Pictures: © Philipp Reinhard

You can find more pictures of Philipp on Phlipp’s homepage, his blog or on Instagram


In February of this year, our Brand Ambassador Philipp Reinhard packed his 7 things and went on a very special journey - over 9000 km by plane from Germany to Okinawa, Japan. The reason for his trip: Vissel Kobe's soccer team's pre-season preparation. Wait, isn't that our German world champion Lukas Podolski's team? Exactly!

We are, of course, just as excited as you are, so we asked Philipp for a chat: You can read in our interview how this unusual trip halfway around the world came about, what Philipp experienced in Japan and what particularly impressed him.
Oberwerth: Konichiwa Philipp, back from Japan and already on the way to Russia. As a team photographer for the German national team, you are of course now entering the hot phase. We are all the more grateful to you that you still took the time to tell us a little bit about your trip to Japan.

Philipp Reinhard: Moin! It hits pretty well on a direct jump. Japan was unfortunately a few days ago, but I have just come from Abu Dhabi. I had a really good time there and was able to get some really interesting insights into the "noble tuning forge" of Jimmy Pelka and PP-Performance.

Oberwerth: Then we are all the more happy that it worked out so spontaneously. First of all, we are of course very interested: How did the constellation come about to fly 9000 km around the globe to photograph Lukas Podolski and his team from Vissel Kobe in preparation for the new season?

Philipp Reinhard: Lukas Podolski and I had spun around a bit on my last trip to Japan and thought about what we could do in the future and had the training camp in our sights relatively quickly. Since we're both guys who don't talk about the bush for long, things were pretty much fixed shortly afterwards. I have now become a big fan of Japan and I am already looking forward to accompanying Vissel Kobe and Poldi to one or the other game during the season this year. And to be honest, Frankfurt – Kobe or Osaka is also very easy with "only" 12 hours of flight time - Okinawa was a different number. I was on the road for 24 hours until I finally arrived. And: I didn't dawdle! (laughs)




Oberwerth: 24h, wow! The word “world tour” takes on a whole new meaning. After a few days in Okinawa, you went via Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo to Kobe. Once across Japan, so to speak: What is it like to travel across the country with a soccer team? And which city would you recommend as a “must see”?

Philipp Reinhard: I have to correct this briefly. I went via Tokyo to Okinawa and after the training camp straight to Kobe. Then I went exploring Osaka and Kyoto on two days off that we had. Then I went back to Kobe for another 3 days. Then my “service” was fulfilled and I went to Tokyo for 2 days before I flew back home from there. Kyoto and Tokyo blew me away, especially because they are two so different cities, but each one quite unique. The culture or tradition / modernity, the food and the whole feeling that is in the air is absolutely unique. Whether it's traditional temples in Kyoto or crazy parks, streets or bohemian quarters in Tokyo. In this respect, Kyoto and Tokyo would be my recommendations, although all of Japan is worth a trip.

Sapporo also has to be absolutely great, especially in winter - I really want to see that next time. And of course, traveling around the area with a team is always something special (note from Oberwerth: Philipp accompanies the Crailsheim Merlins basketball team (1st basketball Bundesliga) and the DFB team as a team photographer), especially if you are absolutely understands nothing and is easily confused through the airport, haha! After all, you will be noticed early on as a tourist, confusion almost impossible. (laughs)

Oberwerth: You definitely sound pretty enthusiastic about the country and its people: What is it that particularly fascinated you about Japan? And what shocked you a little? ;-)

Philipp Reinhard: You've heard that about the enthusiasm. I really like the tradition over there, love ramen soup and the friendliness of the people. And as I said, the cities fascinated me. What shocked me a little? I was shocked when women wanted to carry my suitcase to me and I couldn't stop them at all - and every bet, the suitcase was twice as heavy as the lady who carried it. I won't miss the future toilets either. Anyone who has ever tried a professional toilet as a European knows what I'm talking about. The thing is as complicated as a smartphone for my grandma and at least as dangerous as a wild baboon.
Oberwerth: To conclude, let's go back to photography. You shoot exclusively with Leica cameras and you have a Q, CL, SL and S. Every photographer is known to be an advocate of his camera system. Why did you choose Leica specifically?

Philipp Reinhard: Yes, it is correct that I only take photos with a Leica. Ever since I bought my first analog Leica CL and then tried a digital Leica M and Q, I had understood the concept and my decision was made. A system that concentrates on the essentials and does not distract you from taking pictures is initially uncomfortable, but always takes you out of your comfort zone. In the end, the new is always outside the comfort zone, and that's where I want to move as often as possible. I hate to take the same photo twice. In addition, the feel is outstanding, the design of the cameras is something special and the look of the picture absolutely appeals to me - that's why I absolutely have no plans to change! And what is still important to me personally, since I have decided on Leica, I do not constantly think about the technology and what else I could need to take supposedly better pictures. For me this is almost total nonsense - the better technology actually never shoots better pictures! The picture lives from the motif and important: how to handle and photograph the situation.

Oberwerth: That sounds like a pretty fitting conclusion! Philipp, we thank you very much that you found the time for the nice conversation. Now, of course, we wish you and the DFB team good luck at the World Cup and look forward to many great pictures and stories from Russia. After your summer vacation, we would be happy if you told us a little about your experiences again.

Philipp Reinhard: We will certainly manage that, one or the other will happen that you can talk about. I thank you for the pleasant interview and the great support you offer me at Oberwerth. It's not without reason that my Oberwerth dangles over my shoulder! Skin clean and see you soon!
Note: Philipp Reinhard is currently exhibiting his series of pictures entitled “Fascination Cuba - Between Beauty and Decay” in the Bad Mergentheim Culture Forum. The exhibition is open to the interested public until September 9th.

In an interview with Südwest-Rundfunk (SWR), Philipp gives further interesting insights into his work, his inspiration and what is important to him when taking photos - be sure to check it out!

Shop now

Oberwerth - camera bags