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© Evelyn Harlacher, Break from the cattle drive, Gaucho Dario smoking a cigarillo, Corrientes, Argentina
Evelyn Harlacher. Harlacher (42) found her way to photography after a previous life as a garage clerk. She now lives in Watt near Regensdorf.
Evelyn trained as a photographer in Zurich and Bern at CAP. From 2017 she worked part-time as a self-employed photographer, and since 2019 she has been working full-time. She is well-connected in her home village, which is why she opened a photography studio there in 2022. But not only that: barely self-employed, she started making and selling amaretti, which then promptly saved her over the Corona period. Language stays in various countries, especially in Argentina with the Gauchos, have strengthened her passion for images, people and foreign cultures. Today, her photographic focus is on SME reports, event photography and portraits. What made you decide to work as a photographer? Photography has fascinated me since I was a child. I completed my training as a commercial employee in the photofinishing industry. That's when I bought my first analogue SLR camera. After 15 years in the car business, ten of them in my family's garage, I decided to pursue my passion. That was a long process of resolution. Stays with the Argentine gauchos helped me.
What did you expect from the change of profession? Freedom! Freedom to no longer have to pay attention to opening hours, to be able to organize my day freely. It was important for me to be able to continue working with people. Today, photography in the field of corporate/SME reporting gives me insights into companies and their stories, and I get to know exciting people. It's inspiring to photograph companies and employees authentically at work or in portraits. How was your start in self-employment? As co-owner of our garage, I had insights into all areas of a business – from accounting to marketing to sales. I knew what it took to successfully build a business. When I returned from my trip from Colombia and Argentina in 2018, I decided to start my own business while I was still on my way home. What difficulties did you encounter? As a "career changer", I have doubts from time to time whether I am doing everything technically right. My strengths lie in communication, imagination, improvisation and empathy – less in technology. Since I am a solution-oriented person, I ask camera suppliers or former teachers if I have questions. Why the fascination with "Argentina"? During my travels with the Gauchos, I learned to live with little. Above all, I was impressed by their philosophy of life: "No hay problema" - there are no problems, only solutions. It is important to know how to help yourself in the middle of the pampas or in the Andes. How do you go about photographing gauchos at work? I travel with small and little camera equipment, as we travel with the horses for several days or drive cattle in the fields. The most significant thing was to gain their trust. Gauchos are a quiet, introverted people and rather camera shy. But they are proud when you document their work. I try to capture the perfect and authentic moment. Why are you also in the amaretti business? Baking is joy and balance. In photography, factors like light, people, weather count. No two jobs are the same. Baking, on the other hand, has a meditative touch. The production always remains the same. In this daily routine I find peace, can switch off and pursue my thoughts. I also get a lot of shooting ideas here. However, they are often very long days. From 5 a.m. I bake, from 9 a.m. I shoot. During the peak Christmas season, my camera takes a break. Why did you join the SBF? I am a communicative and networking person. I love bringing people together, using synergies and making contacts. I find the support of an association and the inputs great. In addition, I have already received job enquiries via the SER website. I am convinced that membership of a professional association conveys “respectability” to clients. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Photographing and travelling. I want to create visual memories for people and companies. A good picture is valuable and can trigger many emotions. I also have a dream of a book project about the gauchos that I would like to realize. I look forward to the coming years and encounters!