In the heart of the underground clubbing scene in London, Glamcanyon is establishing itself as ‘the’ place to get messy. Organised by fashion photographer and blogger Katja Hentschel, all those in attendance have one thing in common,they dress to impress! Luckily for us though, Katja is there on the night snapping away with her SLR and documenting the night’s proceedings on her blog the next day. The night takes advantage of the London creative types, in a scene resembling the Richard Mortimer Boombox era a few years back or even Studio 54; it is a haven for those who aren’t fond of standing in the background. Katja manages to immerse herself amongst the crowds capturing personalities, outﬁts and moments along the way, and that’s exactly what her images portray…moments. Moments which highlight a small demographic of our generation who stick two ﬁngers up to the conventions of what is viewed as ‘normal’ night time attire and instead, they put the originality and entertainment back into getting dressed up for a night on the tiles.
The blog Katja has created to coincide with the club night is a signiﬁcant expression of Katja’s enthusiasm in encouraging our generation to follow in the footsteps of these daring party goers and fully express ourselves through the medium of crazy fashion, without taking into considering the critical opinions of those who choose not to understand.
It is Katja’s passion for discovering individuals with an outlandish sense of style that has meant her photography has translated successfully from nightclub to day time. Having managed to develop herself as a street style photographer, she manages to capture the unique fashions of people from London to Berlin, whilst encompassing her love for all things different.
How do you capture and document the party scene?
It’s really important to me to capture the moment. Sometimes I’ll encourage certain behaviour, but not posing. I like my photos to be spontaneous andcandid. I take pictures for people who were not at the party. I like to capture more a mood than just the people in it.
Why do you choose to document people in parties?
I don’t know really, it’s not that important to me that they look great, they can have one eye closed and a stupid smile, what matters is the moment and the feel. I’ve always had a thing for parties, I’ve always wanted to party more than I could. Growing up in a small town in Germany there was nothing. I’m catching up on my youth—I could only experience this through photos and TV and always really wanted to party. I just always thought that it was good thinking to documenting parties and youth culture. I’m excited about looking back in 30 years from now and thinking wow, I was a part of that.
Many other photographers concentrate on one thing. You have many different types
of photography, different styles and subjects. Why is that? Are there any particular
styles you are particularly fond of?
I wish I could concentrate on one thing! It’s just what happened, really. I’ve always been someone of varying interests, good at many things and gets bored pretty quickly. I know there’s so much more in me to give to concentrate on one thing I think.
I don’t think we have to make a choice anymore. It would be good for lay out and concentration, but I think I can’t decide between the two, I want both. So fuck it, I’ll do both. And if it’s a little messy or confusing I just think fuck you, I do what I want.
How has blogging contributed to your work professionally?
I have a degree in psychology but I realised I could live off photography through the blog. Its been a rise and rise really, I have a job with the biggest local paper here in Berlin, have a column with them and work for Vice and other international magazines. There’s a lot of attention on bloggers, especially here in Berlin. We are contacted a lot by advertisers and PR and they set up exhibitions and projects. My main jobs have come from people seeing my work on my blog and then contacting me.
What does your blog mean to you? What affect has it had on your career?
I have never been someone who likes to attach myself to one thing. It’s a part of me, but its not that important. I wouldn’t crumble to pieces or feel as if I’ve lost an arm or a leg if it was taken away. It’s just a phase, it’s a tool, a project and it’s helped me grow as a person. Something I’ve learned is the way photography is a tool that I discovered for myself to grow and be who I’ve become. It was a fortunate thing I came across it, its taught me discipline, got my act together and to be more conﬁdent. I can go to a party by myself now and take pictures, meet people. Personal growth is the biggest achievement I’m attaching to my blog. Probably in the next 2 or 3 years I might quit it. I don’t really have any plans, I’m just open to seeing what’s next and moving on with the next thing. I’ve studied psychology so I think of things in the process of next steps and how we get there. So my blog is just a tool to get there to the next step and I’m open to what’s next.
What do you think your images say about the youth culture today? About our time
and present so to speak?
We like to drink and party and get wasted. People like to have a good time, and people are open to having their picture taken. In London it wasn’t a problem at all, but in Germany people are slowly becoming more open to it. Sometimes they’ll look away. But people are becoming more accepting and open and its cool that I get to be a part of that in Berlin. I’m basically the only party photographer in Berlin at the moment so I’m leading the way and it’s cool to be that too.
INTERVIEW: ROHINI SUNDERAM
ILLUSTRATORS: CLAIRE THOMPSON