Niko Neithardt´s work abducts the viewer into a dreamy world, full of beautiful portraits, travel memories and pastel coloured sunsets. We had a chat with the Heidelberg based photographer about daydreams, his brother being his favourite photographer and having learned to go with the flow.
You describe yourself as a „photographer of visual poetry & storylistener“. Why did you chose the medium photography and not for instance writing down poetry or stories instead?
The thing is, generally I`m not good at writing but I love to express myself, to show what I think and feel with photography and create my own ways of communicating with a touch of poetry. Also, in a group of people I don’t like to be the centre of attention. Not because I’m shy but rather more because of my honest interest in other stories and I enjoy to tell them with my photography. And so the circle closes. Smiles.
Your images are beautiful and a dreamy tone is dominant in your work. Are you a daydreamer?
Thank you! And yes, you recognized it very well! I’m a big daydreamer like J.D. in Scrubs. My love Andreia notices it every time and brings me back. Smiles.
What camera do you use?
I use the Leica M10 and Q. I like both but the Q is like my soulmate. She looks beautiful, is always by my side, and in her puristic style it´s a perfect tool to work in a very creative and inconspicuous way. And there is also this “nerdy” thing about the sensor; it doesn’t have the digital crispy sharpness like in the latest modern cameras and therefore I can create a unique analog look.
“I have an honest interest in other stories and I enjoy to tell them with my photography.”
DNA, a creative collective was founded by you, your girlfriend and another friend. What does a typical day look like at DNA collective?
Good question. Typical for us is to start the day with a good espresso in our favorite coffee store where we do „brainstorming“ or simple philosophize about life. Then we work in our studio on some projects, editing photos or videos. A good vegan lunch and a workout to stay fit is also an important part of our day. And in the best case we have a shooting with a nice person. Smiles.
Who would be your dream client to work with?
I would say a sustainable fashion label.
Who is your favourite photographer?
Clearly my brother Daniel Oechsler. He always gives me the best constructive feedback and helps me a lot to develop as a photographer. He has a good sense of art and shows me a lot of other talented photographers for inspiration.
You are based in Heidelberg. How does this place influence your work?
Heidelberg influences me in many positiv ways. The city is absolutely overwhelming, with friendly people, a beautiful old town and is close to nature. It gives me the drive to go outside and explore it constantly so I know every corner of the city and can use it for many shootings.
“I had a lot of life goals… but life goes a completely different way. So now I understand how to go with the flow.”
Do you have certain life goals or you just go with the flow and see what happens?
Oh, I had a lot of life goals and most of them got destroyed and life goes a completely different way. So now I understand how to go with the flow. Smiles.
On a usual weekend night, you love to….
…go out with my love Andreia, drink too many margueritas, laugh together and dance till the sun comes out.
The Why Cafe
Favourite travel destination?
Portugal, where else ;) But more important is the question about „how“ to get there.
For me traveling is an essential part of my life and I try to be a role model and travel in a more sustainable way. For example: sharing a car with friends and doing a road trip to Portugal with nice stop-overs in France and Spain. Smiles.