Photographer August Castell-Castell aims to “involve the viewer in the situation”
You’ve made a name for yourself on the scene with your party snapshots. On your website you’ve written: “Always Party Non-stop”. How did you find this niche?
I’ve always loved photographing nightlife. When I went out, I used to take photos of my friends while they partied as a matter of course. But the photos were completely different to the awful off-the-rack party photos that were made in those days.
Why are people at parties such an appealing subject?
Because they let themselves go when they’re out partying. They surrender themselves to intoxication and relax of their own accord without having to organise a big show or anything like that. You simply have to go with the flow and pop up now and then to take a photo.
These days it’s not just about party photos any more, but people are still the focus of your pictures – they seem to be your favourite subject…
Photographing people has always been a passion of mine, no matter what situation they are in. Sometimes it’s a portrait, sometimes a snapshot on the street, but I notice straight away if there’s an opportunity for a good photo. You could say it’s when sparks begin to fly – or not, as the case may be.
What appeals to you about photography in particular?
I find it wonderful that I can record my view of things forever and ever, and pull the viewer into a situation with a single picture. That’s why many of my photos depict moments that I’ve lived through or created myself.
Photography is an art form and, in the age of Instagram, there are a lot of artists. Do you think there are good and bad photos?
There are certainly bad photographs among the flood of pictures online. Particularly because everybody owns a camera these days and uses it to take pictures. For me, a good photo can show just about anything – it simply has to trigger a desire to want to look at it.
How do you make use of the platform?
I use it almost like a magazine that you can flick through anywhere, any time – whether you’re on the train or on the loo. Instagram can also be a job market, though. I’ve already found a few that way.
You studied graphic design and worked in various design and advertising agencies before dedicating your attentions entirely to photography. How did that come about?
Advertising just wasn’t the right thing for me. It’s a crazy, ephemeral world, yet one in which something like a logo can last for centuries. I’ve always been taking photos, just like my mother. As far back as I can remember, she always had a camera in her hand. I learnt from her to look at everything around me.
You’ve lived in and around Munich for many years. What do you particularly love about your home city?
The city is small and modest, but it’s also a proper city!
Where can you be found most often?
On Monday mornings, probably eating a pizza in a restaurant called Grano. In summer I like to be by the Isar or in the Englischer Garten. And I particularly love the Viktualienmarkt – at any time of day. Emilio in Klenzestraße serves the best coffee in town, as well as a selection of cakes to die for. They’re that good! And for the best Bloody Mary in town, definitely head for The High!
Read more about August Castell-Castell and his photos at augustcc.com.