After several years through the 1990’s of living together, traveling together, photographing together and surviving all sorts of outdoor adventures together, we - Verena and Georg - founded Popp-Hackner Photography in 1998. The purpose was to funnel all of our various (but not always congruent!) interests, talents, experiences into producing the best photographs we were capable of - professionally and full time.
From day one, we decided to work on long term photo projects exclusively. Instead of just accumulating stock images, we wanted to dedicate our time to produce (writing and photographing) stories for magazines, publish photo books, work on full calendar themes, fulfill advertising assignments, exhibitions and other outlets. Developing our own ideas for projects and producing images as unique and distinctive as we could, Popp-Hackner Photography always stood for high-end, highest quality image production, no matter the final output or usage.
Of course, stock images did accumulate all by themselves over time, but instead of giving away any rights to stock agencies, we decided to manage our own image library instead, licensing exclusive rights to clients in the advertising and print/fine print/publishing market. This worked well in analogue times and didn’t change through the digital revolution. As a matter of fact, it hasn’t changed up to this day.
Through our own time of growing (as persons, parents and photographers), we have raised two wonderful daughters (born in 2001 and 2003) - an everlasting and still ongoing balancing act of career and life decisions. Although being based and (very much!) at home in Vienna, Austria, we feel like the whole planet serves as our photographic “backyard” - wherever it is wild and nature still prevails. Our photo projects stretch from portraying urban nature in our hometown of Vienna, Austria’s, to the wildest and far flung places in New Zealand or Tasmania, or the cypress forests in Americas Deep South.
Despite making a living with photography, for us, documenting the natural world with our cameras is still and foremost a very individual lifestyle, never a job. It is the urge to get outdoors and experience life (good and bad) and adventures that drives us - preferably traveling alone, away from crowds and iconic locations. We DO NOT run photo workshops ourselves nor do we organize any sort of photo travels but in certain occasions we can be hired to do so.
If you have any questions, want to get in touch or just say hello, please find the contact infos in the websites footer, shoot us an email or give us a call. We are always happy to chat or hear from you unless we are somewhere out in the wild.
Born in Vienna, January 7th 1968
Although growing up in a metropolitan environment, I always had a strong connection to be outdoors, be it through family hikes in the Austrian Alps, through summer holidays spent in Yougoslawia (now Croatia) or Greece with Boat and snorkel gear at a young age, through BBC TV documentations or the ever present literature of National Geographic and GEO magazines at home. Only during (biology) student life, which had me playing sports (basketball) at a (semi-) professional level, was I distracted from being in nature for some years.
Meeting Verena in 1990, I was fascinated (and infected) by her desire to “go places”, do something out of the ordinary like leaving for a 6-months journey together, criss-crossing through the National Parks of the US in 1991. After this trip, the growing urge of making better images on our future travels led to deeper studies of photographing techniques, buying better equipment and ultimatively soaking up all information there was out there about nature photography. (which wasn't much!) Only through nature photographer John Shaw's books, aquired on this first trip, did I realize, that it is actually possible to sell photos and even pursue nature photography as a profession. It suddenly gave meaning to a hobby or at least give better excuses to spent even more time in nature, playing around with camera and tripod.
It was the works of some of the most recognised American landscape photographers like David Muench, Carr Clifton or Jack Dykinga (the book SONORA DESERT probably being #1), the clarity and sharpness of their published images, which led me to invest almost all of my my last few cents in a TOYO large format camera plus lenses, filmholders, backpack, tripod and else in 1994. I couldn't afford a Linhof Technika and knowing Carr Clifton was out using the cheaper but also much lighter TOYO cameras, it felt like if this was working for him, it must be good enough for me too. On a regfular 5 week travel adventure through Baja California (Mexico) in 1994, we realised, a few weeks of traveling would never be enough for us and the urge of being on the road and in the wild for months on end, grew increasingly irresistible.
In 1995 we went on another long journey, thoughout the West Coast of the US, up to Alaska and down to Baja California. This time, we didn't just visited places, we got immersed. We bought two single seakayaks, explored some wild parts of the Pacific Ocean coastlines and sold our first few images in the time after returning home. There was no looking back from now on, the next long trip was just a matter of time. With Verena also being infected with “photography virus”, we mounted a 8-month “expedition” with seakayaks, van and all, to Alaska and British Columbia. This time, one of the main purposes of the trip was to deliberately work on unique images, magazine stories and - most of all - drawing a detailed work-concept, of how this might actually really function in the future. We thought we had it all figured out, during long evenings in the van and countless bottles of red wine. Little did we know.… In any case, we were to call ourselves “professional nature photographers” from now on. Whatever this would mean, only time could tell.
But we never looked back, went through analog and digital evolutions, from contacting clients via fax to doing it now using WhatsApp and all the million things that changed the photogray world in the time after 1998. Its 25 years ago at the time of writing this and we are still at it, taking photos, being curious about what is around the next corner, traveling, writing, making plans and concepts, having raised two children (who are both grown up and students by now) along the way, too, A life like a rollercoaster ride, balanced between ultimate dream and ultimate failure. But we have no doubts in us, that we would have wanted it any other way. And whatever comes from here on, is a bonus.
Born in Vienna, July 7th 1969