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SBF Personal


© Karin Bischof. The photographer in a glacier cave that has now disappeared, Roseg Glacier, 2019.

Karin Bischof. Karin grew up in the mountain village of Anden, high above Lake Walen. After her training as a photo specialist from 2009 to 2012 at the former FotoPro Ganz, she travelled the world - to Ghana, Canada, Nepal, Japan, Southeast Asia. Fascinated by nature, her camera was always with her. The openness she encountered worldwide, the natural spectacles she was able to observe - these experiences shaped her and were groundbreaking for her further professional and personal engagement.

Sonja has been working as a freelance photographer since 2017. Today, she specialises mainly in environmental photography and is committed to the protection of land and water worldwide, but also to nature conservation in Switzerland. Her current project "Boundaries of our home" was shown at Photo 23 and deals with border crossings. What are the consequences when we cross borders and thus endanger the stability of our ecosystem and the basis of life for future generations?
She is currently putting her motto "Based in Zurich, Switzerland - available worldwide" into practice. She will soon be making her first attempts at underwater photography in the Philippines.

What sparked your interest in photography? The moment I saw photographs by René Burri or Henri Cartier-Bresson as a teenager, my life changed. I still remember that feeling exactly. After that, I became obsessed with photography's ability to magically recreate moments, preserve stories and capture feelings. The moment was the trigger and guide for everything that came after. At the same time, I was aware of the great responsibility that the person behind the camera carries.

Why are you involved in nature conservation? Surrounded by trees, bees, birds and snow-covered mountains, I feel at home. I very much wish that the next generations will also be able to have these experiences and experience nature, landscape and biodiversity the way we were able to. With my work I create identity and connection between people and the environment. Because we do not destroy what we love. Our society sees nature as something we own or as a resource that can be exploited. This is in contrast to the perspective of many indigenous peoples.

What do your images show? Through my work, I tell stories that reflect the natural beauty of landscapes and contrast this with the urgency with which action must be taken to preserve them. With my images, I contribute to raising awareness of the climate crisis and the importance of an intact ecosystem. It is important to document and disseminate the knowledge that has existed for thousands of years and to offer new perspectives. I believe that the connections people share in these stories help to protect our earth.

Why is photography a good medium for these topics? Photography and creativity are valuable assets. Photography manages to convey stories. Creativity, in turn, awakens emotions and manages to trigger thoughts.

What do you want to achieve with it? My vision is a world in which we live in harmony with nature and help our planet to thrive as a functioning ecosystem. With my pictures I show how the world changes through our actions. I want to help steer development in a direction where we can live in harmony with our planet.

How have your photo projects shaped you? I have been particularly influenced by the absurdity of people's different realities and living conditions.

Why did you join the SBF? For more exchange, inspiration and togetherness in the industry. 

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