What inspired you to become a photographer?
I don’t see myself as a photographer as such. I’m rather someone who expresses my emotions through photos, and being able to do that is a gift to me. I have found that it is much easier for me to show what I feel rather than to say it with words. Being able to do this is the main reason why I have come to love photography. I started taking photos three years ago when I by chance installed the photo sharing application Instagram, at a time when I was experiencing a difficult time in my life. Since then, there has been no looking back. Photography is an important part of my everyday life– whether taking photos, editing them, or looking at other people’s photos for inspiration.
What is your advice to younger photographers?
Always carry your camera with you (I shoot with my iPhone and it is always with me). I would advise you to carry it in your hands, camera open, and ready to shoot. This will remind you to observe your surroundings for interesting things to capture, and also ensure you are ready when the moment arises. When I started out, my motto was to “Shoot first and think later”. I would examine everything through my lens – particularly the unseen. Pay attention to the small things which could be shadows on the pavement, or a ray of light, or whatever catches your attention. This will practice your observation skills, and over time you will learn how to compose images in a way that enhances whatever you wish to convey with your photo. Last but not least, have fun and do not think too much about it. Creativity comes from within first and foremost.
What would you consider to be your aesthetic and how does it show itself in your work?
I like a focused, surreal, or dreamy expression that leaves space for interpretation and asks questions rather than answers them. I prefer portraying the unseen, or the subtlety that surrounds us in everyday life. My preferred expression is black and white, due to its less than real expression. Above all, I prefer to have a simple expression without too many distractions in my composition. When I shoot a person I prefer to keep him or her anonymous and isolated. This is a direct projection of my approach to express my own emotions. You will never see me photograph a sunset (well only for the family album) as I simply find it is too easy to point and shoot at something beautiful. I prefer having to put in an effort to find the beautiful in something less obvious.
What does it feel like when you are shooting images / working?
This might sound strange, but it feels as if I am moving in a parallel world and my senses are acute. It is not easy to achieve this state of mind, and it takes dedication. However, it is at these times I have gotten my best photos. I like to listen to music when I go out shooting, and I try to keep an open mind and heart. Only then can I see all the little details of beauty that exists. I have a love for light and shadows, and how they interact and look on different surfaces or situations is amazing to observe. The word photography simply means painting/drawing with light.
Describe your relationship with your work.
I use my photography nearly as therapy and it is very personal. Many of my images depict feelings of melancholy and solitude. It’s been said that that a photographer is as much in the photograph as behind the camera. In my case for sure that is the truth.