journey to everywhere


‘Its great to come back to a place and continue where things were left in the past’

It’s seven years ago since Jan von Holleben started to put his kids and childhood dreams into photographs. Since then trees have grown and new houses have been built in the little village in Sasbach at the Kaiserstuhl, in the South West of Germany.

The kids he works with have grown too, but are still keen on playing along with him.

‘It’s just that demands from the kids are much higher now and that I can confront them with more complex ideas than in the past. We still meet in front of my mother’s house, discuss the photographic ideas and collect the props we need for the images. Eventually we pack the car and drive up the village’s hill, from which we have a vista into the wide world, from the Vosges in France, to the German Black Forrest and all the way to the Swiss Alps.’

The older kids are heavily involved with the production and proudly play ‘Art Director’ and ‘Technical Assistant’. In teamwork it all comes together. Foreground and background are set up. Ladders are erected and positions rehearsed. Perspectives are closely defined for everything needs to be perfect for an illusion that needs no digital postproduction.

And what’s now? ‘Well, first we do the desert with oasis, then the cowboys and last but not least the pirate-ship with mermaid! All right? Great, then here we go!’


Models: Julius Himmen, Nele Himmen, Moritz Helbling, Pascal Seeberger, Mario Fischer, Lukas Dinger, Leon Dinger, Jakob Himmen, Jan Sieger, Emma Jesgarz, Mathias und Simon Dutzi

Technical Assistance: Julius Himmen and Pascal Seeberger

Further support: Ulrike Helbling and Ursula Bärenz-von Holleben, Anke and Volker Himmen