Photos: Volker Eichenhofer

Talking Balance with – Volker Eichenhofer

The life of Volker Eichenhofer has always been and surely always will be fueled by two passions: food and fashion. Based in Berlin and working as a fashion and lifestyle photographer, stylist, food enthusiast and chef, both worlds are equally important, sometimes juxtaposed, sometimes intertwining, balancing each other out. 

Looking back, there has always been food; memories of him as a child in his grandmother’s kitchen, working with the pasta machine; of a garden in his family home, of the freshly harvested ingredients the season brought, and always the question of what to make out of it. Cooking has always been his passion and a pastime, loving the joy of  creating something with his hands.  

Always curious and eager to try out new things, years later and by then living in Berlin, Volker started his Tumblr Volksspeisung where he captured personal dinner and food moments among friends, focusing more on the aesthetics of food in a non-perfect, emotional, personal style, and that was how how his professional relationship with food began. Occasionally making lunch for some friends quickly turned into a lunch catering service, and for two years he cooked up to 30 meals each day, all by himself, turning himself into a finely-tuned machine in the kitchen. 

With all sourcing, receipt development, cooking and delivering within one person it turned into a fulltime job with long and stressful days, and as Volker felt his balance vanish, he stopped the daily service, but continued to foster the by then solid network to galleries, production companies, and studios. Today, within the new concept of VE Food, he is providing selective catering, breakfasts, or brunches, focusing on high quality ingredients and a first class yet personal service, continuously developing new exciting recipes, always curious, passionate, with heart and soul.

There is so much about his history with food, but how did he end up as a passionate photographer, you might wonder? Unlike others and different to his relationship with food, Volker does not have a childhood story with photography. Becoming a photographer has been a rational decision growing slowly. Fashion has always fascinated him, mostly classic garments with strong cuts, special fabrics, and an outstanding quality: he is amazed by how much power a single garment can own, of the enormous, yet undeliberate power of a well cut, perfectly fitted suit! For him, fashion is a statement, an expression, not a disguise or costume. Everything must come naturally. 

Becoming a photographer enabled Volker to work creatively and within this fascinating fashion world, appreciating and capturing loved aesthetics through the lens of a camera. After studying photography in Munich, he moved to Berlin and worked as an assistant for Daniel Josefsohn among others, from whom he learned to focus on the subject, not the camera or technical equipment or set design. It was then that he found his love for simplicity, for a personal approach to photography. 

“In Photography you can bring in a lot from yourself, even when you are portraying others”

His photography work requires a second glance. Very quiet, reduced, simple at first, the viewer then recognizes the model’s strong face or expression, the fabric of a garment, the subtle power of the composition. It is not about sharpness and technique, but moods, expressions and atmosphere. It is timeless, and not set in a temporal context, so his photography could still work in 20 years. Picturing mostly young men, Volker is fascinated by the effortless, soft but strong power that only young people radiate. Combining this with the power emanating from fashion garments, and capturing it in his subtle, minimal style, he creates photography captivating the viewer.

 “Nowadays, a lot of people have lost their taste, their personal style. There are too many people that do not know what they are doing. “

Volker Eichenhofer is always working independently and following his own personal taste, not current trends. A love for beauty and aesthetics is running like a golden thread through his life and everything he does and his everyday life, and being able to do what he loves makes him a balanced, content person, and this balance in life is crucial, especially for a freelancer. Having both food and photography as professional legs to stand on gives him more freedom and flexibility in both worlds. He will open up his own space coming September, containing a kitchen, production space, and daylight photography studio. A representation of the combination of both passions as this is what makes him. We will surely visit soon!