Traveling home to Norway to Shoot for Leila Hafzi and Sandnes Garn

 

Last May I traveled to Nepal with Norwegian clothing designer Leila Hafzi.

 

She had decided to become a designer at the top of the mountains in Nepal 15 years prior and wanted to return to that very place of her commitment as a location for her anniversary collection look book.

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For our second collaboration Leila wanted to shoot home in Norway with the archetypal Norwegian woman as her inspiration.

 

Leila describe this archetype that inspired the collection and designs done for knitwear company Sandnes garn like this:

 

“She is a young Krisin Lavransdatter, the singing Kari Knutsdotter and the Viking chieftain’s only daughter.

She is a wood nymph and a Birkebeiner on the ice – but most of all she is the Norwegian / Scandinavian woman: Strong, proud and fearless.”

(These are all mythical female characters from Norwegian tales, both historical and fictional…)

So solidly grounded in both our Norwegian heritage I started to think about how and where to take these images.


Norway is one amazing country but there truly was just one place for me this could be photographed: In the area around the village where my father grew up.

Sitting among the dramatic mountains and fjords of Norway’s West Coast is this extraordinary place called Flo…

 

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In a visual career one can look back at the work produced and see how it has drifted and how upbringing and heritage have shaped the artist and his or her esthetic.

In looking back at my own career and the images I have produced it’s easy for me to see in the photographs I have taken where and who I was as a person through out these 20 years. It’s all reflected in the subject matters I chose to photograph and how I chose to depict them at the time.  The longings, the ambitions, the insecurities, the times I were restless, the times I was calm the times I was seeking and the times I felt at home.

In all these variations though there’s a very singular visual backbone that carries through all the work I do. This thread is my visual heritage and, to me, so undeniably Norwegian. It’s influenced by these amazing landscapes of Norway, the bigness of the mountains coming straight of the water and the vastness of the land. All this enhanced and shaped by the low laying northern sun.

So here I was, going back to Norway to photograph in the environment I knew had greatly influenced both the way I see things as a photographer and the values I carry with me…

I’m excited to share with you the work I did with Leila Hafzi and Sandnes garn this past June. A combination of inspired Norwegian Knitwear, the Archtype of the strong Norwegian Woman and me going home…

 

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Too see how all this came together check out the Behind The Scenes.

 

 

Again I’m in such gratitude to Leila and her inspirations for giving me another adventure and set of experiences.

 

A big thanks to Monkey Productions and the locals of Stryn and Flo for graciously helping with all our odd requests…

Connecting Still and Motion in the Namibian Desert

I’m really excited about the future of photography and image making!

As we are moving into one visual multi media language, how we create and absorb imagery and how the market savvy ad agencies choose to use it is changing really quickly…

If you know social media guy Gary Vaynerchuk he will tell you that people look down on their phones more than they look up. He ask’s the really interesting question; “Why would big ad agencies bother putting up Billboards when people look at their phones. Even when they are driving!”

As a photographer and artist whose living is made in Advertising I get excited! Excited to be a part of the changes.
I think imagery that stands out among the visual bombardment we are presented with during our day is becoming increasingly valuable so as photographers we have a great future.
That is as long as we stay relevant…

I believe  the biggest element in this change to be the ability to translate one visual language through all mediums(photography, film and animation) on all traditional and social media platforms.

So I have started; Started to look at how my photographic DNA can translate into moving images.

Last year I had an amazing trip to Namibia with the agency Frameworks and their client Dassault Systémes. It has taken a while but we now have what I feel is a seamless translation of my photographic language into the storytelling world of motion.

Check it out…

Art directed by Ray Brennan with original Score by Dominic Brennan. Post by Rainfall Films

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The other images…

In the past 18months I have done a lot of images for American Airlines. 5 shoots building interiors of planes in different studios, one shoot at LAX and another 2 days shooting a brand new 777-200 while flying over California…

Out of this body of work came a series of studied images with a cool, modern color palette used for branding the new look of American.

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Through this effort I shot a library consisting of thousands of images. Some of the photographs captured were truly random and somewhat unexpected for my style of image making.
I started looking at these off topic images and posting them on instagram whenever I got on a flight. Through posting on Instagram I got compelled to look at my own captures a bit differently.

The moment between the moment is a well know term in photography. It’s a strange saying as the moment between then becomes THE moment and a moment surely cant be between itself. (Now this lofty topic might be better pondered over a glass of vino…)
These between, off scope, images was shot as intuitive responses to what I saw. As I revisit these photographs they have grown on me and I’m really intrigued by what they contain versus the edited and retouched images for the branding.
There’s for sure a spontaneity and intimacy to these that are lost a bit on the classic view. Maybe a bit of honesty as well..

As I keep looking for that elusive “moment” in image making I’ll leave you with the below to check out. Me, I’m seeing a more random side to making that perfect image and grateful for another experience and opportunity to grow as a photographer.

Cheers,

E.

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Seeing my work in Print

After my first commercial assignment some 14 years ago I could not wait to see the image in a magazine. I impatiently waited for 3 months for the ad to be published and on the day it arrived on the magazine stands I bought two of the same issue.
One of the magazines was Home & Garden and I still have a copy of that very issue tucked away somewhere. I don’t hold on to things but for some reason that felt like a milestone and I will probably keep that issue another 14 years…

As with all things new which then becomes familiar the excitement wears off.
It does not go away though and I still feel a great sense of accomplishment when I see my work displayed in public.
There’s quite a few of the campaigns I have been fortunate enough to be a part of that are running at the moment.

Below are the ones spotted..

In London The TV show 24 for SKY Television.

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In the same issue of Fast Company 2 ads for Don Julio Tequila and 2 ads done for Dassault Systemes.

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Revelation Spread

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Credit Suisse spotted at JFK Airport in New York

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American Airlines spotted on buses in New York, Boards in London and Buenos Aires

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Trondheim Torg on Bus shelters in Norway.

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If you do see others please share!