On July 10th, 2021, Frankfurt was the number 1 meeting point for street photographers from Germany and beyond. Initiated by Gerald Prechtl from the Nuremberg streetphotographers collective “nürnberg_unposed_collective”, the first plans were forged at the beginning of the year. As the pandemic finally allowed it, a digital flyer was published and shared on social media. The response seemed to be great in advance, because there has never been such an official meeting in this form. Many already know each other, but mostly only digitally. The people behind the accounts on Facebook and Instagram are unknown to many. At the first German street photography festival in 2019, some of them got to know each other personally. But since then the festival has always been canceled due to the pandemic and the scene has continued to grow. For me it was immediately clear: I have to go there! The train and hotel for two days were booked immediately.
Last weekend it finally happened. Gerald was supported in the organization by Stefan Lauterbach, who lives in Frankfurt and determined the locations for the meeting. A big program wasn't really planned and that was a good thing. This meeting was about finally getting to know each other personally and networking with other street photographers. At 12 noon, an official meeting point for the start was set on the "Bockenheim university campus". Once there, I couldn't believe my eyes. Almost 50 street photographers from Germany and Switzerland came to Frankfurt for this meeting. Hanover, Munich, Düsseldorf, Braunschweig, Landshut, Zurich, Nuremberg or Hamburg, no city was too far away to miss this first meeting.
On campus there was a short speech by Gerald and Stefan about the schedule of the day and a first group photo was taken. The plan for the day then looked like this: In small groups, everyone could go through Frankfurt to the "Alte Oper". There was a first interim meeting at 3 p.m. The day should end with something very special at 5 p.m. at the "Untermainbrücke". I joined the group of André, Guido and Daniel from Hanover and Oliver from Munich. Luckily Tanja from Frankfurt was our guide and guided us to a couple of interesting underground stations up to the "Alte Oper". The following photo was taken at a subway station:
Of course there was more chatting than taking pictures on the way. At the "Alte Oper", some of us changed the groups and the route then led through the city center over the river Main to the "Untermainbrücke". At 5 p.m. the meeting point was on the lawn next to the bridge. At this place the absolute highlight of the day started: a guerrilla exhibition by all participants. In advance, everyone should bring 2-4 photos printed out at a maximum of 20x30cm. With these photos, the guerrilla exhibition was organized by everyone on the bridge facade below the bridge. We stuck our photos to the bridge with power strips, put some signs about the purpose of this exhibition and were very proud. The pedestrians who came by from 6 p.m. stopped very interested.
The aim of the exhibition was that the photos could be taken by passers-by. So we stayed there for a while, watched our "guests" in our exhibition and were happy when a photo was taken. The exhibition was incredibly well received by the pedestrians and interesting conversations developed. Then some of us sat down in a beer garden right next to the bridge and enjoyed the evening sun an the Main-river. At about 9:30 p.m. we went under the bridge again, where more than half of all pictures have already found new homes. One of my pictures had already been removed by these two nice gentlemen.
I went back to my hotel, completely exhausted, while the largest group stayed at Motel One and chatted there in the hotel lounge.
An incredibly eventful and super interesting day came to an end. I got to know a lot of new faces and finally saw the faces behind the social media accounts. I had many long and instructive conversations. In the end, all participants agreed: this day was an absolute highlight of the year for everyone and calls for an annual repetition in changing cities in Germany!