Gia at Dalston Heights London, 2014 © Esther Haase
She’s photographed Angela Merkel, Karl Lagerfeld, and Vivienne Westwood; worked for Indian Vogue and Italian Vanity Fair; designed ad campaigns for Falke and Escada; and conceived the ad "Berlin, Du bist so Wunderbar" for Berliner Pilsner.
About herself, Esther Haase says that her life is a dance with the camera through the world. And, in fact, the artist, who was born in Bremen and now commutes between Hamburg and London, initially studied ballet and was on the stage before she turned to photography.
Now, thanks to a new book entitled Esther's World, you can see which photographs the great German fashion photographer has selected to share, from a period of nearly three decades.
As you'll see, a sense of ease permeates Haase’s work; the women are cheerful and relaxed, always self-confident, strong, sexy, and stylish. She is interested in telling stories, whether through blurred movement; lyric, delicate, or bright colours; or in contrasting black-and-white. Some of her pictures are like cinematic dreams, while others are baroque presentations or witty snapshots. Her pictures celebrate the pleasure of being alive, passionate, self-confident games with sexuality, breaking out of the rigid corset of everyday life—and, above all, human beings as a whole: adventurous, bold, erotic, occasionally melancholy and reflective, but always conscious and aware.
What may look like a spontaneous snapshot is the result of hard work and inexhaustible energy. "What I appreciate most about Esther is the fact that she has always remained true to herself. No matter what the big fashion circus around her is currently presenting, her stage, just as her unmistakable style, remains her own," says F.C. Gundlach, who produced Haase's first exhibition in 1999.
Esther's World by Esther Haase is published by Hatje Cantz.