Mads Maj-Sälzer: Function Becomes Art

Architerior got a chance to talk to Mads Maj-Sälzer, a Cologne based photographer who despite his young age of 16 is impressing with fenomenal architecture photographs. This is a guy who is passionate, inspiring and really represents the next generation of photographers in his way of looking at the urban environment and the buildings that surround us.

Mads’ photographs are represented in Architerior Galleryshop where you can purchase stylish photography prints from several photographers. Last chance TODAY to use the code “2FOR1” when you order. Just enter it at checkout and it will be changed in your invoice.

Mads Maj-Sälzer

Mads, tell us a bit about where you are from and where you live.

I was born and raised near Cologne in Germany. However, I wouldn’t call us a typical German family, because my mother comes from Denmark and we only talk Danish at home (That’s why my name is Danish too). I currently live in a small town about 30 minutes from Cologne. It’s hard to get around and I am pretty much bound to a car. As me and my family are drawn to cities, we often go to Cologne on Saturdays and enjoy the urban life that can’t be found in the rural regions. With its 1 million inhabitants, Cologne has a lot to offer.

How did your photograph interest start, or have you always been taking pictures?

I have always liked to photograph and was always the one to take pictures on our travels. A couple of years ago, I decided to by a DSLR-camera to take better pictures and consequently, my interest in photography grew a lot. You could pretty much say that my interest resulted from the use of my first high quality camera. When I got my first Instagram account, I used to share pictures of my travels. Other Instagram accounts inspired me to do something different and suddenly I discovered minimalistic photography. Instagram helped me a lot in finding my personal style and I still get inspired by other photographers every day!

Why do you love photographing architecture?

I was passionate about architecture since I was a kid. I’m fascinated by the diversity of architecture and how it can transform a functional building into an artwork. It’s no surprise that architecture became my subject of interest when I started to take pictures. When photographing a building, I love how many possibilities a building offers and how light and shadows, a minor change of perspective or a minor crop can change the photo and its mood drastically. With its patterns, lines and geometry, architecture has its own beauty – just like nature has its own beauty too.

How would you describe your photo style? What is special about it?

Generally, I photograph contemporary architecture with a minimalistic approach. My pictures are not intended to be documentary architecture photographs, but rather an abstract representation of architecture. I leave out any trace of the urban context in order to make the viewer focus exclusively on the architecture of the building itself. I think raising questions about how the whole building looks like, what is around it or even what the shown structure actually is, makes the picture interesting. It offers a lot of space for the viewer’s own imagination.

Do you want to share something about your editing techniques?

Sure! To support the calm mood that comes with a minimalistic composition, I soften high contrasts and light up dark shadows. I like to change the tones of my photos, especially of the sky to create a certain mood. If there happen to be clouds in the sky, I always remove them, since their strong texture appears distracting. Other than that, I already choose the perspective of the photo very carefully when I am taking it in order to ensure a geometrically correct composition.

What do you want your photographs to convey to the viewer?

Urban places are often associated with overwhelming impressions, lots of turmoil and a hectic lifestyle – and that is admittedly true for some cities. I want to show that urban places can be displayed as a calm and relaxing environment as well. There are so many different ways to perceive your environment!

What do you do other than photography?

Since I am only 16, I’m still in school, but I aim for studying architecture afterwards. As a sport, I like to play tennis in my free time. I am very curious about other countries and cultures and therefore love to travel around the world, especially to big metropolises! Furthermore, I am very interested in particle and quantum physics as well as cosmology and spend much time reading about it.


You can find Mads’ photographs in Architerior Galleryshop along with the prints of 5 other photographers. If you find something you think will fit perfectly on your wall – don’t hesitate to make an order! Until last February we are offering a unique 25% discount with the code FORMEX. Check out Architerior Galleryshop!

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