Hello Home, Simon Schmidt

Simon is a versatile creative professional who has found success as a photographer and art director. With a career spanning over nine years, Simon has honed his skills in capturing stories for brands in the fashion and design sectors. However, he also strives to infuse substance and emotion into his work, challenging the conventions of the commercial mass market. He is also an enthusiastic traveler with a love for cheese and 80s music. Meet Simon in a personal interview.

June 13, 2023

Simon, tell us about you!

Hi! My name is Simon Schmidt, I am originally from Germany but moved to London too many years to count now. The last few years I have been jumping from behind the camera to in front of the camera back and forth and somehow established a career as a photographer and art director, mainly telling stories with brands in the fashion and design sector. Today I am focussing on how to use our media platforms with substance and still portray a sense of emotion via the screens despite the commercial mass market dictating differently.

"Buying that URL was probably one of the best decisions of my life …."

How long have you been working as a photographer?

I started working in photography the minute I moved to London which is now 9 years ago exactly, but I feel like the first 4 years were mostly trial and error stages that it feels more legit to me to say “I have been working as a photographer for 5 years now, professionally”.

How did it start?

It all started in a field in the middle of nowhere in good old Bavaria where young Simon took pictures of himself and his environment with a tripod and a small Canon DSLR. I remember opening a website *(those were called blogs back then) when I was 14 years old and starting sharing my feelings and thoughts, alongside imagery under OWN WAY OF INSPIRATION. It was my escape out of Germany, and my stepping stone to a life now in London. Buying that URL was probably one of the best decisions of my life … at least, professionally.

What’s your favourite place to travel to?

Tough question! As an addicted citizen of the world, I want to say there is hardly any place I do not want to travel to but over the last few years there are a few destinations that have become very dear to me. One of them being Copenhagen, I used to travel there a lot for work and developed a sense of “second home energy” for it. Recently I also have visited Lisbon which I loved so much but equally the far away worlds travel I was fortunate enough to approach really inspired me. I don’t think I have ever been to a place like Egypt or Malaysia before, I remember landing in both destinations thinking “this is really a different universe”. Both destinations have really shaped me in how I look out to the world now, I’d say. My favourite ever city being Cairo, I would go back in a heartbeat.

What defines a good photographer?

A good photographer to me has developed a way of capturing what they see as opposed to what others would want to see through them. A good photographer to me can say on set or on a documentary journey “that’s me” or “that’s not really me”.

What do you dream about?

Difficult question! Apart from world piece (seriously), I am dreaming about one day being able to open my own company and my own space called “House Of Inspiration”. It is something that I have been dreaming about for years and years now and the older I get the more I am hoping to be able to transform this dream into reality but I yet have many hurdles to face until I will be able to do so. My biggest dream is to ACTUALLY create a space for my community they created within, host workshops and talks under a house they feel safe and inspired in. Loosely inspired by the Voguing scene in the 80’s, I really passionate to continue working for equal opportunities and places for our queer community.

Favourite snack?

Another difficult question! I am really not picky when it comes to food but on the top of my head I would say anything that has got cheese in it or on it, I would happily accept. 

Favourite song?

After having consulted the gods of Spotify, it is a clear answer: “Voices Carry” by ’Til Tuesday. Music and fashion wise, I definitely belong to the 80’s. Oh, and literally any song by Sade, of course …

Favourite food?

Again, not really picky but if I had would have to pick my top three favourite cuisines it would definitely be everything out of the Middle East (for me, they really know how to cook!), Korean and Italian. I absolutely love strong flavours, spice and fresh ingredients.

What’s your super power?

Not taking myself or what I do TOO seriously. Connecting with other people through humour and questioning things, is probably the thing I can do best.

What makes you happy?

The love of my life … Dan. And his tiny dog Adam, the love of his life.

Any plans for summer?

A few exciting things, I feel so privileged to be able to travel this summer again. I will be visiting my partner in Tel Aviv and we have plans to visit my closest friend from high school in the middle of nowhere in Sweden. And in the late summer, we are attending a wedding of another close friend in Hydra, Greece - so yeah, things could look MUCH worse. Bring on 2023!