Photographer Menno Aden’s awesome Room Portraits capture small-space living like no other. Aden first got his start photographing the rooms of friends in Berlin — a city known for modest living, cheap rent, and often very tiny apartments. Inspired by the lives and sparse belongings of his fellow artists, he started the series as an extension of portraiture. With a bird’s eye view, Aden’s photographs capture the personality and essence of the small space dwellers, without ever showing their faces.
Using tripods, monopods, or even a boom to get the proper height, the photographer employs a wide angle lens to capture the room in its entirety. The perspective renders the tiny living areas as flat, two dimensional surfaces. Translated into colored squares, rectangles and blobs, the resulting imagery can be disorienting, at first betraying their identity as bedrooms.
Unmade beds appear as splotches of color, floor boards as background pattern, and dressers as neat rectangles. Although the elements and personal effects from each resident are present, the perspective creates a disconnect, making each book, plant, and magazine seem instead part of a grid, rather than a personal object belonging to a room.
The overhead view also betrays a room’s cleanliness as well. With floors acting as negative space, even the most disorganized of rooms appears somehow orderly.
Aden’s work fuses floor plans with portraiture, showing the beauty of small space living and making it a work of art.