How did you meet? We got to know each other – of course – via Instagram. Everything started, when Hannes Becker and I decided to go on a day trip in the Eifel together. We talked about other German Outdoor-Photographers on Instagram and so the whole idea was born.
Heimplanet X German Roamers
We have been working with the German Roamers for quite a while. Now that we collaborated for a special edition of our HPT COOLEVER Shirt, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce the collective to you. So we talked to one of the founders Johannes Höhn about how everything started and what the future holds for the group…
Who is part of the collective? At the moment we are 15 members: @muenchmax, @hannes_becker, @iamarux, @davidnkollmann, @livingitrural, @jannikobenhoff, @pangeaproductions, @moners_, @daniel_ernst, @lennartpagel, @sarahpour, @asyrafacha, @jannxyz, @rawmeyn, @goldjunge
What was the inspiration/ motivation? We wanted to combine the potential of all these photographers and to build a new community through the platform of the German Roamers. We also wanted to bring the often underestimated German countryside into the focus of international Instagram Community.
What have you done so far? Are there any places left neither of you have visited? What are the plans for the future? Since we started, 15 months ago, we had some public Insta-Meets and –Hikes, where people were invited who are not part of the German Roamers and offered them a chance to contribute their part to the project. In addition, we are often travelling in small groups through Germany, Europe and around the world on special photo trips. Through our Hashtag #weroamgermany we quickly built a large community and established a strong channel on Instagram. At the same time, a lot of tourism associations and companies have become aware of us, recognized the potential of our movements and implemented us in their campaigns. This plays a big role for us at the moment and in the future. We are developing into a photo and social media agency, we have the know-how and with 2.5 million followers, the largest outdoor community in Europe. Combined with our aspiration to first class photography and authentic content, this results in a perfect mixture, which arouses potential partners’ interest. In addition, we definitely try and expand the physical community events. We see ourselves not as an elitist, closed group, but rather as a movement and therefore, we would like to invite everyone who’s eager to become a part of it. Of course, the organization of such events is a lot of work, which is the reason why we cannot do it as much as we would like. But there is some great stuff in the making!
How did everything started with HPT? A few months ago Stefan came up to me and wanted to know more about the roamers. Since, we already knew the tents of Heimplanet and liked the brand in general, we were pretty open to a possible collaboration. Not only that HPT is also from Germany, but we also found the spirit behind the brand to be very appealing to us. In the course of the first Monolith backpack collections the cooperation has picked up speed and we were able to realize the first visuals with HPT equipment. Important to us is the fact, that we are really into the products ourselves. Plus: we simply love the technical aspiration at HPT. Thinking ahead and not just copying things are definitely attributes that we consider ourselves to be very important.
As a collective, you repeatedly introduce new photographers who are not part of the German Roamers. Tell us a bit about that. How important is it for you and why? How can someone be part of your collective? We see our collective as a place for inspirations and exchange. This also means that you have to show new and talented photographers and present their work to a bigger audience. In this way, we keep the platform open to the whole community. Moreover, it is simply refreshing to be entertained by an external artist on a regular basis. Actually, everyone has the chance to become part of the roamers and to characterize the project with their pictures.
Do you have any advice for those at home? Stop thinking, just pack your bag and go.
What is essential for a good picture? Is there any landscape / photo scene you can’t longer stand? A good photo simply has to catch my attention at first sight. I love it when a picture has so much energy that you have to look at it for a while and that you can lose yourself in it. There are some motifs which are definitely overused. Promotional watch shots for example. Generally, I think the obvious promotional postings are extremely disturbing. I don’t mind that someone tries to make money on Instagram, but I am annoyed by the clumsy procedure of some „influencers“ and brands behind it. I think there are so many nice ways to consistently integrate a collaboration without screaming „advertisement“. Of course, there are the well-known motifs you constantly see on Instagram. Let’s call them „sure-shots“,that work and are often repeated and copied. The challenge for me personally is to develop new visual ideas and to think outside the box. Often a little initiative is enough to not shoot the hundred thousandth standard picture. I believe that outdoor photography still has so much more to offer than what has already been captured and displayed. This is why it is so exciting.
What differentiates the German Roamers from other collectives? What defines your style? Well, the idea of the roamers was the first of its kind. An outdoor collective with the focus on the home country of its members. I think everything else has partly developed automatically and partly through group dynamics. Mutal inspiration and support play an important role. We go on trips together, support each other during image selection and editing, and generally give each other advice. These are all factors that influence the development of such a group as a whole. I don’t know whether there is a special Roamers style, but overall I think our imagery is modern, innovative and authentic. Maybe you could call it „New School Landscape Photography“.