Interview with the Photographer Runnerwally | Grailify
Interview with the Photographer Runnerwally

Interview with the Photographer Runnerwally

You probably already follow him on Instagram, so Runnerwally needs no introduction. The Hamburg native, who now lives in Berlin and shoots from there, is one of the most versatile photographers in the sneaker game.

When and how did you start sneaker photography?
Instagram definitely got me into sneaker photography and photography in general. I downloaded the app about five years ago and it changed a lot. At the time, there were only two or three people in Germany taking good pictures of their shoes on Instagram, and I remember thinking, "I'd like to do that too!" So I went out and got a Canon 450D with the standard bundle lens and got to work.

It's quite obvious that you cover a wide range of subjects in photography - people, products, cities, documentaries and even videos. Where does this diversity come from?
I am always trying to improve my skills to become a more professional photographer in all the styles you mentioned. For me photography is more than just a passion, it has become my livelihood and I want to be the absolute best I can be to always achieve that for the client and most importantly for myself. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my photography, no matter what the subject is, and when it comes to my performance I always try to compare myself to the people I consider the best out there.

Looking at your portfolio, we see that you are into classics like Air Max or even Jordan 1, but also into New Balance, Vans, etc. Have you always been this "open" or has it developed over time as you got older?
Yes, of course, I just wear what I like. I think it's good to know what you like and base your choices on that. I'm mostly interested in the models and brands that fascinated me as a child, and the sneakers that you couldn't afford as a child or that your parents didn't allow you to have.

Which other (sneaker) photographers do you follow? Which ones inspire you?
I really like the work of @trashhand, @cole_younger_ and @vickygrout, but that's just a small selection of the many great photographers out there.

Let's talk about your favourites. Can you please tell us 5 sneakers you're particularly fond of at the moment?
My favourites are the Jordan 1 Fragment, Nike Air Force 1 Linen, Asics GT2 Ultra marine, adidas Yeezy 350 Turtle Dove and Nike Air Max 1 Atmos Animal.

Do you remember how you got your first pair of sneakers? Was there a particular shoe that piqued your interest?
When I was a kid, it was Michael Jordan, of course! He always had the freshest sneakers that made a big impression. Later, when I could afford to buy sneakers regularly, I was totally into Air Maxes and especially the Air Max 1. But the real craze (collecting) started in 2010 when I found out about Ronnie Fieg and his collaborations with Asics for David Z, even before he opened Kith. Those shoes were just special, especially the GT2 "Ultra Marine" and the Gel Lyte III "Mint Leaf"; they're as clean as it gets and still unbeaten to this day if you ask me.

You obviously shoot for the Overkill store all the time. How has that affected your passion for sneakers, seeing all the new stuff in such heavy rotation and also hanging out with such an authority as Marc?
To be honest, it's getting harder for me personally to really appreciate the shoes every day because I see so many of them and have to take photos of them every day. The variety and quantities that come in at Overkill are just insane; it makes it hard to keep your mind fresh and objective and open to let the new diamonds shine, you know.... Marc also influenced my appreciation of EQT. I learned a lot from him about the history of EQT and ZX and really respect him as a collector, boss and friend.

You're also an equipment expert, and I'm not talking about EQT. Let's talk about cameras. What system are you working with at the moment and why?
I recently switched from the Canon 5D Mark III to the Sony A7 R2 because I wasn't very impressed with the new Canon 5D Mark IV. I wanted an upgrade in terms of image quality (megapixels) and video quality (4K), and in my opinion the new Canon just couldn't offer that.

Your wife Rebecca is also very interested in sneakers. How can we imagine two sneaker-loving people living in one flat? Do you sometimes argue about the space each collection takes up?
Haha... we had a few minor disagreements about our storage policy, but we actually sold about 25% of our collection because we didn't have enough space; there were just too many pairs that we didn't really wear.

What do you still want to achieve in life?
To be the best father my son could wish for.

Last words?
"If it comes from the heart, nothing can go wrong." That's a punchline by grime MC "Wiley" from his latest album; I think there's a lot of truth in that. It totally fits with my attitude of just being yourself and doing what you love.

Latest Sneaker News