Interview with the Style Clicker

by jennine on September 24, 2008

Street fashion photography has been around for ages… long before blogs came along, it existed in print, in the east magazines dedicated to street fashion and here in the west in music magazines club photos… blogging of course has got to be one of the most natural mediums for this type of photography and it’s been taking off these past few years. And there is no doubt that these street fashion photographers are becoming established names in the industry.

Style Clicker started on Christmas Eve 2006 by Gunnar Hameleh is the street photographer for Munich. Recently he’s partnered with Condé Naste (German Vogue, GQ, and Vanity Fair) making it possible for him to travel around Europe getting shots of stylish people… and he’s even photographed me!  Well, he got me when we met up in Munich for a nice coffee and a good conversation. Here we talk about the impact of blogging on fashion, the beautiful people of Stockholm, and trusting your instincts…

The Coveted: How did you start?

Style Clicker: The first post was on Christmas Eve, a photos of my wife in the basement of the house, it’s was an untypical picture for my blog… but that was how it started.

TC: Were you reading blogs at that time?

Style Clicker: Not so much really. I had a small software company with my brother. There was this  whole web 2.0 thing, and I really like this idea that people could start anything, and you could reach a whole  public.

We wanted to start a community, where people could upload their own pictures with a map, but it already existed, and the quality of the pictures wasn’t that good. Then I saw Hel Looks, the Sartorialist, the Face Hunter, and I thought I could start that in Munich. It would be a challenge because It’s not the #1 fashion city in the world.

TC: How do you think street fashion blogs are changing global fashion?

Style Clicker: It’s kind of a media revolution going on right now. i don’t see print magazines as competitors, maybe they see us a competitors.

First of all it’s free… it’s very fast.. the impact of the street, was always important in fashion.

It has always been that way, designers get inspiration from the clubs and the streets, it was only available to the elite, who had the time,  were able to access the clubs and travel to the different streets, now anyone on the internet can get that information. So the gatekeepers are left out in a way. Directly from the creative people in fashion on the streets and in the clubs to to the consumer. That’s what I like, there is no editor. Of course bloggers pick who they like, but there is no advertising money in the equation.

Bloggers are very free, and they pick what they like. Main difference, is it’s very authentic, it’s real people, and it’s real places. The users can identify much more with real people than with models who are so beautiful, and you cannot reach it anyways, they are photoshopped, and photographed some location people usually cannot go.

It’s easier for person to say “I could try that out.”

TC: What are you obsessing on these days?

Style Clicker: Photography is an obsession, it’s like a meditation. I don’t meditate, but I do photography. When I’m taking pictures, I forget everything around me. I love to do that. Even if Style Clcker hadn’t become successful, I would have done photography.

I’m thinking about moving to Sweden. There is a lot of work to do before, it may not even work. But I would like to do it. Stockholm is gorgeous, a beautiful city, great people. The whole city has great style. Homes are nice, very tasteful… it’s a street photographers paradise.

It has always been that way, designers get inspiration from the clubs and the streets, it was only available to the elite, who had the time,  were able to access the clubs and travel to the different streets, now anyone on the internet can get that information. So the gatekeepers are left out in a way.

TC: Describe your method.
Style Clicker: Usually I go on Saturdays, it’s easier to scan people. In the beginning I felt like I was a hunter… but I felt that was too much pressure, so now it’s like a walk though the city, and even if I don’t find anyone. I always take it like a gift if If find someone.

The first thing is I give them a compliment… it’s always a nice beginning for a nice conversation.

TC: What’s your favorite part about being a street fashion photographer?

Style Clicker: The people. When I start talking to them, in a short period of time you meet very nice and interesting people. In the beginning I was not so interested in trends, what interests me is the personality of people, and of course people who are creative in their clothing, who express themselves through their clothing. Not so much trends, but how each style fits to the person.

When I walk around I scan all the time. Then I see somebody, sometimes from behind, and I try to catch up to them, and If I like them I ask to take their picture.

TC: Has anyone recognized you?
Style Clicker: Yeah, then it’s easy to ask,  I don’t have to explain who I am. Once someone said “you photographed all my friends, and I felt bad you didn’t ask me… now…”

TC: Where are your favorite spots for finding people?
Style Clicker: Stockholm, people are very friendly.

TC: What’s special about Munich?
Style Clicker: Munich is quite small, it’s a very cozy town. I think in a way it’s very traditional with all the lederhosen and dirndls and Oktoberfest…  on the other hand people have style, but it’s kind of conservative sometimes. It’s pretty much money here, it’s the money capital of Germany. I wish people would be more confident in trying new things. If you keep your eyes open you can find the creative people. You can find them anywhere really, sometimes it’s faster, but sometimes it takes longer.

Berlin, of course there’s the scene, the creative ones, it’s probably the biggest scene in all of Europe… for people who want cheap rents and do some thing creative, you go to Berlin. But I get the impression that there is kind of a uniform for them as well. Actually I was walking around for three afternoons and it was not so easy to find people to photograph.

TC: What have you learned from all this?
Style Clicker: I learned, not to be corny, but to really trust in yourself, and do what you want to do by heart. If you have a hobby start a blog. You don’t have to have much money to do something. You really can reach things… I would have never thought I would have a street style blog in Munich, and now it’s very established, it’s amazing.

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mahret September 24, 2008 at 3:39 am

Gunnar is such a nice guy!

Rogbog4299 September 24, 2008 at 5:14 am

Those picture would be well defined as Street fashion photography. They are gritty and down to earth sytle or in the up and coming styles now.

Chic Looks September 24, 2008 at 4:41 pm

he takes such amazing pictures and inspirational outfits, great interview

Cammila September 24, 2008 at 9:36 pm

This man has SUCH an eye! And it turns out he’s incredibly nice too. This is a really cool interview. :)

Imelda Matt September 25, 2008 at 5:29 am

I throughly enjoyed this interview and I was about to re quote when I realized that you’ve highlighted the most important part - I couldn’t agree more!

MizzJ September 27, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Very cool interview. It’s always exciting to hear the story of someone who never dreamed they could reach out to the world. It’s inspiring for us little bloggers.

Prêt à Porter P September 30, 2008 at 11:50 pm

i like style clicker a lot.

jennine October 1, 2008 at 3:24 am

me too… he is a nice guy.

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