Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer Jonas Eklöf (Sweden)
Tell us something about yourself
I’m a photographer from Gothenburg, Sweden. I also run a production company together with a friend, so nowadays I’m mostly producing film material.
How and when did you get into photography?
My dad had a darkroom for developing B/W pictures in the cellar of our house, that’s where my interest started when I was a child. But I didn’t start to shoot professionally until maybe 10 years ago.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is an outlet for creativity. A way to adapt the world to my vision.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I go mostly by feeling. I like natural light and capturing moments, not preparing for hours. I always photoshop my pictures in a somewhat “dirty” way. It just happens haha, that’s how I like them.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Well, from anywhere really. I don’t consume that much photography, so when shooting I am more inspired by the situation or a feeling than a certain style or something like that.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
That depends. With commercial work you often have to decide beforehand how the picture will look. But when I have artistic freedom I prefer to just put myself in a situation and then see where it takes me.
Studio, on location or both?
Both, even if I prefer location. I’m not really that interested in the technical side. Some people love to build with light to perfection, but I don’t work like that.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Since it’s what I do for a living 100% I guess it’s not a hobby anymore. But I also do a lot of private unpaid projects, just for fun.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
People are always my biggest inspiration. I almost exclusively shoot people, and it’s the meeting that inspires me. And in post it’s the ability to enhance the feeling of that meeting that has me hooked.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
When shooting stills I always use Nikon if I’m not shooting medium format.
I use either a D800 or a D5. As for most people who use their camera as a work tool, the 24-70mm f2.8 gets the most use. But my favorite lenses right now are Nikon 85mm f1.4 and Sigma Art 24mm f1.4.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Get connected, learn to sell yourself, and work your ass off. Basic stuff but true.
Oh, and NEVER sell your time too cheap, you will never gain anything from it. Never believe anyone who says stuff like: “This is an opportunity for you, if you do this cheap for me now it will help you in your career bla bla bla”. That is never true. They are just assholes using cheap labor, and that will never change. Find other customers.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I think it looks great. It’s an ambitious magazine with great potential.