If you want to go on a diverse photo journey through the colorful worlds of Westend61, you should have a look at the photos of Michael Malorny: The 34-year-old Munich photographer prefers to travel with his camera anywhere around the globe—whether it’s on water, on land, or in the air. His pictures “live” from the contrast between nature and high-tech, from interesting geological and geographical forms and lines, and also from a certain creative simplicity in design: “When I find tidy surfaces in nature, it’s simply exciting for me as a photographer,” explains the Nuremberg native.
Michael Malorny’s interest in photography was sparked early on: “That must have been when I shot my first photos at the age of six under the guidance of my grandfather,” he remembers. Studying media sciences and photography, among other things, at the University of California, Berkeley was only a logical result. Even during his studies, Michael was able to land photographic assignments for well-known companies, including DAX corporations, and develop his photography skills.
Experience on both sides of the photo lens
Nevertheless, Michael Malorny came to his work as a professional photographer via a small detour, albeit in a neighboring industry: He worked for about three years as a brand manager for a major telecommunications provider. He developed the visual language for its public image in advertising and worked closely with picture agencies and editors. For a time, Michael Malorny was also “on the other side of the lens,” so to speak, assuming the perspective of the picture agency customers and sharpening his sense of what is in demand on the photo market.
Undoubtedly, his job as an employed brand manager has brought him further, “but at some point I increasingly lacked the freedom to realize my own projects.” In this context, his thoughts on stock photography became more concrete. Cologne photographer Mareen Fischinger brought him into contact with the Westend61 team, with whom Michael Malorny has been offering his photos since July 2017. His second mainstay is commissioned work for international technology and consumer goods manufacturers. Through his agency “afine,” he supports clients in the visual communication field (visual language from brands and photo productions to the individual user interface/app design). “The bottom line is that I’m always concerned with the production of cute pictures, the whole nine yards,” says Michael Malorny. He also teaches photography at the University of Regensburg.
Self-sufficiency opened up more possibilities for Michael Malorny to do what he likes best: to be on the road, to discover the world through the camera from different perspectives and in the most contrasting climatic zones—be it bizarre ice and snow landscapes in the bitter cold of Alaska, the peculiar forms of sand dunes in the blazing heat of Dubai, or an aesthetically curved coastline somewhere in the south of Europe. “For me, the forms of nature in all their diversity are an important balance to what I usually do on, for example, technical topics,” he explains.
What’s more, as a photographer you can also “go up in the air”…
He used the technical innovation of drone photography early on, as it offers a variety of possibilities for shifting the camera position into the air, thus gaining completely new (bird) perspectives. For Michael Malorny, to set himself apart, to look at things from a different perspective and then to present them has its own special appeal. New perspectives opened up for Michael Malorny, not only through the drone photography, but also through his collaboration with Westend61: “I like the exchange among the photographers there; that’s a good network. And at Westend61 I quickly have a contact person when I need one,” he says. He also has access to a lot of insider knowledge there that he can’t get from another agency. From an economic point of view, he appreciates Westend61’s sales channel, which covers a far greater range of possible customers than other agencies: “This, of course, gives me more opportunities to sell my photos.”