Born in Germany in 1979, Daniel Sannwald is emerging as one of the true original voices in contemporary photography. In a landscape dominated by referential and repetitive imagery, Daniel is establishing a strong and recognizable signature that is already catching the attention of some of the most influential trendsetters in the fashion and photography industries. His surrealistic and hauntingly beautiful images speak of a world were Fashion and Art meet to reveal a unique narrative.
Daniel studied at the Royal Academy in Antwerp and is now based in London.
Daniel contributes to numerous magazines. Amongst them: Dazed & Confused, i-D, Vogue Hommes Japan, V magazine and Qvest. His work has been honoured with a nomination by the Photomuseum Winterhur in Switzerland, and a Lead Award nomination in Germany. He has photographed projects for Louis Vuitton, Nike, Adidas, Replay, Wrangler and Shiseido.


i spent some time with my friend rose who i think is as beautiful as a film star and with skin so white that it is almost grey.

i had moments that my eyes looked as big as the day that a bird once flew into our front room at home – something that belonged elsewhere now up closer then ever before.

i went on a journey to wales to visit my friend jason evans with whom i was riding bikes down the hills and up the hills, around the city and over bridges…

i was dancing together with the tshe tshaw boys and now dreaming about going to africa.

i was enjoying the human spirit cos “We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

and that are just a few of the reasons why my blog was so quiet lately.!

good reasons to be quiet, dont you think?

‘Tech Noir’

When fashion maverick Daniel Sannwald was a kid, he dreamt of being a famous scientist.
That he became a photographer had a lot to do with his late father, who was an artist and in his short time gave Daniel the direction of photography.
But in some ways Daniel secretly still is a mad scientist working with utterly fictional technology to forward his schemes. Judging from Sannwald’s work you’d expect to find embalmed mutant creatures to be hidden in the cupbourds of his photostudio or secret potion to be found there in glass jars. Yet if there one thing he wouldn’t be caught dead in a lab coat. Daniel is not being meticulous, you see.
True liberty for him lies in the right to make mistakes, as moving about and experimenting is always more interesting then being careful. In a society which is focused on the perfect image, he’s trying to regain the sense and quality of mistakes and is not afraid of showing ‘errors’. “Keeping it real” is what they call that on the streets.

Sannwald doesn’t make choices between nature and technology, blending really raw animal stuff with high tech or clashing something organic with something computer generated. He seems somewhat torn between love and disgust for the digital age. “I hate these over-worked perfect images which are one result of the digital time. I love badly done digital things however: stuff with too much pixels, wrong colours and cheap photoshop filters.” If he overworks, he makes clear to the viewer exactly what he did and how it came about. Apart from fragments of the digiculture his work carries echoes of pop art, film noir and German expressionism. From the latter he got his way of shifting chiaroscuro lighting and the convenient idea to paint light and shadow onto the scenery rather than to produce it. To create the right ‘Stimmung’. Sannwald mostly builds his ‘haunted’ sets himself. ‘Tech Noir’ would be an apt term to describe his work for a number of reasons. Take for instance those monsters we mentioned earlier. Sannwald quite likes strange creatures, especially those from the old days. “Where it’s very clear that they’re wearing a mask. Basically I’m a big fan of masks in general. In my work I often hide faces behind masks or burn faces out, cut faces out et cetera. I like disguise – the way people use masks in our daily life. In my pictures in a way I try to deprive people of their own identity.”

It’s often a case of recontextualising, he states. “I sometimes take existing images from the past – like for example Dali’s human skull – and recreate it in the context of fashion. I’m fond of semiotics, giving things a new place and a new meaning. Those who don’t want to initiate anything produce nothing”, is a motto by Dali that is tightly embraced by Sannwald, be it in a slight pop-art way. For Sannwald embraced the art of today is all around us as he finds a great deal of inspiration in daily life. He estimates that about 80 percent of his time his brain is thinking of art and work, buzzing up new ideas for pictures. Sannwald’s photos are refreshingly stylistic, bringing back a creativity and fun in the world of fashion photography. “I think photography is a great tool to communicate moods. Why not make people laugh?” He smiles. Sannwald himself is quite a happy and cheery fellow, indeed, leading a balanced and inspiring life in Antwerp where he did his master at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. But never underestimate Sannwald’s rebel yell. He’s not cleaning up and calming down anytime soon. Daniel Sannwald photographs and lives solely on his own terms, following the road his own whirlwind of originality dictates. He always goes for carte blanche, no less. And that’s the way he’s conquering fashion magazines all over the globe.

Written by Nessie White

more wallpaper…


some of the images for the wallpaper special.
fashion x furniture pairing

styling: kathi kauder
make up: ayami
hair: mark hampton
set: emma roach
painting: james trimmer
model: sofie bartos

greeting and love

Another Magazine Korea Making of


U/C is out

The first issue of U/C is out! Its the first issue in which Darem Ellis is working as the new creative and me as the new Picture Editor.
I am so happy with the outcome… we started working on the next issue already.!

The recent Cover is shoot by Mark Brothwick and we have wonderful images from photographers such as Mel Bless, Ben Weller, Lukas Wassmann, Hanna Putz… and many more!!

have a look!

pluto and charon signing @ walther koening bookshop viena


take it back

For Mum

Le Monde
13. Mai. 2011

Daniel Sannwald, la mode hors cadre
Pour le photographe de mode Daniel Sannwald, 32 ans, le monde ne se résume pas aux mannequins, aux stylistes et aux studios. “La photo de mode est un monde dans lequel on peut vite se perdre et perdre son inspiration”, explique le photographe qui expose ses images à la villa Noailles, à Hyères (Var), dans le cadre du Festival de mode et de photographie.

Deux jours par semaine, quand il n’a pas de commande, Daniel Sannwald reprend pied avec la réalité en allant boire le thé chez des personnes âgées esseulées, pour le compte d’une association caritative. Vu qu’il est allemand, et qu’il habite à Londres, forcément, les sujets de conversation ne manquent pas. “Plusieurs sont juifs. Certains me parlent de la guerre”, sourit le photographe qui s’est fait ainsi un ami, Joe.
Le reste du temps, le jeune photographe est immergé dans un intense travail d’équipe. Tous les mois, il réalise de deux à cinq commandes pour des magazines tels que Dazed and Confused, I-D ou L’Officiel : “Il faut faire des recherches, rencontrer les stylistes, les directeurs artistiques, choisir les mannequins, fabriquer des décors… La prise de vue elle-même dure une journée, parfois deux.” Puis vient le travail de postproduction, au moins trois jours supplémentaires, avec trois retoucheurs et un spécialiste des images assistées par ordinateur.
Les images de Sannwald, dont il montre une partie à Hyères, sont plutôt originales au regard de l’ordinaire lisse des magazines. Dans son univers étrange, on sent l’influence du surréalisme et de l’expressionnisme, le tout mâtiné de science-fiction. Côté technique, le photographe passe tout aussi facilement d’un registre à l’autre, des images de synthèse sophistiquées aux appareils argentiques anciens. Il brûle et troue ses images, invente des avatars et des doubles. L’improvisation est un de ses moteurs. “J’arrive sur le plateau avec des feuilles de plastique de couleur, des miroirs, et j’expérimente”, résume le photographe.
Une approche risquée qui n’est pas sans donner des sueurs froides aux commanditaires : pour une coûteuse série haute couture réalisée pour L’Officiel, en 2010, Daniel Sannwald a décidé au dernier moment de tout photographier avec la caméra basse définition de son ordinateur portable. “Quand j’ai proposé ça, il y a eu un gros silence. Mais finalement on dirait des aquarelles, et ça a beaucoup plu !”
Ce n’est pas ce travail éditorial, quoique prestigieux, qui lui permet de vivre. Une page publiée est souvent payée aux alentours de 1 000 euros, mais la somme sert à la fois à payer le matériel photo, le décor, la postproduction et le salaire du photographe. “Je gagne rarement de l’argent, résume le photographe, qui ajoute :En plus j’adore manger, je préfère manger des choses délicieuses avec mon équipe qu’avaler des pizzas dégueu.”
Daniel Sannwald tire l’essentiel de ses revenus de la publicité, un travail où les directives sont nettement plus contraignantes. Il a signé des campagnes pour Louis Vuitton ou Shiseido, pour des marques de sport. Il réalise aussi des travaux moins glorieux et plus anonymes, ce qui lui permet le luxe de refuser certaines commandes. “Je veux pouvoir m’exprimer à travers les pages, dit-il. J’ai toujours été clair, il me faut de la liberté.”
Or en ces temps d’après-crise, rares sont les magazines prêts à donner carte blanche aux photographes. “L’époque actuelle est très ennuyeuse sur le plan visuel, regrette-t-il. Il n’y a pas beaucoup de directeurs artistiques audacieux. La récession est passée par là, les photographes sont là pour montrer les vêtements.”Avec ses parti pris radicaux, Daniel Sannwald travaille donc moins souvent pour les poids lourds du secteur comme Vogue, que pour des publications pointues telles que l’Allemand 032c. Mais il ne s’en plaint pas : “J’ai toujours rencontré des gens pour me suivre.” Il a reçu sa première commande pour Dazed and Confusedalors qu’il était encore étudiant à l’Académie royale d’Anvers, après avoir envoyé un portfolio par mail. Entre deux prises de vue et deux tasses de thé, Daniel Sannwald trouve encore le temps de donner des cours de photographie à Tokyo ou d’animer un atelier avec des enfants. Cet amateur de poésie, fan de l’Américain Frank O’Hara, édite aussi un magazine qui mêle textes et photos, Under/Current. “Ce sont toutes ces expériences qui nourrissent mes images.”

Claire Guillot

ira and me

:-) ira is the new kid on the block