You were chosen by Photo Vogue to show your work in Milan at Carla Sozzani Gallery. What an amazing experience! How did your creative journey as a photographer begin?
It’s hard to answer a question like that because everything I have lived through is visible in my art. So there is no special date the photography became everything for me. It just happened slowly until I started to have nightmares about losing my camera, which made me see that I was seriously into it. In 2013 Photo Vogue chose my art to be exhibited in Milan “A Glimpse At Vogue” and that was perhaps the obvious date that changed my view of myself as an artist. From that point, I had Photo Vogue behind me in my art and my development to be a better artist.
The majority of your photography takes place in outdoor settings and underwater. Are you inspired by nature? Why is this outdoor setting your preference?
I am not sure if I am so inspired by nature itself, but I am a sucker for natural light and I never use flash, so then an outdoor setting is great for my pics. But of course, my most personal work is happening in the summer when we can be outside and work underwater. Water is my signum and the most important for me as inspiration.
Your use of lights within your photography sets you apart from other photographers. Can you please tell me what inspired this and do the lights have an emotional connection to your work?
Yes, I do use different lights. Any lights really because I do not like to use flash. I have exprimented with a lot of other sources of light. I am very fond of lightstrands and to use mirrors to highlight details. There is no possible limitation to what one can use for lighting. Mirrors, sequins, flashlights, water, coloured bottles, magnifying glasses, therapy lights, and construction work lamps are just some of them.
You appear emotionally connected to your subjects. How do you choose the individuals you photograph? Do they commission you?
I am very emotionally connected to my models, which has created a lot of magical art but also conflicts. I have had some issues with keeping my work professional and not too personal. It’s hard to be objective when it comes to art you create with your soul. And when the concepts you create are done with practical hard work (to find ways to work with lights, props, ideas, models, circumstances and so on) they are almost like an imprint of yourself. I get vulnerable in regards to copycats. And then there’s the issue that an artist can not work for free, but still, needs to have models to create their art. I was very poor when I started to photograph. I could not pay a thing. So I did what any other photographer would do. I did “time for print” with inexperienced models. Some of those became really good under our cooperation, others just faded away. But I did become better and after a while I started to reach that point where I was good enough to demand payment. When you have that situation, and the models are used to getting photos for free, they of course are not happy when you end up wanting them to pay for the sessions. When your art is you, its hard to keep a distance with people and you need to have some distance from people in order to demand payment for your work. You can find yourself in an awkward position.
Do you have one particular muse that you seem to photograph more often?
I do, and I am forever grateful to them for being open-minded and able to connect both with me and their co-models. The social idea of beauty does not always appeal to me. I rather choose models that are artists themselves than agency models. I really need models that have experienced darkness but create light out of it instead of drowning. I need people who know how to struggle.
What technology/software/camera gear do you use to keep focused on what you do best, as you photograph?
I use a Nikon d750 and a Nikon Coolio underwater. I am not into technical stuff and when I would do a workshop I would go for “how to be creative” instead of “how use the camera”. And I always try different things. There is no idea that is not triable.
What inspires you to continue to take photos? Are there any other photographers that have inspired you on your creative journey?
I exist to take photos. Even if I did not have any followers or people interested in what I do, I still would do it. My art is me. I get inspired by my interaction with people and my own fears that I continue to challenge. I was over 30 years old before I learned to swim and have been (and still am) very afraid of water.It’s just to snap out of it when you want the perfect picture, and suddenly it is not so scary anymore.
What lies ahead in your creative journey? Do you have any upcoming projects you are looking forward to?
My husband Freddi (who is the other creative part of Högabo photography) and I are soon moving from our little apartment to a wool factory where we will build our big studio and our aquarium fittable for muses.The place is huge and grandiose so we dream about starting workshops for creative people and especially photographers. With the new space that is situated just an hour from Copenhagen, we will be able to have up to 10 participates staying at our place. It will be very cool. I look most forward to the aquarium naturally but to go from a little apartment where we photographed models for many years, to an enormous space will be so cool. You can look forward to wonderful things in 2018 and forward. Closer up though is a trip to Denmark to meet our beloved muse, Therese, again and to photograph a lot of pictures underwater in midsummer.