I was born and raised in good old Germany and studied Communications and Political Science at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. I fell in love with photography on a windy beach on the enchanted Isola d'Elba in Italy many moons ago. I love to travel and caught the Aloha spirit for life when I lived on the island of Maui, Hawai'i for six years. I swam with the wild dolphins in La Perouse Bay and lost my heart to the beauty of Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud. I am a coffee snob since I was introduced to cappuccino in Milano back in the days where there was no good coffee to be found anywhere else and delight over street food in faraway countries and at home. I am a cat mom who loves dogs and all animals just the same.

I capture the poetry of life with my camera, I love the ocean, the beauty of nature and the incredible light that surrounds me is a constant inspiration for my photographic work. To me photography is about being in the moment and going beyond what the eye can see. I believe that Aloha always wins and not a day goes by without thinking of Hawai'i.
Now I am based in Santa Barbara, California. I travel worldwide and also have a home base in Maui. Thank you so much for stopping by. If you like to get in touch for more information just send me a note. I'd love to hear from you.

With Aloha,

Meet Clarissa

[  read artist statement ]

Image by Nina Mullins

image by Nina Mullins

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I see the poetry in life and the camera is my tool to capture these moments. I believe in the truth of the image in the heart of those moments when time stands still. In those moments, I am a conduit: there to capture the unscripted. When Emily Dickinson writes about hope as the thing with feathers or ee cummings writes that not even the rain has such small hands. When you experience something completely —  your lovers embrace, the feel of your baby in your arms, the soft fur of your pet under your hands, the sun and salt on your skin, the sound of rain. I am there not to intrude, to choreograph you or pose you, but to capture the moments when time stands still. Those are the moments I believe are the most real. Those are the moments I live for as a photographer: to become one with a subject enough for timelessness to reveal itself. And when it does, I will be there to capture it: the moment when the space you are in  becomes a holy space. There is a peace and energy about being in the moment that brings bliss to that experience. That energy is my compass: When you open up and it flows through you … and the act of cherishing brings you out of linear experience. Capturing what it feels like and transporting you back to that moment each time you look at the photograph.

Artist Statement

Journeys of healing after miscarriage and stillbirth.

Like tears in the rain

An ongoing collaborative theater process between youth from a juvenile detention facility in Santa Barbara county and undergraduate students from the University of California Santa Barbara. Using the template of Homer’s Odyssey, the participants gather on the university campus to explore the mythic elements in their lives in order to reconstruct the epic poem in their own voices.

 The Odyssey Project at theater Dance Department
 University of California - Santa Barbara

A photographic documentation of a community-based research study for pregnant Latinas at the Vanderbilt University Medical Division of General Pediatrics Center in Nashville, Tennessee exploring ways to decrease pediatric obesity. The portraits of the participating mothers and their babies were chosen for a one year long exhibition in the lobby of the Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville.

Madre Sana Bebe Sano at vanderbilt university
Nashville Tennessee

tales of love

A photographic exploration of Love transcending gender, race and cultures.

The Going Home Project at CAW santa barbara

A Community Arts Workshop in Santa Barbara 
Journeys and reflections about homelessness by youth who have experienced it firsthand. Photography and teaching.

personal and non-profit work

[  View my latest work on the blog  ]

Capturing the essence and how this moment in time feels like is my approach to taking timeless photographs.  I use both digital and analog cameras in my photographic work, and I especially love film. The way it makes me slow down to create. Photographing snippets of life. Encapsulating a feeling, a mood, a tender moment. Film has soul. It is soft and luminous. Dark and grainy. Moody and romantic. Film is timeless.


© Images and Content by Clarissa Koenig 2024