jan von holleben: “dreams of flying”.

I’ve found photos that remind me of the feeling that overtook me after the first movie I saw in a theatre. It was “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial”, which I think we can all agree is maybe the most kick ass movie ever. When those kids took off into the air on their bicycles, I lost my l’il kindergarden mind. I spent the next several weeks riding my bike as hard as I could up and down the street, and when the wind lifted my hair and the neatly lined-up houses started to blur by, nobody would have been able to convince me that my bicycle and I hadn’t just taken flight.

In his on-going photo series “Dreams of Flying”, Jan von Holleben captures the essence of childhood abandon. By laying his subjects down on the ground and shooting from over-head, he not only brings an inventiveness to layout and sense of perspective, but he triumphs and reinforces the central idea; when you’re a child, whatever it is you believe is what you’re doing. I love the realism of his art direction, every detail is true to the nature of what a child would do. Feather dusters are wands. Jumping is flying. Blue blankets are sea water. Trees are jungles.

Based on the myths within storybooks and legendary superheroes, von Holleben recruits local kids from his neighbourhood in Southern Germany for his shoots. The project began in 2002 and since then he’s won a shitload of international awards, just as he should. The pictures are joyous and exuberant, and convey not so much a nostalgia for the past but more a celebration of the human imagination…

Here’s what might be the most awesome pic of the whole series. It’s the fucking GHOSTBUSTERS!

Having been published widely in books and magazines and held his own solo shows in Paris, London, New York, and Berlin, von Holleben’s career is already illustrious. His site is a definite must-see for just how prolific he is as well. Besides the full “Dreams of Flying” series, you can also check out “The sodawaterfireworks”, where he’s got shots of various soda pops splashing against a white brick wall, and “You run, I count 10”, a beautiful outdoor series that, true to its name, features shots of people after 10 seconds of running away from the camera:


  1. the kind of picture like in one coldplay album. niche share

  2. love love love these photos. thanks so much for sharing!!


  1. […] [Jan von Holleben] via [shape + colour] […]

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