Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

Who's in the Crew? - Spotlight on Thomas Wieland

NAME: Thomas Wieland
WEBSITE www.thomaswieland.de
CREW PROFILE https://headshotcrew.com/thomaswieland
INSTAGRAM https://www.instagram.com/thomaswielandphoto/
FACEBOOK none
LINKEDIN https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomaswielandphoto/


WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?

I’m born and raised in Munich, Germany, where I still live. It is a relaxed and beautiful city with a prospering economy and lots of wealthy people. Munich is an ideal place for offering premium headshots.


HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING HEADSHOTS?

I’ve been shooting headshots (or portraits in general) for about five years now.

I started from scratch. I quit my academic job as a historian of technology at the end of 2015 and registered as a photographer. In my first year I only had a handful of clients but I tried to get as many people in front of my camera as possible to learn the craft. With Peter, Bruno Kongawoin who was my wingman, and the other HSC members on my side I had everything I could wish for. I won headshot of the week (three times), headshot of the month, and in November 2016, Peter made me associate (first try). You can imagine how exceedingly happy I was! This was a huge confidence boost for me!

Yet, winning competitions and growing a business are two things. I have to admit that it was way easier for me to become an associate than to develop my headshot business. In 2017, I started marketing. I worked on my website, wrote blog posts, started social media, attended lots of networking events, met many important and not so important people, set up some cooperations with business coaches, squeezed many hands, etc., etc. Nevertheless, my business developed slowly. It was only last year that I was really able to make a living from headshot photography.

Fortunately, the covid pandemic is so far just a small setback for my business and I have big goals for next year.

WHAT IS YOUR LIGHTING SETUP FOR HEADSHOTS?

For women, I exclusively rely on Peter’s triangle setup that I usually change for men to create some shadow. I use strobes and strips by Elinchrom which is a super reliable Swiss brand. I am super happy with it.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR STUDIO. DO YOU OWN IT? RENT IT? OR LIVE IN IT?

I shoot in a small rented apartment right next to the place where I live with my family. It has very high ceilings which are cool but my shooting space is nevertheless quite limited. I have started to look for something more spacious that allows for bigger setups but it is really hard to find a reasonably priced place in Munich. That is the downside of a prospering and wealthy city.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOOT?

Like many in the HSC, I’d like to shoot more portraits (half and full body) and get a little bit more creative. That is why I’m looking for a bigger space.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER PH AND THE HSC?

It was in early 2015 when I still worked at university. A colleague who knew that I was interested in photography (I did urban landscapes and other artistic stuff but no portraits) asked me to shoot her headshot for a job application. I did a little research on the internet and discovered Peter’s work and his YouTube-videos. I was extremely fascinated. Never before I had seen such outstanding work, quite different from the German Bewerbungsfoto (headshot). Moreover, this guy seemed to have lots of fun while shooting people. I was hooked.


HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO JOIN THE CREW ONCE YOU FOUND IT?

I joined the HSC right after I registered as a photographer at the beginning of 2016. That was about nine-months after I discovered Peter and his work on the internet.

WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU?

Here are a few of my idiosyncrasies to pick from: I never had a driver’s license, I have been a vegetarian since I was eighteen, I don’t drink alcohol, I started skateboarding this summer, I have been together with my wife for more than three decades, I regularly cry while watching bad movies.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU?

I can’t put into words how grateful I am to Peter, Bruno, and the HSC for teaching me headshot photography. It opened a new world for me.

31 Comments

Robert de Wit's picture
Associate

Dude, your work rocks!

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Thanks a lot mate!

Maren Kindler's picture
Associate

wow, cool story

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Thank you, Maren!

Lisa Marie Pane's picture
Associate

Great work, great vibe, awesome human!

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Thank you, Lisa! Really appreciate it!

Beth Madison's picture
Associate

Great to learn more about you, Thomas! Love your work!

Kim, thanks for including the Instagrams! Helps me make sure I'm following all my fellow Crew members!

(For a while, I thought about suggesting that we collect all these Crew Spotlights and put them into one place, maybe under the Members tab. But then I remembered how much work it is to just maintain this site, and how many more important improvements and tweaks those working on it are busy with, and how many suggestions they get, and that they're all doing this in their spare time while they're busy with other work.... and then I realized that just searching for "Spotlight" accomplishes the same thing.)

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Thank you, Beth! :-)

Peter Istvan's picture
Protégé

Awesome. If we ever get to travel again and I get to visit my uncle in Munich, will have to visit you as well.

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Yor are more than welcome, Peter! Hope that normal life isn't too far away in the future.

Carolin Thiersch's picture
Associate

Best wingman!!! And you know I love your work! So great we met through the crew Thomas!!

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Learned a lot from you too, Carolin! Getting to know so many talented and nice people through the crew is awesome!

Chris Marxen's picture
Mentor

Impressive journey bro! Curious to see what the coming 5 year have in stock for you!

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

I'm realy grateful for your steady support, Chris! That means a lot.

Angie Meyer's picture
Protégé

Great story and awesome work!

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Thank you so much, Angie!

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Thank you so much for featuring my work, Kim Dalton !

Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

My pleasure 😊

Rainer Mueller's picture
Protégé

Great to know more about you and your really cool shots, Thomas!

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Thanks a lot, Rainer! Das freut mich.

Annett Meyer's picture
Protégé

Ganz tolle Arbeit!!

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Ganz herzlichen Dank, Annett!

Lynda J. Chan's picture
Protégé

Great to hear some more about you, Thomas! I know you're always posting consistently on LinkedIn (even if I'm not always there lol), and always looking great! Glad to hear that 2020 didn't hurt your business too much--all the best in 2021!

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Thanks a lot, Lynda. Wish you all the best in 2021 too.

Mondo Rojas's picture
Protégé

Wow I love your story and your work!

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Thanks a lot, Mondo! Wish you all the best in 2021!

Olli Tumelius's picture
Associate

One of the best! Must be the German precision? :) (I have never had a driver’s license and I don't drink either!)

Thomas Wieland's picture
Associate

Thank you so much, mate! No driver's license, no alcohol? Awesome. :-) Wish you a happy and healthy new year with lots of great photo sessions.

Daniel Crnkovic's picture

I am from Chiemgau and I am happy for you that you have such a success here! I wish you continued success and hope that you will achieve your goals. You are a role model for me.

Peter Hurley's picture
The Man

Thomas, I've always loved your work and you've been a big help on this crew. Hanging out in Munich was awesome as well. Hope to see you again soon!

Mikala Freitas's picture
Protégé

Nice to learn about you, your work is beautiful