dortmund Polytechnic in 1995. I graduated in 2001. It was in that same year that I completed my thesis in Photo Design entitled ‘Jenseits der Augenschwärze’ (under Prof. Heiner Schmitz). The thesis looks at the phenomenon of residual vision in those with very partial sight. For this work I was awarded the ‘Hochschulpreis der Fachhochschule Dortmund’ for the best thesis in the field of design 2000/2001, as well as receiving the ‘Förderpreis 2002’ (advancement award) from the professional association of freelance photographers and filmmakers (BFF). (You can find a selection of the photos here.)

I began to work as an author and filmmaker in 2003, combining all the skills acquired up to this point; the art of writing engagingly (acquired during my general studies), an ability to think in images (honed whilst studying photo design), and the capacity to create and stick to a budget (from my days as a bank clerk). Most of my clients are from the social sector.

In 2010 I moved to Kaiserswerth, Düsseldorf with my family. Here I began to teach photography and photo editing in my own studio. At the beginning of 2016 I also took up a position as lecturer in Lightroom and Photography at the Adult Education Centre (Volkshochschule) in Essen.

Awards and Distinctions:
›Hochschulpreis der Fachhochschule Dortmund‹ (Dortmund Polytechnic Award) for the best thesis in the field of design 2000/2001 and ›BFF-Förderpreis 2002‹ (BFF Advancement Award). ›Comenius EduMedia Siegel für exemplarische Bildungsmedien‹ (Comenius EduMedia Seal for exemplary educational media) 2006 und 2008, ›Erasmus EuroMedia Seal of Approval 2008‹.

A selection of my clients:
assitej e.V., auxilia tax steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbh, Bilfinger, Böker und Partner, Evangelische Jugendhilfe Bergisch Land, Geschichte: begreifen e.V., Integrationsmodell Essen e.V., Internationale Bonhoeffer-Gesellschaft, International Exhibition Logistics Association, Mestemacher, notabu-ensemble neue musik, Theater Kontra-Punkt, Verband der Chemischen Industrie.


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