Nicole Oestreich came to photography autodidactically at the age of 40, as she does freelance today. Of course there has always been the usual holiday and family photography to capture memories. But it was only about 10 years ago that she began to implement her 'pictures in her head' in series and long-term projects. Since then she has won many awards and publications. She was helped by many companions whom she got to know at events, on the net and through personal visits.
It started out of boredom: Her husband explained the handling of her camera to a friend and Nicole grabbed another camera that was lying around and started taking pictures. On the beach, small, strict compositions, as she liked them as a trained architectural draftswoman. And it wasn't just her who liked the pictures ... soon the first borrowed PENTAX became her own K-X in white and today she works with the PENTAX K-1 II: It's the compact, tough handling combined with high image quality that she appreciates so much. After all, she still often works on the beach and edits her photos elaborately for large image formats that are then hung on the wall in exhibitions or by private or public buyers. Meanwhile, in addition to her freelance work, staged portraits, weddings, a voluntary social photo engagement and workshops are also part of her photographer work. That her special love for the circus and artists is a major focus of her work can be seen in the following gallery:
Nicole Oestreich works almost exclusively in project form. Free series or orders are completed after some time and she turns to further ideas. She started this kind of free work at the end of 2018 and has now almost completed it: 'It’s not the headline'. A private photo album. For this work she has compiled a list of people who are or were important for her personally or for her work as a photographer. This should by no means be a classic ancestral portrait gallery with representations of the personalities themselves, but rather pictures that require reading between the lines, decoding symbols or recognizing hidden details in the few things one can see; therefore not all pictures are accessible to every viewer. Even some of the people portrayed were amazed at the end to find out which event or characteristic Nicole Oestreich focused on.
Nicole Oestreich has entrenched her protagonists behind a suitable newspaper; sometimes the name of the newspaper alone gives the portrayed person away. In one case, for example, a quarrelsome photo editor whose name is certainly a program. Or fellow photographers who repeatedly have compositional discussions with her and find themselves strictly composed. The fact that, logically, the many acrobatic friends should not be missing, and with their extraordinary newspaper stunts as such immediately stand out, also shows how varied a portrait can be, even though a large part of the image area is assigned to imprinted recycled paper. I find it particularly charming that customers are also involved - portrait photography in particular thrives on close interaction and Nicole says thank you for an inspiring job by involving her in a freelance work: Passionate photography does not distinguish between a given task and your own motivation, but can ideally fulfil both. Or the opposite will happen. A booked model turns out to be capricious and the shooting doesn't meet expectations ... then Nicole Oestreich can make a 'not-the-headline-portrait' with fine lace, which makes the tricky situation visible and at least completes this series. The preparations for the various meetings were not only the selection of props but also the search for a location. Occasionally this was a spontaneous decision - but sometimes the planned location was especially important and the right weather/light had to be awaited. There were lengthy shootings and some that were shot in a flash. It was easy for the portrayed people to stage themselves and to follow the stage directions, because obviously the always disturbing look in the photographers eyes wasn’t neccessary.
For this project Nicole used the 24-70 mm zoom (HD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR) on her K-1. So she is prepared for every situation. Logically, a tripod should not be missing either. And instead of putting the series in an album in the archives at the end, it was a logical step to make a newspaper out of this project. To thank the many friends and companions, but also as a catalogue at exhibitions.
She is using following gear: Pentax K-1 with HD PENTAX-D FA 24-70mm F2.8 ED SDM WR; Pentax K-70 with HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR; RICOH GR III