For the past quarter-century, Christian Heeb has been trotting the globe, camera in hand, capturing stunning images on five continents in over 70 different countries. Born in Switzerland, Heeb—who is also a trained architect—traveled to the United States on assignment from German and Swiss publishing houses, and quickly became renowned for his Native American portraits and landscapes. Now, he and his wife, Regula, call Bend home—quite a compliment to our little town from such world-wide travelers—where they own the Cascade Center for Photography. Heeb's photography will be on display for the month of August at Bishops Barber Shop and at the Oxford Hotel. For more of Heeb's work, and for more on the Cascade Center for Photography visit heebphoto.com.
Source Weekly: What was the first camera you ever owned? Who taught you how to use it?
Christian Heeb: As a kid I shot my first images with my Mom's Kodak Boc camera, then moved up to a Konica and finally used my Dad's Nikon F camera. I won first price in a Swiss Photo competition and won a Nikon f3 with lenses. That started my career.
SW: Tell me about the travel you do on a regular basis. Who is hiring you? What are you photographing? Tell me about one of your favorite recent projects.
CH: I just got back from a two-month trip in Europe where we (my wife Regula and I) were shooting a travel guide on Crete for Bruckmann Publishers out of Munich, Germany. After Greece, we taught a workshop during the lavender bloom in Provence, followed by a production on the French Riviera for Stuertz Publishers in Wuerzburg, Germany.
I also had a lecture and a show in Switzerland followed by two workshops near Berne.
Then we scouted locations in Tuscany for next year's workshop in May, where we will have people from the U.S. and Europe attending. We ended with a week in New York shooting new images for my calendars at Korsch and Harenberg Publishers in Germany, and our stock offerings in the U.S.
SW: What have been some of your favorite places around the world to shoot? What is your craziest travel story while you were on assignment?
CH: I love Argentina and enjoy Italy a lot. I always have fun in new places that are off the beaten path. There are too many stories...we can go have a beer and I can go on forever. The latest was our rented Lancia car breaking down on the top of a mountain pass in the late afternoon in a remote corner of Provence with no cell reception. Tracking down the Italian car company and having them talk to the French to get us out of there was one of my wife's heroic tasks.
SW: What is the best advice you can give amateur photographers to improve their photos?
CH: Do a one-on-one with one of our teachers and photographers at the Cascade Center of Photography. Look at the photos of the great classic photography masters.