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NIEDERÖBLARN, AUSTRIA – November 2014. Andi stretches his back.
Hotelroom, photo essay by Rafael Schlager

I went away from home for 6 days with my good friends. As I shot these photographs I first dared to shoot my friends more naked than I normally do. It was a strange feeling when the first started to take their clothes off but than I realized that it’s no big deal. I wanted to show bodies as sculptures.

When I shot these photos non of them I had planed. Everything happened just the way it should happen. That is what I find interesting because what you pictured is as natural as it can get. I just wanted my friends to do what they wanted to do, have fun and capture it.

NIEDERÖBLARN, AUSTRIA – November 2014. Peter opens his arms.
NIEDERÖBLARN, AUSTRIA – November 2014. Lena and Nadia hug.
NIEDERÖBLARN, AUSTRIA – November 2014. Michael’s stomach.
NIEDERÖBLARN, AUSTRIA – November 2014. Peter confused looks at me.
NIEDERÖBLARN, AUSTRIA – November 2014. Hannah’s tights.
NIEDERÖBLARN, AUSTRIA – November 2014. Paul puts his head against a wall.
NIEDERÖBLARN, AUSTRIA – November 2014. Paul shows his feed.
NIEDERÖBLARN, AUSTRIA – November 2014. Nadia is looking down.
NIEDERÖBLARN, AUSTRIA – November 2014. Nadia‘s back.
NIEDERÖBLARN, AUSTRIA – November 2014. Nadia touches paul with her hands.

Q&A with Rafael Schlager

Photography is…
… creating a second reality you can dive into. No photograph shows the reality every photograph shows it’s own version of the world.

Photography and writing…
… are complementary. Writing gives you the story and you create the picture. Photography gives you the pictures and you tell the story behind it.

Who left the biggest impression on you?
Definitely Ryan Mcginley. He creates a world you can really dive into and see the beauty of the human body. Nobuyoshi Araki too, he is an erotic genius and I really love Paul Himmel’s experimental photographs.

Tell us a little about yourself
I’m in love with the human body and everything he can create or be. Something that goes with the human body is intimacy and it’s something I’m very interested in. Intimacy is something that we all have in common but everyone thinks different about it. It can be complete trust to a person and also a stranger that touches you accidentally. It can be a naked body but also a thought that you share.

RafaelRafael Schlager (website), 1997, Austria. “I have to take photographs of people. I want them to be in different situations and wear different things than they are used to in their normal daily routine. Also I want to show intimacy because it is something we all have in common but everyone thinks different about it. The people I take photos of are mainly people I know very well, so I can show who they really are.”

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