Interviews / Stories
Interview: Monthly winner Tobias Walka (Sweden)
Tell us something about yourself
35 year old Swedish photographer based on the west coast. Been photographing for about 7 years now but has been shooting models for approximately 4,5-5 of them
How and when did you get into photography?
Bought my first dslr when we were expecting our first child almost 8 years ago. Started out with shooting most everything that came iny way. Flowers, animals at the zoo etc. Then I took some portraits at work, found out about the whole TFP-system, booked a model for a shoot and was hooked. And it’s been going downhill since then.
What does photography mean to you?
It’s a means of expressing myself of course. But mostly it’s something to do with my free time where I can mostly decide when and where it suits me. And of course, I meet a lot of great people. So it may sound like a contradiction but it’s the mix of the social aspect and the ”solo” aspect that attracts me. And more than that -if someone wants to pay me for it, well thats just a bonus!
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I’d say I’m first and foremost a portrait photographer although I try to mix it up more and more. I shoot anything from nude to couture and everything in-between. But I seem to be gravitating towards pictures of female models on the more sensual side of the spectrum.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I would say mostly from my fellow photographers and models. I either come across a picture that speaks to me or a model that inspires me and I take it from there. Social media is of course a goldmine, both with regards to inspirational pictures but of course also as a means of getting in contact with models etc.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
I usually have a feel for what I want to achieve when it comes to the feeling of the picture. I seldom have a picture in my mind of the finished result. First and foremost because the few times I have set out to realise an inner picture it never turns out anywhere near the desired result anyway. So I would say that Im quite emotionally driven in that regard.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I think I would put myself somewhere in between. I mean, I do paid work for both companies and civilians but I also feel most of my work is driven by my passion for photography so I do quite a lot more TF work than I need to to keep my portfolio up to date.
Studio, on location or both?
I started out as a studio rat but this last summer has been really good to me so now I kind of miss being able to photograph outdoors. But I think I would have to say both.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
This past summer me and a model went to Bohus-Malmön in the Swedish west coast archipelago and did a shoot in an old quarry. The location was simply amazing, magical light and a beautiful evening. I think it ranks as one of my favourite photographic moments all together.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
There has been a lot of different photographers that has inspired me. Jill Greenberg, Helmut Newton, Peter Coulson, Haris Nukem, Kesler Tran to name a few.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Im shooting Nikon and the 70-200 2,8 VRII sits firmly in first place as my favourite lens.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Do a LOT of shooting. Take a shitload of photos. School yourself by doing.
What do you think of our new magazine?
Great initiative and really inspirational stuff!