Interview: German Street Photographer Marius Vieth

It's not everyday I come across someone's street photography which blows my socks off. Marius Vieth's street photography does just that.

The Street Photography London blog aims to bring you interviews from all sorts of street photographers, from the famous to the less famous. Because you don't have to always look at the work of the masters to learn and find inspiration.

Q: Marius, you’re a German photographer based in Amsterdam, please tell us a little about you

My name is Marius Vieth, I'm a 26 year old German fine art photographer with a focus on street photography. To capture incredible moments I'm traveling all around the world, but I call the wonderful city of Amsterdam my home. Before I found my passion in photography, I graduated with a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Communication Studies, Psychology and Marketing. When I'm not taking photos or taking care of NEOPRIME, I love to cook, meditate, travel, watch tv shows or old movies and have fun with my friends and family. And I love pugs. A lot.


Q: I browsed through your photography and it’s refreshingly good... I mean excellent. I love the way you capture light and emotions/beauty without falling into the “cheesy” side of photography people too often do. You didn’t start shooting that long ago did you?

I was looking for my creative outlet all my life and I’ve tried so many different things to express myself, but nothing really worked.  I then bought my first cam in 2011 to take some vacation photos and see what this photography world might have to offer… After two years of taking photos 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. During the first months of my 365 Project in 2013 I finally found my oasis: street photography.


Q: I interviewed street photographer Jeff Krol last year, are you aware of his work? I find a lot of similitude between you two.

I didn’t know him before, but I just checked out his portfolio and I love it. He’s a little more cinematic then I am. His work actually looks like it’s a screenshot from a movie, which is pretty impressive! I hit him up on Twitter to tell him that I love it. Let’s see whether he responds.


Q: You offer Skype tuition. So for someone interested, how would a typical session go?

My typical session starts with going through the photos of my students. Based on their questions, issues and goals that they tell me beforehand, I’ll find ways to help them get there. During our Skype workshop it’s all about my student’s needs and goals for one hour. If they are looking for more coaching, I’ll give them a couple of challenges till the next session. Then we discuss the progress again to truly take my students to the next level. All of my students were more than happy with the better results they are getting now!


Q: And how about NEOPRIME?

NEOPRIME is my very own International Fine Arts Label I founded with my dear friend and business partner Martin Dietrich. Why? Because we didn’t want to work with galleries and art dealers, we wanted to do our own thing. We donate 3% of every sale to charity, our signed artists get the most amazing conditions and we want to show the world how incredible fine art can be! Soon we’ll also publish our very own premium quality fine arts magazine called NEOPRIME Contemporary Fine Art Photography. It’ll show breathtaking photography by the best contemporary fine art photographers around the world.


Q: You just released a very attractive, free e-book called “10 Essential Street Photography Lessons”. Aside from the title making it obvious what it is about… well, what is it about?

I always love to share my knowledge with my fellow street photographers. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that these are the 10 commandments of street photography, but these 10 lessons are one of the most important ones you have to internalize as a street photographer. Right now I’m writing on a street photography book that will cover everything from getting the right motivation and mindset, the proper tools to create street photography and finally ways to unleash your creative soul and get your own signature. It may not be for free, but man will it be worth it. I promise!


Q: You have a background in marketing, actually quite useful for a photographer isn’t it? For example I find your website, the greatest marketing tool for a photographer, beautifully designed.

Thank you very much, Nico! My marketing background is rather scientific though. I worked in market research for a while and my university degree is a Master Of Science. However, I always loved writing and good design, so that helps a lot! Actually finding the right marketing mix as a fine art photographer is not as easy as you might think. I had to learn all that the hard way without any guidance.


Q: You have quite a few awards in your bag, do you feel they matter? How does entering competitions benefit you?

I’ve won 20 awards and ended up on 10 shortlists during the last one and a half years. Although winning international awards makes me happy and certainly generates highly valuable PR for my own brand, I can’t stress enough how much more rewarding it is to inspire people and guide them through their creative development!


Q: I hear you're on the shortlist for Art & Culture at the Sony World Photography Awards?

Yes, I still can’t believe it. Almost 180.000 photographers from around the world entered and they picked me? It honestly feels like an Oscar-nomination so far, which is more than I could ever ask for. If I win the WPA, I’m going to buy the city of London a drink!

Hah! Well I'll take you up on that offer! 


Q: A question I ask everyone. If you could turn back time and give yourself one piece of advice when you first picked up a camera, what would it be?

Future Marius: “Marius, the next two years will be a very confusing time where you won’t be able to pour all your heart and soul into your photography, but hang in there. You’ll have the courage to start a 365 project, which will lead you to the oasis you’ve been walking 10 years through the desert for. You’ll win awards, found your own fine arts label, sell your artworks as signed and limited prints worldwide, publish your own magazine and write books about street photography and how to unleash your creative soul.”

Past Marius: “Yeeeeeeah, suuure...”


Thanks very much Marius, inspirational stuff, you've just made me want to go out and shoot!


Give Marius some love and check out his website, Instagram, follow him on Twitter @mariusvieth and if you feel like giving extra love, checkout his Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr...

All photos ©Marius Vieth