Interviews / Stories
Photographer Jan Hammerstad (Denmark)
Tell us something about yourself
I am a 51 years old photographer, living and shooting just outside of Copenhagen, Denmark.
How and when did you get into photography?
I bought my very first SLR (Mamiya) from money I earned delivering newspapers as a boy. I quickly developed an interest in photography, and for many years I had a permanent darkroom at home.
Around 2002 I bought my first digital camera, and I haven’t looked back since.
What does photography mean to you?
Everything! To me it is an excellent way to blow of some ‘creative steam’. I get to meet a lot of talented persons and work with all kinds of different things.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I mostly shoot fashion and portraits. I usually try to keep a very tight and organized style,- not much it left to chance. I like to keep the pictures very ‘clean’, simple lines, stylish.
I play a lot with the lighting and love experiment with different kinds of lights to achieve different moods or effects.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I seek inspiration from all kinds of sources. Sometimes just walking by a building or seeing people in the street gives me an idea.
But I also look at a lot of pictures on a daily basis, and visit art exhibitions as often as I can.
Do you plan in advance what you want to shoot?
I plan almost everything. Sometimes things are changed at the shoot because of the circumstances but I find that my best shoots are the ones that are planned thoroughly in advance. Planning might include everything from clothing and styling to poses and expressions.
Studio, on location or both?
Primarily studio. I do go on location, but I consider myself a studio-photographer as 8 of 10 shoots are in my studio.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I have done so many it’s hard to pick one.
One that sticks out, though, is a shoot we did some time ago. It was for some bridal gowns, and I had two female and a male model in a public park in the middle of Copenhagen. The entire staff was around 12 people, including makeup artists, assistants for both me og the dressmakers, etc. We attracted a lot of attention, but I thrive under such conditions.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
I love Mario Testino! I also get a lot of inspiration from advertising. I am fascinated by the ‘language’ used in pictures taken for advertising.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I shoot Nikon, but I am not religious about it. I know my way around Nikons and to me it is the best tool. I always carry a 24-70mm/f2.8, a 105mm/f2.8 and my absolute favorite 85mm/f1.4.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Don’t give up, and never settle! It’s hard work and you need to stay focused on what you like. Listen to criticism. Consider it and form your own opinion.
And most important: you can always get better.
What do you think of our new magazine?
It looks great. I enjoy watching others photographers work, and I also think it a good idea to include interviews with models to give another side of the story.
My website is and my Facebook is