“I can't live without the mountains“
Making other people happy makes her happy, says Carolina Auer-Schmiderer. To make sure this happens the photographer from St. Martin loves to take her clients up into the magnifiicent mountain world of the Salzburger Saalachtal. We accompanied her to her favourite place.
The morning sun is just starting to break through the autumnal leaves and illuminates them in wonderful colours – from red and orange to yellow, here and there a little green still stands out. We follow Carolina through woodland in Wildental, near St. Marin bei Lofer. The dry leaves rustle underfoot and we hear rushing water. “This place on the Saalach has a very special place in my heart”, says Carolina, as we climb down in the direction of the riverbank over roots and plants. “It is so diverse – surrounded by a dense, magical forest and the eternal river, the Saalach. Here at this point there are a few lovely sand banks and mighty, overgrown rocks in the water.” Carolina pauses and looks down to the Saalach which is flowing past us just a few metres below. “This place is fairy-tale like and is a place of power and a haven of peace at the same time.”
Sunset and the blue hour
This is a combination which you don't often find, says Carolina, even though she sees lots of different places as a photographer and has developed an eye for the diverse beauty of nature over the years. “I always photograph my clients – mainly couples, for weddings and so on – in the open air. I love sunset the most and the so-called “blue hour” - the twilight after the sunset, before it gets really dark”, explains Carolina. Most of the couples she photographs request a photoshoot at sunset. “The interplay of light and backlight, light and dark, is particularly beautiful. And here we also have the glorious landscape and the majestic mountains.”
“I had a camera as a child“
Carolina taught herself photography – she is a genuinely self-educated person. “It really was a case of learning by doing”, laughs Carolina. “Of course, you have to have an eye for particular moments, landscapes and people. But when you love to do something you make progress. I have been taking photographs for as long as I can remember. Even as a child I had a camera and recorded everything.” Later, her friends had to put up with her, says Carolina and laughs. “It's only now that I realize how much I demanded of the girls when I said, so, sit down here and look here!” At some point a family came to Carolina, who is actually a qualified wellness trainer for fitness and sport, and asked her to do a photoshoot for a wedding. “And that's how it happened”, Carolina tells us.
The happiness of making others happy
“Right from the beginning I loved to photograph weddings. You are always surrounded by happy people. And it makes me happy when I can make others happy”, smiles Carolina. That's what makes her job for her. It doesn't matter whether she is taking pictures of a happy couple or, as of late, food for a magazine. “Food photography is a new focal point in my portfolio. I do this with a friend who is a food stylist. We have hired a studio for this work. It's a lot of fun.”
“If you grow up in the mountains you can't live without them“
A lot has changed since her son Samuel was born. The one-year-old keeps her on the go. Thanks to help from her family she can still pursue her profession. “I need to have the feeling of bringing someone joy. When the pictures are finished and my clients look at them with sparkling eyes – that's simply wonderful for me.” The 29-year-old can't see enough of her homeland either. “I just love to live here in the Salzburger Saalachtal. I was born in Lofer. And I think when you grow up here, in the mountains, you can't live without them. If I am looking for a more distant view, I simply drive to the city of Salzburg. The gentle hills there are enough for me.”
“For me it's the mountains that make our region“
Carolina laughs and settles down on a large rock that is sticking up out of the water of the Saalach. “Yes, it's mainly the nature – the mountains – that make our region special for me. Whenever I want, I can be outside in the pure nature in a few minutes, alone, without meeting anyone. I like to walk and find it great that not everything is completely developed, that there are some little places you still have to conquer. And when I stand on a mountain peak and enjoy the peace, I'm at home.”