My name is Marius Vieth and I’m a 26 year old street photographer from Cologne, Germany. After years of shooting I just couldn’t find anything I truly was passionate about. To be honest, I was about to give up photography at one point, because I couldn’t even take portraits and I still can’t. I thought that photography maybe isn’t meant for me if I can’t even find pleasure in one of the most popular fields of photography. On the verge of quitting I decided to give it one more try with something bigger than I’ve ever done: a 365 project.
During the first months I fell in love with street photography. Near the end of my project I realized that I was doing market research for a living, but I was living for street photography. I listened to my heart and quit my safe 9 to 5 job to live my dream. Together with my friend and business partner Martin Dietrich I soon founded NEOPRIME, an international fine arts label that is commited to breathtaking photography and supporting aspiring artists worldwide.
When it comes to gear, I may have developed a strange philosophy. Yes, what you see is all the gear I own. A used Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 35mm f/2. That’s it. Although this minimalist approach may not apply to all fields of photography, it has helped me a lot in street photography. In order to truly focus on everyday beauty, I want to think as little as possible in terms of gear and as much as possible about composition, colors, lines, natural contrasts and exciting moments. The more gear I own, the more I’m trapped in gear thoughts. Psychologists would call this “Paralysis By Analysis”, I just call it “Gear Avoidance Syndrome”.
Before I bought the Canon 35mm f/2, I used a Canon 50mm f/1.4 for around two thirds of my 365 project. I’m sure that the nifty fifty with its small frame is partly responsible for my rather reduced style in street photography. Even more responsible is my mom who always told me to clean up. I never did except for the moments I capture. After a while I knew the ins and outs of the 50mm prime lens, which led me to sell it and buy the Canon 35mm f/2. I just needed a new challenge. With the 35mm it’s even harder to get rid of all unimportant elements in the frame, but it helps me improve my signature and grow as a photographer.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy lots of gear as long as it helps you to get the shots you want. It’s just not working for me. It only distracts me from what photography is actually about: everyday beauty. Although many street photographers have asked me why I drag this brick of a camera around town, I couldn’t produce without it. It has been my companion through my best and worst moments in photography and that’s why I love my brick called the Canon 5D Mark II. But as long as I’m living for photography I will always be convinced that the most important gear you have will always be your heart, eye and soul!