Profile image Heike Frielingsdorf

Heike Frielingsdorf

A new chance waits around every corner

Heike Frielingsdorf was born in Paderborn in 1970. After her studies, she first worked as a teacher until she moved to Cologne in 2000 and switched to film production. In search of more creative engagement and meaning, she discovered her interest in photography in 2010 and at the same time ventured into self-employment. 

Heike's images have been and continue to be shown in numerous exhibitions and she has received several awards for her work. In 2020, she won a Ricoh GR III in an SPI award, which opened a special chapter in her work as a photographer.
Initially, she had plans to cash in on the camera, as she had no need for another camera at the time. Nevertheless, she felt like giving the GR a try and took it with her on the next discovery tour. After that, the plan to sell the camera was history and an intimate love affair began. 

Heike Frielingsdorf - A new chance waits around every corner


When Heike Frielingsdorf started with photography, she initially captured rather abstract compositions and so-called "non-places", also small artificial paradises, created by human hands - in any case less "real life" - with her camera. Little by little, people "crept" into her pictures and at some point she realised that this is exactly what she is passionate about.

This kind of photography has become a real passion for Heike and her everyday necessary means of expression. She loves to wander around, observe, immerse herself in her surroundings and capture the moments that speak to her emotionally. She is fascinated by such situations that seem trivial yet create a cosmos of their own. Images that tell stories, that make people's dreams, longings and worries tangible and often reflect life in all its absurdity.


RICOH GR III // ISO 320 // Exposure time: 1/800 sec. // Apperture: F10 //  Exposure compensation: -0,3 EV 


Because of her approach, Heike's pictures are always unposed, never staged. Of course, they show her subjective view of reality - but the fact that the scenes shown are not posed is an important and positive aspect for her in times of a huge flood of images, which is permeated by excessive self-dramatisation and self-optimisation.


RICOH GR III // ISO 800 // Exposure time: 1/1000 sec. // Apperture: F9 //  Exposure compensation: -0,7 EV 



The sophisticated technology of elaborate cameras is less important to her than the fact of having a camera with her at the right moment that captures the scenes as she experiences them. And so the Ricoh GR III has become a faithful companion when Heike leaves the house and goes on a journey of discovery. This can be a walk to the nearest market, a tour of the city or a longer photo trip outside Cologne or Germany.


RICOH GR III // ISO 320 // Exposure time: 1/1000 sec. // Apperture: F10 //  Exposure compensation: -0,3 EV 




Even if it is often not perceived that way from the outside, taking photographs - no matter in which places - is always a highly complex process for her, which is partly conscious, but also unconscious. So Heike is constantly scanning her surroundings, looking for situations or interesting occurrences that "trigger" her. At the same time, she keeps an eye on the light, the arrangement of the objects in the room, the different levels, etc., in order to finally bring the whole thing together into a (hopefully) good picture. So for her, photography is also a kind of sport, a recurring challenge, the hunt for the perfect picture, the "decisive moment".

Heike uses different cameras for different tasks as a photographer, but for her the advantages of the GR III - especially for street photography - are practically obvious. You have to do without a few things, as she says about the camera, but in return you have a great camera that you can always take with you. She also thinks it's great that it doesn't stand out so much, isn't really taken seriously and can be operated with one hand.
And not completely unimportant for Heike Frielingsdorf is the focal length of 28 mm, which is always perfect for her when she has little space available or there are many people around her. As she says, you then simply get more in the picture and the whole thing looks nice and dynamic.



RICOH GR III // ISO 640 // Exposure time: 1/1600 sec. // Apperture: F8 //  Exposure compensation: -0,3 EV 



RICOH GR III // ISO 500 // Exposure time: 1/2500 sec. // Apperture: F8 //  Exposure compensation: -0,7 EV 



RICOH GR III // ISO 400 // Exposure time: 1/1600 sec. // Apperture: F10 //  Exposure compensation: -0,3 EV 




RICOH GR III // ISO 3200 // Exposure time: 1/100 sec. // Apperture: F4,5 //  Exposure compensation: -0,3 EV 




RICOH GR III // ISO 250 // Exposure time: 1/500 sec. // Apperture: F9 //  Exposure compensation: -0,7 EV 


Many thanks to Heike for providing a selection of her current favourite images.




For Ricoh Imaging, Heike met David Shokouhbeen with Samuel Streetlife in Cologne and chatted a little about her photography.
Have a look ... (link) 




Heike's preferred equipment

Ricoh GR III camera


A high-end digital compact camera