Photography and music were already my passions when I was a teenager. During my college years
the Montreux Jazz Festival became my Mecca. This was the place in Switzerland to discover new music, renowned musicians, and great bands. Despite my modest funds, I really wanted to go to
these concerts, not only once in a while but regularly. And I wanted to be part of the world of music – somehow.
Hanging posters for the Montreux Jazz Festival in my hometown of Berne was a nice start. But my
real goal was ambitious: I wanted to be one of those guys in the front row photographing. A friend showed me how to process black and white film and print photographs. Working in the darkroom, seeing my images emerging, was fascinating to me. Occasionally I took pictures of local bands.
My real goal
Who gives me a chance?
In 1975, at the age of 22, I started working as a freelancer, covering all kind of concerts for an agency based in Zurich: PRESSphoto. This had a very important side effect: I received a Press card – my ticket for an accreditation at the Montreux Jazz Festival! In the summer of 1975 I was photographing for the first time at this famous venue. In 1976 I came back with an assignment from a major daily newspaper.
In 1977 I received a special prize for "outstanding photography" at the international exhibition "Jazz Salon" in Burghausen, Germany. With these experiences I started realizing that I have an eye, and that professionals like what I see with my camera.
But I was just starting. Going through the pictures I took almost 40 years ago, I find a couple I still like. But to be honest, the negatives are showing one fact above all: I was learning! That is what really matters: do something, getting better and better, taking one step after the other.
I had no strategy, nor
a distant big goal; I was doing what I liked to do. Following my passions I learned something essential: What you do has an impact and it might allow you to push through new doors. Some years later I would come back to Montreux as a TV producer.