Here comes the RBook. ( R like RGroup )
I have been photographing automobiles professionally for many years – whether for Porsche at the 24H of LeMans,
for Mercedes Benz at the Great Wall of China or for Lamborghini on an aircraft carrier.
My image compositions were loud, powerful and masculine. It always had to be faster higher further. But at some point this becomes too one-dimensional, you ask yourself
can that be all ? Where are the quieter themes, the nuances?
I had always wanted to self-publish a book and then chance came to my rescue.
An American friend told me about a notorious Californian group that was more of a secret lodge than a Porsche club. That made me curious.
Suddenly it was the subject for a photo book I had been waiting for a long time.
The RGroup is a bunch of dazzling characters and personalities, from a simple butcher to a Havard professor, everything is at the start. In the club it is never about status, here is friendship, individualism and fun in the first place. All drive an old converted Porsche from the 60s or 70s. Each of the 300 or so members is nominated by the other members.So you can’t just join, you have to have earned your membership first.
Sure, there are books on the subject of automobiles galore, especially those that serve common clichés, there are too many. A book like the RBook certainly not yet.
I wanted to create a work that is different, wanted to show real life, emotions and passion rather than polished expensive sheet metal.the people should be the focus.
I needed artistic freedom and didn’t want anyone to tell me what to do. So I took a pen and paper, made a small concept and went to the bank.
After I had convinced my banker to lend me a considerable sum of money, I could finally get started.
I was then allowed to dive deep into the world of the infamous Porsche Club „RGroup“ in over 20 months.
I accompanied them on their trips through the canyons and endless expanses of the Mojave Desert with dozens of old Porsche 911s, filmed and photographed them in pouring rain and unbearable heat, and visited their meetings. I was invited to their home, where we ate, drank and talked shop together. No matter whether it was a million dollar mid-century villa or the simple home of a farmer, the reception was always open and friendly.
So in the end the RBook has become an authentic book full of great fun, quirky rituals and cool lifestyle. It is a book full of acceleration but also deceleration. With pictures and stories that leave a magic and create longing.
The RGruppe book is completely self-published –
I conceived the project idea, compiled the topics, designed a marketing strategy and set up the financing of the whole thing. The additional film, including the film concept, direction and editing, also came from my pen. All photos were created by me and my assistant. Because I had fixed ideas for graphics and texts, but definitely needed support here, I simply got people excited about my idea and brought them on board who had previously made a positive impression on me in other publications. So most of the essays come from Mathias Lösel who is actually a film producer and likes to write in his spare time.
The design took over Studio Collect from Stuttgart. Which consists of 3 talented young graphic artists (2 women 1 man).
The book was deliberately printed and bound in Germany in cooperation with traditional companies.
A largely handmade elaborately embossed cover makes curious about the following 580 pages . The 3 different types of paper divide the book into its themes California Lifestyle, Portraits / Automobiles as well as Club History.
The book is not only a large format coffee table book, but inspires with well narrated essays and well corresponding graphics. It measures 33 X 27 cm and weighs a hefty 5 kilograms.