Here and now I can say that life is the best teacher for me.
Because it led me exactly here, to a place called Love.
The Love for myself. The Love for life.
This Love now expresses itself in my creative activity.
For the wellbeing of all humans and Mother Earth.

I had forgotten this love for myself…

Uli Mattes

Photography as a mirror for Truth and Love

I was born and grew up in the Rhineland. In 1990 I came to Hamburg where I have been living and working ever since. In the past I have worked in the advertising and fashion industry, which I gratefully left in 2013 to be able to follow my calling.

Being back in the present from the world of appearances it is of special importance to me to make authentic photographs of life and catch the raw beauty of the moment.

My story...

In the catholic family where I grew up I was told what is right and wrong early on. My father was a strong and very entertaining man. He was a clockmaker with a hard shell and a soft core. He put all his power and energy into the welfare of the family. But he often expressed this power in tantrums. Only his rules counted. This is right and this is wrong. No discussions. My mother was a loving and devoted woman who supported my father. She loved him infinitely. In her love she avoided conflicts. As a child, I felt drawn towards my mother and disapproved of his energy.
I was a shy boy. Was never one of the cool guys. I was always midfield. Too timid to participate in a discussion, let alone to get involved in a conflict. I always tried to make it right for everyone. In sports and in the arts I felt at home. After school I studied photography. That was pure passion. Afterwards my career as advertising and fashion photographer started.
From zero to hundred. Overnight success. My clients liked my style of photography. I was renowned as an artist of light. Shot top-flight international campaigns. In the beginning I loved it. Made a lot of money. Great parties. Beautiful women.

But more and more my passion for photography left me and the jobs turned into routine. I became lethargic. One relationship after the other fell apart. While I was searching for confirmation and love on the outside life had led me into a dead end. That was in summer 2012. A voice whispered to me: “Uli, wake up! Take a deep look who you really are.”
 I followed this voice. My best friend who had been telling me about Osho, Zen and Buddhism all along opened the door for me. He invited me to his weekly meditation circle. Without any clue about spirituality I started meditating.

Evening after evening I had deep conversations with my friend Arne. After three months the miracle happened. In a meditation I came into a space which I couldn’t imagine before. I was surrounded by light. A journey into the infinity of the universe. After this experience it became clear to me that this is my way. From that time on I saw the world with different eyes. My inner voyage of exploration started. I scrutinized my whole life. Wanted to know what consciousness is. Watched documentaries almost every day. Wanted to know what masters like Mooji, Krishnamurti, Osho etc. were talking about. On a five-week trip to India in March 2013 I rediscovered my passion for photography in a new way. I took authentic pictures of life. Pictures that showed the beauty of humans and our earth in all their facets. That was the first taste of recognizing once more what a gift I had.

After India there was a time to let go of old beliefs and patterns and to welcome the new. To die and to be reborn. Today I am infinitely grateful that life has given me the encounters and situations that show me if there is still any pain, grief, anger, shame or fear left (just to name a few trigger points), so I can accept them with gratitude and LOVE. The pain is allowed to exist and I feel it. Embracing it inside of me, welcoming it, letting it flow through me and giving it all my LOVE. Like that, the pain can be released and healed. Healing through LOVE. To accept my vulnerability really and honestly with LOVE is in my perception the key to awaken my inner child, my individual present to the world to its full bloom.

Life is wonderful! Life is my true teacher! It leads me exactly into those situations that are right for me in that moment. And for every being there are different encounters. Life can be rough and prickly sometimes. But isn’t that beautiful? Beautiful because it’s honest! Why does it feel so ugly and exhausting sometimes? Because that is exactly the difference between my plan and life’s’ plan. And if life doesn’t want to go my way I make peace with it. For me, acceptance, honesty, gratitude and love play a key role in life.
This is what life showed me in the last years. Now I see and feel who I am and what I would like to share with the world. Not to know what comes next and still to feel that I will serve the evolution of every human being. Now I’m dancing again with lots of love of life! The experiences and insights that I was able to live and feel in the last years help me now to see people and the world authentically with my camera. I would like to assist you in showing your own essence and the projects that are close to your heart so that you can be seen by the world and your present for the world can become visible.