Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer Tobias Sörling (Sweden)
Tell us something about yourself
I’m a 31 year old Swedish photographer. I live in the northern part of Stockholm with my wife.
How and when did you get into photography?
I have always loved taking pictures, but with normal digital cameras. When my brothers and I got together and bought a DSLR camera for my father's 50th birthday and I tried it out. I was hooked. That was 8 years ago. The first 2 years I took pictures of everything that came in my way, primarily landscape photography. But 2010, I went over to models and I since haven't gone back to landscape photography.
What does photography mean to you?
The obvious answer is to express myself. But beside that, it’s something that I have for myself, that I can do in my spare time, when and where I want to. Other than that it’s fun to meet new people and I have made friends for life doing the thing I love.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I would say that I’m a portrait photographer first and foremost. I do everything from nude to fashion and everything in between. I try to expand my portfolio with different themes as much as I can with different models. But I tend to shoot mostly female models and I'm leaning towards closeup portraits that really stand out.
Where do you get inspiration from?
From all kinds of photographer/models groups on Facebook, hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. So I have give credit to all great photographers and models out there sharing their work.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
Sometimes I do but often I usually just have a wide range of photos I want to take and how I want it to look in the end but more then often I end up with something else than I had in mind before the shoot. So I tend not to plan it into the smallest detail. Many times the picture I had in mind before is not the best picture from that shoot in the end.
Studio, on location or both?
I have to say on location here. I really love to try and fit the environment into the picture in the best way. I also like soft natural light from a window or how the eyes sparkle when you put a reflector in front of your model during a sunny day. I can use a flash as a soft light if I have the model in really bright sunlight. Of couse I do studio shots from time to time. Living in Sweden it’s hard not to due to the winter and the weather conditions we have here. Late Autumn and during the Winter you have to shoot inside otherwise your camera will collect dust if you are unlucky with the weather.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I would say something in between. I do paid shoots from time to time but mostly I do TFP because it´s more fun to work forth an idea with the model and see it come to life and see the result in the end.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
This was really hard to decide and I had to think for a really long time before I could answer. My first Fine Art Nude session, in a real studio, not at home where it was tight spaces and narrow corners. I had an experienced model in front of the camera named Chrissy. She knew what she was doing with great poses, was flexibel to get some wierd ones in as well and just helped me out with a lot of basic stuff. I had the grasp of it, but she got me to see other stuff in the picture as well that helped me out in the future.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
I’m not like every other photographer that have these great photographers as a source of inspirations. I tend to look to photographers in my surroundings. One great source of inspiration I have is Tobias Walka. We talk a lot about the pictures I take and how to improve.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I use Canon and my favorite lens is their 70-200 F/2.8 L.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Take a massive amount of pictures. Play with the settings in the camera and don't be afraid to ask for help on all of the aspects of this profession. From composition, to lightning settings to editing. Don't be afraid of criticism.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I think it’s really great! An online magazine has a wider customer base than a regular magazine. The fact that the magazine is submission-based as well makes it a lot better. You’re getting to see photos from models and photographers that you wouldn't have seen otherwise.