2011 Photo Contest, Portraits, 2nd prize

Into the Light


Wolfram Hahn

07 August, 2010

People re-enact the self-portraits they took for the social networking site MySpace.

About the photographer

Wolfram Hahn

Born in 1979, Wolfram Hahn lives and works in Berlin. From 2004 to 2010 he studied design and photography at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam. His work has been exhi...

Background story

Berlin, Germany
People re-enact the self-portraits they took for the social networking site MySpace. The photographer contacted fellow Berliners, asking them to remake the photos in the place they had originally been taken. He captured the exact moment at which the flash went off.

Wolfram Hahn speaks about the project:
"How does it look when someone photographs him- or herself alone at home? Following this question, I searched on social networking sites for self-portraits posted by people living in my city and contacted each photographer, asking why they took the photo as well as the story behind it. My questions were as follows: "Why do you take self-portraits?" or "Do you take photos of yourself only for yourself or also for friends online?" I then attempted to reenact each self-portrait with the depicted person in the place it had originally been taken. Through this, I captured the motifs of the original image and linked these to the habits and character of the person taking their own portrait. For me, it was especially important to capture the exact moment when the flash of the protagonists' camera went off. It is the moment when they put themselves 'into the light' and stand out from the background, the 'making of' a digital identity. In my photographs, the moment does not appear spectacular. You see people in their apartments or rooms photographing themselves, which is nothing special since it's happening everywhere, all the time. Digital cameras are becoming a permanent companion in everyday life, used by people who are communicating through self-portraits. They are a language and they carry the stories of people into the outside world. The digital camera and the computer allow the possibility of shutting oneself away at home while simultaneously maintaining contact with others. Indeed, people are alone yet contained within the community of a social network."

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/2 s
Focal length
86 mm

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