Girl Next Door Project

The "Girl Next Door Project" is a photography concept by the German based photographer Erik Rulands. He tries to capture uncommitted and pure moments to show that every woman is beautiful in her own way. It´s not about posing or modeling, he wants to show personality and intimacy by empowering normal women with small or no modeling experience to let themselves fall in front of the camera and be just themselves.


Erik wants to capture pure, uncommitted and intimate moments by setting himself and the viewer of the photos into an voyeuristic-like perspective. By spending lots of time with his models, he tries to press the shutter throughout the flow of the day without focusing on specific posing but showing the moments that happened during a photoshoot. The challenge of the project is to find interesting women, who really can tell a story through the way how they are and to make them comfortable being in front of the camera in an quite intimate atmosphere in their own place.

The idea is to produce a series of photos with every model which will be a documentation of the shooting day but in its entirety as well a portrait of the model. Showing her personality, uncertainty, flaws and everything what makes her human and beautiful inside.

In order to support this ambitious aim for the photographs, Erik as well will produce short stories in a written form which are presented together with the photos. These stories contain thoughts, emotions and little anecdotes of how the day has been. Also a very short 30-second teaser video will be produced during each day of photoshooting.

In the end Erik is planning to make a Book and an exhibition out of all the photos, stories and videos.

Video Gallery

FAQ for Models

If you are interested in participating as a model in the Girl Next Door Project just write a mail to or use the contact form at the bottom of this page. Please include some information about you: Who are you, what are you doing, and also add some photos of you. Selfies or holiday shots are fine.

No. There is no need to have any modeling experience. I will guide you through the photoshoot. During the shoot I won´t ask you to do specific posing or sth. like this. In most cases everything comes with the flow or I use little stories to get you in the right mood.

If you are a professional model I am afraid to tell you that within this project I decline to work with professionals.

Every photoshoot will look different because of a changing environments, mood and settings. But in general I will set up my images using soft and natural light in order to create a sensual atmosphere in my images. You can see some examples here in the Photo Gallery section.

You can also find a moodboard here that shows examples of my photographic vision for that project:

Generally every photo shoot will be different. It could take from 2-3 hours to a half or full day depending on mood and situation. As much time we spend as better will be the results. Before every photoshooting we will talk a lot to get to know each other and find out if there is enough sympathy to go on with photos. This pre-shooting talk will as well serve as the basis of writing my story. I will ask you a lot of (nasty) questions about you. But this should be more a discussion, not an interview. During the shooting we will as well talk a lot, make nonsense, order pizza, drink wine and do whatever we can do to have an amazing day.

No! There is no need to be naked in front of the camera. I want to show you and your personality so whatever is convenient for you will be suitable for me. Nevertheless you should consider that my photos will be set in an intimate atmosphere. Showing skin is a common used stylistic element to reveal intimacy in photos.

After the photoshooting we will select together the photos that will be used in the end. From beginning to end you are involved in the production and selection process. You have to be okay with the fact that I will make some photos book-exclusive, so these ones won´t be shown or posted anywhere but in the book. After two to three weeks you will get a download link with all retouched images you can use for social media and so on. Normally this will be 3-6 photos. Of course you can get all other photos as well for private use.

The project is based on free participation. I am doing it because I want to make art and experiences. So unfortunately I can´t offer payment. Your compensation for participating will be the retouched photos.

I am planning to publish a book and make an exhibition out of this project. Since the project is still in production I am not able to tell an exact date when I will be able to publish a book or organize an exhibition.