Everyone is familiar with Frankfurt’s skyline. But it is the people that shape the city, far more than its architecture.

Its personalities are what give this major city on the Main its character, individuality, vibrancy and unique style. In a row we will present four personalities from Frankfurt in our new interview series.

We’re delighted to become part of this vibrant city’s culture and to enrich Frankfur t’s style with our new windsor. store at Hochstrasse 53.

Part 1 of 3
Evelyn Dragan
Photographer

Photographer Evelyn Dragan regularly jets off from her Frankfurt base to travel the world, creating portraits and reports on migration for magazines along the way.

When we first approached Evelyn Dragan for an interview, she initially thought it was a job request. She’s unfamiliar with being the center of attention and prefers to put her work rather than fame first. “There’s enough of me in my pictures,” she states definitively, pointing to her seven-year-long career as a photographer to substantiate her claim.

Based in her hometown, Frankfurt Dragan makes her living from taking pictures, working for a wide variety of magazines including Monocle, Brand Eins, Lufthansa Magazin, Enorm, and Süddeutsche Zeitung. The diversity in publications that Dragan works for is matched by her diversity in subjects, as the topics she explores through her photography range from social issues to dementia patients. She has even photographed for charitable projects such as SOS Childrens villages and sports events such as ski races at the White Ring.

“The common denominator is the feeling that is expressed through lighting and color.” Last year, Dragan also started photographing in more private contexts, taking pictures of her friends and her home. She finds this new personal approach exciting and a strong contrast to her professional work.

“When it comes to jobs, you have to consider your client’s needs,” she says, adding that “ these new photos allow me to reveal things from my real life.” But with photography now infiltrating both her personal and private life, is Dragan ever able to switch off her visual eye and continuous demand for aesthetics? Apparently not, as she informs us she even takes her camera with her on holiday. “I see light, color, and composition everywhere,” she says.

But this doesn’t make her a workaholic, as she assures us she is still able to relax even with her camera by her side. “It's my job, but I love it.”

 

w. How authentic is your work, and how much of it is staged?

E.D. I don’t think photography can be 100 percent authentic. You always have a specific focus, even if you show something in its natural state. I strive to capture moments that are very personal, but even they are idealized because I’m trying to present them as something special. Then again, not everything has to be perfect. A hand reaching for some rubbish that has been lying around the kitchen can make an interesting photograph. I like these in-between moments. The right combination of light and color can make them aesthetically pleasing.


w. What topics interest you?

E.D. I address lifestyle topics but also social issues with my photography. As mentioned previously, I have captured stories about dementia patients, SOS Children's Villages, and the German social organization Aktion Mensch. The challenge with these subjects is to find a sensitive way of dealing with them that is not lurid, but at the same time isn’t unemotional.


w. How do you deal with presenting the contrast between beauty and suffering in your work?

E.D. What unites my photography is emotionality sense and use of color, but I don’t give myself any restrictions as to how I use them. You can be interested in beautiful things and still be a complex person. I can be grateful for my health and still be compassionate. Embracing contrasts can help you to become a fuller person, to have a wider range of experiences and emotions.

w. What would you still like to capture?

E.D. I actually love to be surprised and not know where I’ll go or who I’m going to meet. I don’t have a bucket list of celebrities and places I’d like to see. I’m open-minded. To me, it’s just important to find a balance between doing personal and commercial work.


w. Do you spend a lot of time on Instagram?

E.D. I try not to spend too much time on Instagram. What bothers me is the fact that a lot looks the same on there. It makes it easy to learn what people like, which fosters this collective sense of aesthetics and trends.

w. Your boyfriend is a photographer, too. Is that an advantage?


E.D. My everyday life, and my life in general, is so extreme, so spontaneous. Anyone else might have an issue with it. We travel a lot, internationally and also within Germany. However, with time we have learned to prioritize our private life. We also have a shared calendar to manage Vila, our dog.

w. How impor tant is Frankfur t to your work?

E.D. There aren’t a huge number of photographers in Frankfurt, which is an advantage. The local economy is good and there are many interesting companies. For example, there are lots of modeling agencies here, but I need people with character. I prefer to cast people who don’t work as professional models.


w. Can you reveal your favorite haunts in the city?

E.D. When I return to Frankfurt from my travels and see the skyline, I know I'm home. On the weekend, I like to walk up Berger Strasse until the area becomes more rural and we eventually end up on the Lohrberg mountain. To take pictures, I like to go to Neue Mainzer Strasse, which is slap-bang in the financial district. I love the interplay between the light and the street canyon.