Interview: Photographer Jan Vestergaard
Tell us something about yourself
“My name is Jan Vestergaard. I’m 49 years old. I’m a Dane living in Randers, Denmark.”
How and when did you get into photography?
“I bought my first DSLR camera, a Canon 1000D with two kit lenses, back in 2008, but my first real camera was a Pentax Z10 back in 1995. I shot with that for a few years and then decided to stop. I liked looking at pictures but I didn’t really like taking them myself. It all changed in 2008 when I bought my first DSLR. It seemed easier to develop pictures on computer instead of using a dark room. I shot mostly landscapes from then on until 2015 where I decided I needed to try something new and that was model shooting. I really enjoy that.”
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
“I try to produce real life pictures. I want to keep them as close to reality as possible.”
What does photography mean to you?
“Photography is my way out of my head. It’s an opportunity to catch a moment in time and then I can enjoy that moment over and over again when I retouch or simply just enjoy the result afterwards. I feel an immense peace inside when I shoot.”
Where do you get inspiration from?
“Everywhere 😊. Sean Archer, Dani Diamond, Peter Coulson just to name a few.” But also the light around me. A sunbeam, nature, people, places…”
Studio, on location or both?
“Both. I prefer location because I love working with natural light and get the best out of it. I might use reflectors or modifiers but no flash at all outside. In the studio of course I use whatever flash I have to get the result I want”.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
“I try to but usually ends up with something else. I shoot mostly with my heart and not my mind. I always make a mood board and share that with the model(s). Then we agree on makeup, clothes etc. Then when we meet the magic usually takes over but sometimes we end up with something completely different. Of course, this is only happening when I shoot TFP. On paid sessions, I carefully plan what is happening on set.”
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
“I’m a paid professional. My hobby is modelshooting. My professional work is business headshots, shooting real estate and product photography.”
What has been your most memorable session and why?
“It’s tough to choose between them but I think shooting with my first model Amalie, must be the most memorable because I really broke down some personal boundaries and I felt so happy afterwards.”
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
“I think a combination of Sean Archer, Dani Diamond and some of the fantastic skilled photographers in my network. I alway set my bar high eager to learn new things and getting better to retouch. Many of the photographers I admire are incredibly talented retouchers and I want to be able to compete with them.”
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
“Nikon D810 and I have 3 favorites. The Nikon 24-70 F72.8, the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 vr2 and the Tamron f/1.8 DI VC USD. Especially the Tamron is on my camera in the studio.”
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
“Don’t be affraid to try out something new. Try to get outside your comfort zone once in a while. Practice a little every day and don’t forget to have fun!”
What do you think of our new magazine?
“I love it. It’s good quality time and pictures and interviews are great.”