Looking at Anders’ photographs remind of old Super 8 films of parties, weddings and family holidays, remind of proud parent’s taping the first steps, the first words of their children. Even though the images can’t be compared with those old vintage movies, we all know, in their style and aesthetics they have the same power: to show life as simple, intimate and beautiful as it is. Johansson manages to become part of the scene in front of him. His images document and record, but not from a distance. Without being close ups in a technical way Anders’ works are close ups of the life in front of his camera.
Keeping this images here in black and white makes the moments Anders captures even more special, taking away the fastness of a snapshot, creating a concentration of the motive, without adding any heaviness to his photographs. Anders’ images speak for themselves – with presence and connection.
Do you still use an analog camera? Or do you photograph digital?
I shot most of my work digital, but I do shot analog also, when im planing a project I look at what suits me most, it can be analog or digital.
When did you start taking pictures? Did you study photography?
I started in school as a way to get my grades up, I had to pic an extra course and photography seemed to be a simple thing to do. I also took some darkroom courses but that it really.
Do you think it’s important to study photography?
I think it’s important to study photography in the sense of looking at images, photographers work, books, exhibitions, try a workshop. To study in schools can also be, but not as important as study the work of others.
How much time do you spend selecting and retouching your images?
Selecting images is an ongoing process for me, if taking 100 images I often select about between 4-10 on a luck day. Then I often come back for a second and third look, and still ongoing. Retouching: less than 5 minutes for each image.
How do you find your subjects? Is it always easy to communicate with them when they are not professional models?
A lot of my work is commissioned or personal work of my family and friends. Taking the time to talk and to be personal, and honest about your intentions, let the camera be just a tool, a part of you, the part that just comes along, it’s the pictures in between the ones you were going to take that counts. I often use my commissioned work in my own projects.
Do you think you need a philosophy to create your photographs?
I like to think so, presence, awareness and to acknowledge, for me my photography and to photograph is a way of mindfulness. Seeing and recording live, my life with others.
What message(s) do you want to communicate through your pictures?
Presence and connection, the rest is in the eyes of the beholder.
How did you develop your own style?
In a way, I sometimes think that nothing has really changed in the way I see images or how I make them. It is an extension of when I first started taking pictures, almost always in black & white. about developing style, it’s just that, it’s me. It is personal, my way of seeing the world, like a private diary for everyone to see.
What influences you / what are you’re sources of inspiration?
Photography in general, Music is a big influences for my work, and my family, love and life in itself.
What are you currently working on?
Assignments and commissioned work,and my personal projects, I have three of them running, I don’t know if it’s going to be three separate in the end, or if they all met up eventually, to early to say.
How did you get your first assignment/job/magazine feature/exhibition?
My first assignment, shooting promotion portraits of a musician or a fashion assignment, I don’t remember but, I got it because they had seen some of my work and liked my style. Also being that guy with a camera that someone know played its part.
What was the best advise you ever received and/or what would you like to tell prospective/aspiring photographers?
I have received a lot of advises and if im going to give something back it’s got to be not to listen to advise, trust yourself, your own voice, your own stomach, be personal, do your thing. Don’t block yourself, don’t over think, just lift the camera and click, share your work.
If you had the chance to meet a person of your wish – dead or alive- and ask one single question who would it be? And what would you ask?
My grandfather, he passed away many years ago, back in -94. He left a lot of questions after passing, for me there is only one question that could lead to the answer of the all of them – can you look straight in the camera, please.
How would you describe your photographic look / your style in five words
Documentary, personal, less is more
All images were edited with Lookfilter Lightroom Preset Mezzanine. That’s amazing!
Thanks Anders for this great interview, take care!
All images created and © Anders T. Johansson 2015