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Commercial Photography

After serving in the air force for many years, JH decided to begin a new chapter in life, to make something new, something very different that also always had interested him: becoming a freelance photographer.

Being a newcomer in photography (in his youth, he had been a hobby photographer and had learned a lot about astro-photography at an astronomical observatory, as well as about aerial photography in the air force, but had practically no knowledge in commercial or “people“ photography), JH followed an advice and moved to GERMANY to the city of HAMBURG, at that time one of the global centres of the media business.

As an autodidact, he started with advertising and fashion/lingerie photography and became soon quite successful.


Many agencies used JH's rainforest motives for their advertisings in big magazines like STERN etc.

The rapid success encouraged him to make suggestions to suitable customers about their assignments, especially when an "erotic touch" seemed to be useful.
Not all customers found it appropriate that the photographer wanted to have a say, but many were persuaded to let him do it - mostly to the satisfaction of all parties.


Well, yes, fashion photography. Like advertising, these weren't JH's dream jobs, but they made a significant contribution to the income in the early years.
"The problem with fashion photography (similar to advertising photography) is," says JH, "that too many people want to have a say. The client (and his creative superbrain who gives the company his famous name, the managing director, his department heads, the people in his advertising department...), the people in the advertising agency (managing director, creative director, art director, chief layout designer, assistants...), the model agency, the model scouts, the stylists, the make-up artists, and and and... even the lighting designers know everything (better).
Well, and the models. Some of them are very professional, and it's a pleasure to work with them. But others - bitchy, arrogant, unreliable, occasionally megalomaniacal...
Sometimes you need a firm hand on the set - and not everyone can live with that."


Lingerie photography is, of course, another kind of fashion photography. But mostly the atmosphere on the set is much more relaxed, much more light-hearted, although it is of course also hard work.
The models - used to being photographed more or less undressed - are usually much cooler. And they don't have this quirk not wanting to wear this and that (example from a casting for a serious latex clothing catalogue: "Rubber??! Never!!! That spoils my carrer!!! Oh dear.)
And all the important people on the set talk much less. After all, they don't want to be suspected of being too personally interested in the presented naked facts...

For lingerie jobs, JH mostly worked with British models, such as coloured supermodel Charmaine Sinclair (see above left and right). "They're just the best - lively, natural, easy-going - they enjoy showing off their beautiful bodies."

Music industry...

Then followed photography for the music business. In those years many big music companies were based in HAMBURG that commissioned him for making pics for record covers.

For the next years JH became one of the leading photographers for record labels in GERMANY. Shooting classic interpreters, pop artists as well as rockstars for their lp covers.

JH produced photos for covers of Amanda Lear, Boney M., Chilly, Heat, James Last, Lucifer's Friend, Marek & Vacek, The Dollars, Tony Holiday, and many many others.


The German music industry honored JH with the award "Cover of the Year".





In that time JH also founded an own girl band, “Go Brazil", with a blonde from HAMBURG, GERMANY, a Brazilian girl from RIO DE JANEIRO and an Afro-American from NEW YORK.

The band had nice little successes in the first time, but unfortunately soon broke apart because one of the girls had to leave the group for family affairs.

These were exciting and fascinating years in which JH met many interesting people from the music and film business who often invited him to their wild club parties.

For JH this was the first contact to the global “Sex & Drugs & Rock’n’Roll“ scene - though without “drugs“. JH never used or even just tried it out, he is an uncompromising opponent of drugs (and of tobacco smoking, by the way).
 These contacts were the impetus for his later professional activities in HOLLYWOOD.

Left, JH with a very close friend, famous actress Beatrice Fiedler, right, with young HOLLYWOOD megastar Udo Kier, shooting a photo report about the actor.

Commercial photography was what paid the rent, and, as JH admits today with a somewhat tortured smile, also what financed his hobby of that time, namely collecting oldtimers (“I was still young, I had become financially successful in too short a time, and, well, I guess I was a bit unreasonable“). He spent a lot of money on vintage cars - from a Mercedes sports car, a fantastic Lincoln Continental Mark VI and others up to a rare Rolls Royce. A few years later he realized that there were better ways to invest his money, and he sold his collection at a good profit.

But, commercial photography wasn't what JH was really excited about. Then the coincidence came just in time: he got a call from PLAYBOY magazine.

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