Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

Who's in the Crew? - Spotlight on Carolin Thiersch

NAME: Carolin Thiersch

WEBSITE: German: https://www.businessfotoshamburg.de
English: https://www.headshots-germany.com
CREW PROFILE: https://headshotcrew.com/carolin-thiersch-hamburg
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/carolin_thiersch_photography
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/CarolinThierschPhotography
LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolinthierschphotography/


WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?

I’m German and was born and raised in a town called Darmstadt, near Frankfurt. After moving around for my studies and my corporate job, I settled in Hamburg which is in Northern Germany.


HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING HEADSHOTS?

In 2010, I quit my job in the corporate world and started my photography business as a corporate event and travel photographer/travel writer. Now and then customers asked me to take headshots of their staff, but it wasn’t really a business until 2018.

WHAT IS YOUR LIGHTING SETUP FOR HEADSHOTS?

Most of the time I use Peter’s classic triangle for women. With men I’m switching up the setups, depending on the purpose of the pictures and the shape of the face. As my main light source, I currently use some no-name LED panels but definitely have an eye on the Westcott Flex kit. It’s just not easy to buy it over here (without adding a huge amount on tax and shipping) or to get local service for it.

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

I share a studio with another woman, a product photographer, which works wonderfully! It’s great to share knowledge about photography and lighting setups. It’s the perfect solution for me because I don’t need the studio on a daily basis. I do office work at home and lots of my photoshoots happen on location in corporate offices.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOOT?

Corporate photography and headshots are a bit of a seasonal business over here. Around the school holidays, especially in the summertime, I rarely have photoshoots, which means I pursue my other love…traveling. I’m a travel photographer/writer, together with my husband, who is a travel videographer. I write articles for both travel and special interest magazines. Currently, I am working on a travel guide.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER PH AND THE HSC?

In the last quarter of 2017, more and more corporate event customers asked me to take headshots of their people. I started researching in order to improve my headshot lightning and coaching skills and was lucky enough to discover Peter’s Fstoppers videos. I was immediately drawn into it, booked the headshot intensive, which took place only a few weeks later in New York.


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

I joined the crew right after the headshot intensive in January 2018 and I’m so happy I did. Of course, the beginning is always tough and sometimes frustrating when you submit your first pictures in the contest or on the crew site. You realize how much work you still have to do from the feedback. But it’s worth every minute and every frustration. My German crew buddies and so many others in the crew have helped me improve my skills on a daily basis. Headshot Mania 2 was a big game-changer for me. Without my headshot business, I would have never managed the pandemic the way I did. While corporate events are dead right now, my headshot business is really booming and overtaking my corporate event revenue.
But mostly I am grateful that the HSC is not only a place of constant learning but also a place of friendship with people from all over the world. Thank you, Peter, for making this happen!!

WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU?

I’m an absolute water sports person, ocean, and nature lover. Whenever there is time, we pack our camping car and head to the coast to go kitesurfing. I do a lot of the retouching while sitting in the camping car right at the beach. 
My husband says, “You’re a person with countless hobbies and interests.” Besides surfing, I love sports like tennis, hiking, skiing, diving and cycling. But I’m also passionate about sewing, woodwork, and diy stuff.
And, I love to keep my business moving by implementing new ideas. My day definitely needs more than 24 hours to do everything I want.

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU?

Well, I have an odd combination of things that make up my personality. I have a corporate background in sales strategy and marketing and studied economics. So one part of me is very structured and long term planning. I love excel tables for example (yeah, that’s weird I know…) and everything needs to be in place for my photo shoots.

But on the other hand, I’m super spontaneous and completely chaotic (one look at my desk and you know what I am talking about..).

I can be brave and anxious at the same time. So I guess that’s a bit of a weird mixture, but never boring! Also, I’m an absolute optimist who loves to bring a smile to people’s faces and to be a team player. That’s super important for me.

I’ll always be there for you if you need me (just don’t mind my English). I’m an outgoing person and not shy at all, but when it comes to English, I’m a little shy sometimes.

Another thing is, money is a motivation, but certainly not my main motivation. I want to become excellent in what I do, make a difference in people’s lives, have fun doing it, and have a perfect work-life balance.

18 Comments

Lisa Marie Pane's picture
Associate

Love this — though I definitely cannot identify with your love of Excel tables! It was awesome meeting you at HM2!

Carolin Thiersch's picture
Associate

Thank you Lisa Marie! It was so great meeting you at HSM 2! Such a fun time!!!! I wish there would be HSM 3 soon...

Beth Madison's picture
Associate

I love your work, Carolin! I've already enjoyed your headshot work, but i don't know that I've seen your travel/nature photography before. Those are amazing!

It was wonderful to meet you at Mania! And I totally agree with you that the Crew is a "place of friendship with people from all over the world."

So cool to learn more about you!

Carolin Thiersch's picture
Associate

Thank you Beth! And I am also so happy that we met at HSM 2 my music box dancing queen!! And so cool you are Associate now!!!

Angie Meyer's picture
Protégé

Such an interesting story, Caro! And I know exactly what you mean .... the thing about English for example ;). But, hey, never mind, you’re awesome!

Carolin Thiersch's picture
Associate

Danke Angie!! Glad you know what I mean :-) And I am excited to see your new Flex Kit work!!

Rainer Mueller's picture
Protégé

Super, mehr über Dich und Deine Arbeit zu erfahren, Carolin!

Carolin Thiersch's picture
Associate

Danke Rainer! Freut mich, dass es Dir gefällt! Grüße nach Hassfurt!

Michel Zwanenburg's picture
Protégé

Love your work! Humans and non-humans.

Carolin Thiersch's picture
Associate

Thank you Michel!!

Peter Istvan's picture
Protégé

Lovely to read your profile Carolin Thiersch . My Mom moved from Germany to Canada about 60 years ago, still have an Uncle in Munich.. Cheers, Peter

Carolin Thiersch's picture
Associate

Thank you Peter! And great that you have family in Germany. Let me know when you are over here for a visit then we should meet for a beer or two ;-)!

Daniel Wakefield's picture
Protégé

Incredible images, Caralin!

Carolin Thiersch's picture
Associate

Thank you Daniel!

Heinz Bertl's picture
Protégé

Hallo Carolin, freu mich über europäische Verstärkung. Bin begeistert von deinem Portfolio.

Carolin Thiersch's picture
Associate

Lieber Heinz, freut mich, dass es Dir gefällt! Grüße nach Österreich!!

Thorsten Tigges's picture
Protégé

Thanks a lot Carolin for your story. It was very informatic to phone with you.
I hope we will meet each other not only at the phone 😉
Sehr schöne Fotos. Ich würde Dich sofort als Buddy für Headshots haben wollen!

Carolin Thiersch's picture
Associate

Hey Thorsten, it was great talking to you too! Just give me a ring whenever I can help you! And yeah, catching up in person is for sure nicer! Und freut mich, dass Dir die Fotos gefallen!! :-)