The queen has one. The Dalai Lama has one. And Flims Laax Falera has one: a personal photographer.
Flims resident Gaudenz Danuser can capture the landscape inside a rectangle and yet still retain its scope and grandeur.
Gaudenz Danuser discovered his love for landscape pictures at a late stage. In any case, he took several detours before ending up in photography. The desire to be a photographer certainly was floating around in his head at a young age, but after completing school he chose to train to be a steel structure draughtsperson.
Detours to structural engineering and a twelve-month break in Australia were to follow. ”Down under I really thought a lot about my future and made a list with requirements for my future career,” the Flims resident explains. All indicators pointed to architecture and photography.
All the same, Gaudenz Danuser again decided against picking up a camera and instead took up architectural studies at the University of Applied Sciences, Chur. But as is usually the case with true passions, it is impossible to suppress them.
So one day he took the leap into the unknown and threw in his lot with photography. At first with the goal to photograph architecture and design. He looked over the shoulder of other photographers and learned what there is to know. It wasn’t, however, enough to live from photography.
The big break as a photographer
He got his big break as a professional photographer while working as a ski instructor in Flims. And riding his snowboard during his free time. A friend of his who was also a snowboarder was under contract with the sports article brand Adidas. Adidas needed pictures. Gaudenz Danuser took them. That was the beginning.
For portraits, he finds it important not just to show the people, but also to show the people in their own world. Like with his portraits of the Graubünden top chef Andrea Caminada, or German comedian Bülent Ceylan.
Unlike when he photographs landscapes at home, where he can always try again later until he has the perfect image, on productions with a big team you usually don’t even get a second chance. Then you have to have the picture ”in the bag”, even when the conditions are bad.
The conservative photographer
Danuser is a conservative photographer, he even sees himself as ”old-fashioned”. His photos receive very little editing and he uses a Leica medium format camera with set focal length. But no zoom, as this forces him to find the right location.