Christoph Schwarz
In conversation with

Christoph Schwarz

Innsbruck, Austria

Hi Christoph, please introduce yourself.

I live in Innsbruck, study architecture and enjoy rediscovering the city through the viewfinder as often as possible. About six years ago I got an old Nikon FM2 as a gift from my father and after the first films I was really excited about the results you can achieve with analog. With the exception of a miniDV camcorder to produce snowboard and skate videos, the FM2 was my first camera.

What does analog photography mean to you? What excites / fascinates you about it?

For me, analog photography means absolute deceleration. When I’m taking pictures, I have to take my time and consciously decide whether I like the subject and the frame well enough or whether I might not save the picture after all. I like the simple operation of most cameras and the character of each camera. Sometimes they are like an old-timer that only starts when the outside temperature is right.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of analogue photography?

The big advantage for me is the limitation in the number of photos I can shoot, which makes me much more attentive. I really like having the whole process in my own hands with developing and scanning. The only disadvantage for me is the price that films now cost.

Do you concentrate on a certain topic in your work? ​

Initially I was mainly focused on architecture, but now I always try to capture all aspects of my surroundings. Most of the time I’m out walking or biking and exploring the city, drifting from one subject to the next until the films are full or the sun has set. I love exploring new cities this way and getting into nooks and crannies that you don’t normally get to see as a visitor in a new city. The most important aspect for me is the composition of the image in combination with form and color. I often don’t care if it’s architecture in the classical sense or if it’s a pink dustpan hanging in front of a green wall.

Are there (analogue) photographers who have influenced your aesthetic and approach?

Absolutely! Here are a few that come directly to mind: Svetlana Smirnova, Natalie Christensen, Jim Eyre, Robin Ek and Julien Babigeon.

Do you have certain cameras and films that you prefer to work with?

The camera of my choice is the Nikon FM3A, for cost reasons I almost always shoot with Kodak Gold 200, because I haven’t come across a better price-performance until now and I like the look extremely well.

Speaking of films: What does your workflow look like? ​

I tried all the labs in Innsbruck and have been developing all my films myself for four years. Initially I was afraid of the seemingly complex process, but found that it is actually very straightforward and much cheaper than paying a lab to develop. I often had trouble with scratched negatives or other damage at labs located here. Now when I have a scratch, I usually know exactly where it came from and can be more careful next time. I scan my negatives with a Plustek Opticfilm 8200i ai and am very happy with the results.

What advice would you have for other photographers who are reading this interview?

I don’t know if I’m in a position to give advice to other photographers. Personally, it has helped me to consciously take time just for photography. I also always realize how much practice plays into it. If I’ve ever been away from photography for a month/two months, I notice right away in the results that I’m missing practice.

If you publish your work on Instagram: curse or blessing?

Photography was a hobby for me that I started years ago and posted my pictures on Instagram. It was only on Instagram that I saw how many people there were who had already perfected the kind of photography I was trying to achieve. On the one hand, Instagram was a nice source of inspiration for me and at the same time a platform that showed me that there were some people who were interested in what I had produced for myself.

Which 3 photo books can you recommend / should you definitely own?

I have to honestly admit that I don’t own a single photo book, so it’s hard for me to make recommendations. What I do like visually are the magazines and photo books that Pomegranate Press collects and distributes.

Thank you so much for your time!



Nikon FM3A


Kodak Gold 200

Farbe & s/w


Selected works

© Christoph Schwarz
© Christoph Schwarz
© Christoph Schwarz
© Christoph Schwarz
© Christoph Schwarz