Your Bedroom Is the Window to Your Soul: Menno Aden’s ‘Room Portraits’ With a Birds-Eye View

Menno Aden room portraits bedroom with pink accentsUntitled (S.E.) 2008, 100 x 166 cm (39 x 65″)

Menno Aden is a German photographer based in Berlin whose work focuses on architectural structures and the way anonymous, inanimate objects reflect the cultures of the people who use them. In Room Portraits Aden uses a unique perspective to document the essence of people who occupy rooms without actually photographing them: instead, he positions his camera to shoot their rooms from a birds-eye view.

“For me as an artist, watching from a higher position on a small space is interesting because I can see someone’s ‘compressed personality,’” Aden wrote to Slate. “I started photographing rooms of friends in Berlin, to make portraits of them without actually seeing them,” he said.

When Aden finds a room he wants to photograph, he elevates his camera to the height of the ceiling and takes about 150 pictures for later processing. The resulting photographs are a study of three-dimensional spaces as flattened, two-dimensional objects. Items that we would normally have glanced over when we looked from ground level suddenly catch our eye when we look down upon the rooms. So far Aden has photographed living spaces, classrooms, garages, operating rooms, and commercial areas.

Menno Aden room portraits asymmetrical room

Untitled (D.A.) 2005, 50 x 63 cm (20 x 24″)

Menno Aden room portraits living room

Untitled (H.W.) 2007, 56 x 84 cm (22 x 33″)

Menno Aden room portraits operating room

Untitled (Oper. Room) 2008, 80 x 129 cm (32 x 51″)

Menno Aden room portraits classroom

Untitled (Classroom) 2010, 178 x 140 cm (70 x 55″)

Menno Aden room portraits bar

Untitled (Bar) 2011, 90 x 160 cm (35 x 63″)

Menno Aden room portraits corner store

Untitled (Corner Shop II) 2011, 120 x 100 cm (47 x 39″)

To see more of Aden’s room portraits, visit his website. Through Room Portraits Aden won first place in Accademia Apulia’s 2013 Home, My Place in the World photography award.

What do you see when you look at Menno Aden’s room portraits?
via It’s Nice That

Dave Lorenzo
My bedroom says "two kids under the age of five live here..."
Jason Wagner
I like to think that my bedroom says utilitarian.
Compared to those, I don't have a bedroom...
Harold Gardner
It says I am a guy. Basic sort of stuff. Not much fancy. No mood lighting. What you see is what you get.
Jose A F Carrilho
Not many people could fit in my room.
Chris Sandys
Utilitarian and hyper-organized-packed at first appearances, until you turn on the mood lighting, then all fun.
Jason Adkins
My bedroom says I should invest in a hamper.
Lanie Dills
My bedroom shows that I enjoy plants, art, music, books and orderliness.
Steven Krohn
What does my bedroom say about me? Interesting question. Well since I have a large bedroom, half of it is my home office so I spend alot of time in there. I think it says that I sleep hard and work hard almost to obsession. It also will tell you that I don't like clutter, so it is fairly organized and straightened up. Overall it would probably call itself a bedoffice.
Emily Suppes
Mine also. I have a girly bedroom and a lot of stuff, on the walls, around my room, and my office is 1 step, from my bed. Handy!!!
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