Cuba People II

Meet Dominik Baur

The photographer who would like to document life in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to shed a light upon the daily struggle of its inhabitants

Dominik Baur has been an independent professional photographer for five years now. He’s specialized in reportages and business photography but he’s also passionate about portrait photography. With his work he wants to have a positive impact on the world.

He’s been interested in graphics and design since he was a child. He enjoyed drawing graffiti and designing flyers at his school. What really caught his interest was the analogue photography course he took at his secondary school. After that he went to the school of art and design in Zürich and now he works as an independent photographer.

His Style

Dominik Baur describes himself as an observer. He mainly takes pictures in color but sometimes also likes to do some black and white photography. When he shoots, he always tries to get the pictures in as good as possible so that he won’t have to edit them much afterwards. However, nowadays most photographers wouldn’t want to go without programs like Photoshop. Dominik Baur uses Photoshop and Lightroom to edit and retouch his pictures.

As a professional photographer he’s got two different styles. That’s how he describes them:

“One of them is very clean, which is important for commercial work to earn money so I can live off photography. For my free work I like to take realistic and candid photos directly out of life.”

Dominik Baur

His Cameras and Lenses

Dominik Baur works with a wide range of different camera. He uses different ones depending on the situation. DSLR cameras, rangefinder cameras, sometimes even medium format cameras are part of his repertoire. When he’s travelling, the equipment needs to be small and not too heavy. But most importantly, he believes that the best camera there is, is the one you’re carrying with you.

When it comes to lenses, he likes versatile and flexible ones. His most used one is the 24-70mm f2.8 lens. He also really likes to shoot with his 50mm.

His Inspiration and Ambitions

As his main source of inspiration, Dominik Baur names life itself. He derives his inspiration from people he meets, from the beauty of nature, and from feelings and events that shaped him. Nevertheless there are many other photographers who inspire him. He loves to check out the work of photographers like HCB and René Burri, but the one photographer who inspires him the most is his good friend Beat Pfändler.

To him photography is more than just pictures that are nice to look at, it’s a tool to change the world. He’d like to document life in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to shed a light upon the daily struggle of its inhabitants. When asked what he wants to achieve with his work as a photographer, he answers:

“I’m driven by the wish to contribute my part to a better world with photography. To create added value.”

A Piece of Advice

I asked him what advice he would give to somebody who wants to pursue photography. Similarly to Stefan Zürrer he believes that it’s very important to specialize in a specific field of photography. However, he advises everybody to try out all sorts of different types of photography and various techniques.

To be a successful photographer Dominik Baur thinks the most important thing is to produce good work and be committed and passionate about it. What’s also really important is networking.

Some general life advice that he’s got for you is to not have your life all planned out. He believes that life itself is the plan.

Cuba People II

This and the picture above are part of Dominik Baur’s series Cuban People II. In case you are wondering why those pictures when they obviously don’t have to do much with Switzerland, they are not the ones that will be in the Art for Understanding exhibition. The ones that will are not avaliable yet. So be prepared for a surprise!

His Dreams and Wishes

It’s a big dream of Dominik Baur to have a small old house on a wild ocean coast at a place where it’s warmer than in Switzerland and where there is lots of wind and waves to surf. Somewhere in the future when he’s an old man, he can already precisely picture what he’d like to be doing and where he’d like to be:

“I’d like to sit in a rocking chair at the coast in Cuba smoking a Cigar and drinking a Mojito. To be with my bae and to look back on life, to look at old pictures together and to be able to say about myself that I was a good person and that I was able to change some small things throughout my life that had a positive impact on the world.”

4 replies
  1. Tab
    Tab says:

    Simply amazing! Miranda, thank you for introducing him to the world. It’s so true that taking photos is not only for the photo itself, the images can transform the world. I still remember watching the images in a Saigon War Museum in Vietnam. A photo that caught my eyes is the famous image that changed this world and possibly ended the Vietnam War – a small naked girl running away from the Napalm bombing.

    Also he is so right is that the best camera is the camera you are carrying! I still love my Sony compact. I love the two abstract collages here posted!
    Thanks again!


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