Four weeks ago I saw a tv documentation about bunkers in Berlin, wondering if there’s something similar in Hamburg. Few minutes of web search later I found the homepage of Hamburger Unterwelten e.V. which is managed by a few volunteers. My request for a shooting was answered immediatly with a very positive feedback, so we fixed a date and I packed my gear not really sure what to expect, but being very excited.
Whenever it comes to bunkers, honestly, how much do you know about it. My grandmother sometimes told me about World War II, air strikes by the Allies when everybody ran to the bunkers to be safe, the sound of dropping bombs, shaking ground and scared people waiting for death or silence. But listening to a story while eating some cookies and being in a bunker is quite a difference. Most generations, grown up in rich times where war was only a word or played on your computer think of that times as something far away, unreal, long gone history which will never happen to them. But with your first step into a real bunker you’ll travel back over 70 years and find yourself in an tight, cold, unfriendly environment getting immediatly aware of how frightening and tough these moments may have been.
At this point I could tell you about so many things I’ve seen there, interesting, amazing, shocking, frightening. But I’ll leave this to the experts who will give you an experience you’ll never forget. Word!
The bunker itself is hughe, build directly near the central station, over three floors of massive concrete with endless floors, a lot of rooms and so much to see. As far as this word may be suitable in this situation, it was a massive playground offering spots around every corner. On the other hand I never found it that difficult to shoot beautiful pictures, but at the same time treating this historical place with the respect it deserves. I think it was the most silent shooting I’ve ever done.
Stephanie is quite a teamplayer, offering so many figures and opportunities by herself I hardly had to add something. Holding poses in a place like this with constant 12 degrees all over the year is a very tough job, but she did more than great. So great we got over 40 good pictures in the final selection and had to choose the very best of them which was quite tough. I could tell you about her beauty, disciplin and creativity, but just look at her pictures and you’ll find so much more than words can describe. Working with people like her is a hughe gift, and at this point I have to express my thanks from the bottom of my heart to all participants who made this project what it is, letting it grow and hopefully giving something back to them.
Hugh thanks to the team of Hamburger Unterwelten, especially to Thiemo Nordenholz, who gave us not only a private VIP tour (which we enjoyed very much), but got a lot of patience with us too. To get a chance for a shooting like this is really amazing, and we’re still blown away. Whenever you are in Hamburg and interested in some real history it’s definitely worth a visit. But don’t forget to make a reservation, the tours are usually booked out!
Location: Bunker Steintorwall