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Dear Friends,

I wish you merry Christmas and a happy new year.  An uplifting mindset and a robust immune-system – yes we have a global crisis regarding Corona. celebrates this year it's 7th anniversary. Congratulations! 🎂

When I was around 16 years I got a present from my parents. It was an old and used Minolta-Camera with a single lens. I was quite surprised how excited I was. I loved to read, to draw and listening to electronic music and sometimes to Bach (Urggghss. To complex - simplicity and melodies I could dream was more important to me). To ride my mountain-bike through the beautiful forests around Göttingen was a pleasure. To hang around with friends and to work for climate-change a must. Starting to dream about something bigger I couldn't imagine: the beginning.

2013 was a magical year for me. I was back from India and had the first time a good Chai and a marvellous meal next to Dharmsala with Sharmishtha Dattagupta and somehow I met myself everywhere in India. The food, the smell, the cows on the streets, the Ganga-River, the dust of change and timeless places in Kolkata. Not always easy; but mind-blowing, eye-opening with memories and images staying forever. And I met Muriel Sobirey, who helped me clearing questions with a kind of compassion and heart to heart feeling I always wished myself from a teacher a mentor and coach.

Steve Jobs said in his famous speech to students of the Stanford University:

"Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

All these people, the coincidences, Chai, Zen-Food and the most important event in my life: a magic-knot-moment. Looking into her eyes: Francesca Munari, changed my life completely. Is this love? Maybe. Is this just magic? Yes. Is this the invisible gate of a tale? The tale, that a dream and a vision will become true? Step in. Or: how my vision with and THIS WE ARE – DAS SIND WIR might evolve in the future.

Today we have 2020 and seven years ago I founded with a simple webpage including an online-store with a lot of confidence and many many more questions. Not a big deal? Of course it is!

By the way: Thanks to Mark. Oh gosh my old friend. You and your crazy Patagonia-Catalogue and your books with endless pictures from the Himalayas, the Alps and the Yosemite-National-Park. The memory of listening to U2 together with you was sometimes was so important to me, when I was near the end. "I cannot anymore. I will quit. Who needs these kind of pictures?" I mean: hello Mary in Taos?! Even the feeling: you are there on the other side of the planet and letting me know: "It is just the right thing to do." And thanks to Fabian, Stefanie and Danail. These kind of relationships and friends are for me important keys to success. Inspiring moments. An upright question and an answer one can rely on: Trust.

"With PH or with F?" had a problem: The name."Hi, please look at my website. bartels..... foto." A conversation often ended with this qusetion: "With PH or with F?"

It was irritating - for myself and the person I was talking to.

Sometimes life decides the right way for us. With some technical problems on I decided to change the URL to BOOM. 

I mean: it's just me and so simple. I am Holger. Holger Bartels. Or:




I would like invite you to take a look on THIS WE ARE – DAS SIND WIR is today with ~160 portrait images one of the largest online library of portrait images. From Kolkata to Erfurt; from Portugal to New Delhi. 

Translations are arriving too. We have now 13 languages, including Hebrew, Hindi, Arabic and also Armenian. And many more. Do you know a language, which is not on the webpage? Don't hesitate to contact me by email:

I wish you a good start into 2021 – and stay healthy.

Love, Holger

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