Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer Martin Bohm (Sweden)
Tell us something about yourself?
My name is Martin Bohm, I’m a 24 years old photographer from Sweden. I love art in all its forms - music, photography, fashion, feelings and beautiful things in the world, like the sky, the sky is my favourite thing.
How and when did you get into photography?
6 years ago I took a step in the wrong direction, deciding to study something that I really didn’t want but that society kind of pushed me in to. Some months in I felt that this really wasn’t for me so I quit school and applied for an internship at a printing lab instead. That’s when I got my first camera and started practicing photography. I worked there for some months before I went back to school, this time to a musical school. From this day until today I’ve just been shooting more and more.
What does photography mean to you?
Visuals are my passion - I live for the rawness of the dark and the love of the light. I strive for imperfect perfection and dreamy visuals. Photography means everything to me, without it I wouldn’t have any way to process my thoughts or express my feelings. I’m not that into commercial photography, for me it’s the emotion and feeling a photo gives me that is the most important part.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I’m in a never ending wrestle with my style but I think that is what keeps me going, I want to try all possibilities before I settle with something. I’ve been experimenting my way forward since I started and I’m finally starting to realize what I really like, but there’s still a lot to try though. In general I’d say that my photography is quite clean and stylish like the Swedish fashion scene but I like throwing in a whole lot of ”trashy” and moody vibes to make it my special mix. I like including lines, patterns and architecture in my shots. I need to feel the pulse of the city to take the most authentic photos I can. Visually I prefer a bit more gritty/old school look and I’d definitely shoot 100% of my work on film if I could afford it. I’m a real sucker for black and white, but love working with colors, I try to just go with the flow and always listen to my heart.
Where do you get inspiration from?
There’s so much in the world that inspires me, everything from the color of the sky to music from all over the world, beautiful personalities, rain in the air or riding a bike at 04.00. I just try to feel the world and let it make me take photos.
Studio, on location or both?
Going on adventures with models are the best, because you never know what you will get, I like that. I lived in Barcelona for a year and just got back from LA, all location shoots there and that’s how I like it. Here in Sweden I will shoot some studio now when it’s winter and too cold to shoot outdoors. I like both but prefer on location thanks to the freedom you have.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
Sometimes I like to plan something advanced, with a lot of factors that will have to work, but mostly I prefer to be spontaneous and just improvise the shots according to mood and vibe.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I don’t want to consider myself anything else than a guy trying to do what’s most right for me but I’ve been living on photography for 3 years now. Still have a ton to learn though, and that is what keeps me going. Every move is a step on the way.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I can’t name just one, that’s impossible, and I try to learn or take something small with me from every session I do. I’ve met so many amazing personalities during my career and will always be thankful to people who want to collaborate with me. One of the most recent things I remember is a shot that was kind of random but got a lot of attention. I was in Los Angeles visiting my friend Daniel. We were in Koreatown looking for a nice Asian restaurant but ended up on a really shabby MMA-bar/Italian pizza place. We ate a pizza that wasn’t too good and then snapped some shots in front of their neon sign when they weren’t looking. One shot ended up on Vogue’s website and is probably my favourite from the whole LA trip.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
I mentioned some things that inspires me above but if I would be more precise I would say the music of my favourite band ”Kent”, magazines like Off The Rails, Schön! Magazine and C-heads, photographers like Chuck Lang, Haris Nukem, Asher Moss and Kat Irlin, models like Sahara Ray and the amazing creatives I get to work with.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Neither. I started out with Canon but since last year I’m shooting with Sony and Fujifilm, couldn’t be happier. I haven’t got a lens in particular that is my favourite but I like wider angles, everything between 20mm up to 55mm, the Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/1.4 is one of the lenses I use the most.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Don’t rush trying to find your personal style, I still haven’t found mine completely and at first that was a stress that blocked my creativity, now I just see it as an exciting journey with no exact destination and I can go any way I want trying to do different stuff. Also I want to encourage you all to take your time and try all kinds of photography to really discover what inspires and motivates you the most. In the end of the day it’s not about what other people like to see, it’s about what you like to create. If shooting insects is your thing, that’s where you will get the most out of your creativity and develop as a photographer. And as cheesy as it might sound, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, I have no formal education in photography and the majority of my skills comes from making mistakes and learning from them. Dare to do your thing!
What do you think of our new magazine?
Love it! Always such a good variation of photographers, models and content in Modellenland Magazine, I like that you publish professionals as well as hobbyist giving a wide perspective of the fashion scene out there. Really appreciate being featured, especially in the same issue as my muse and one of my favorit models, Malin Nyström. Don’t forget to check her out and big up to Modellenland, thanks for making this happen!
@martinbohmphoto on Instagram
Martin Bohm Photography @ Facebook