editorial Archives | Erik Almas Photography

The best place you have yet to visit.


Through photography I have been lucky enough to visit a great amount of cities and countries around the world.

Some of these travels are now reflected in images within a new Travel category on my website. I have chosen 12 locations from 6 different continents that all in some way have shaped and influenced how I see the world and myself. After more than a decade of extensive travel the biggest shift however is in realizing WHY I find it so intoxicating to travel, and why this can be found anywhere…




My travels often come up in conversation and a very common question is: What is your favorite place among the one ones you have visited? My answer has always been; the one I have not yet been to.

This however is beginning to change and I’ll share with you why.




What have enticed me so much about travelling, putting me on the road for 200 to 250 days out of the year, has been this intoxicating feeling of newness.

As I come to a new place the mind somehow quiets. There’s no thinking about what I should have done different in the past or what I need to do in the future. All the thoughts my mind is busying itself with are gone and the mind get’s in the flow of observing, seeing and getting to know. It settles into the present and engages fully in what happens in the moment. As it is all experienced for the first time I, like a kid, soak up all the new impressions.

The exhilarating feeling of seeing and experience something new awakens us and puts us in a sensation, or a rapture of being alive.

At least it does for me…


India grid 1 grid

As this newness fades it does not take long before I again crave to travel and access this experience of appreciating anew. Of being in the moment, present, and soaking up all a new place has to offer.


This is a part of what the Buddhist calls “the wanting mind”. As soon as we have or understand something, the mind craves something new. It is at it’s worse when we over consume, but it also applies to my experience of travel.

I have realized that I don’t have to travel to find this intoxicating newness in a place. It exists everywhere and can be accessed everywhere. One just has to approach it from a “beginners mind”, as if the familiar is experienced for the first time.


My work has always been location driven and early on I chased new places to create what I thought would be better pictures. I have realized however that it was not the new location that was better; What it did was to put me in a better state to create.

Travel still excites me like a kid, but it has taught me a very valuable lesson; To approach the familiar in the same frame of mind. That my treasure is everywhere and that I just need to know where to look.



Years ago I saw an interview with Paolo Roversi, a photographic hero of mine. I’m paraphrasing here, but he in essence “pray each day for the divine to enter his studio and to allow him to create something special”. At the time I didn’t understand this for more than a simple saying; Today I think it one of the more valuable lessons I have learned. Unless I connect to the place or the person I try to photograph and am present in the process I will never fully allow myself to see it and to understand it.


Erik Almas Advertising Editorial Photograper Blog Norway


So now I pause, I breathe, I say my own prayer and try to ground myself in the space I take pictures.

This process have made me a way better photographer. It also helped me realize that there is no “best” place.

All the places I have been have offered their own, very unique experiences, and I now know this full awareness I experienced while creating in a new location is with me all the time.

Erik Almas Advertising Editorial Photograper Blog Costa Rica

So, if you’re a young photographer reading this I would love to impart one small lesson. Go travel, see, absorb and be inspired, but do not let yourself fall in the trap I did starting out; Believing a different place or a better location is needed to make a better picture.

Look around you and the place you live in anew. Dig into your memories and find stories of growing up which you can retell in your images. Find what you love about the place and see it from a traveler’s perspective. See it as if for the very first time…






I hope this series of travel imagery, most of which are taken within the past 2 years, are just as much a refection of me as the places I photographed.

If so, then, maybe, my prayers have been heard…





The Roots and the quiet moments before getting on stage

What music would you play if you were to hang out with some of the best live bands around?

How would you set the mood with music if you were to photograph The Roots as they prepare for going on stage??

OCTAGON_MARTELL_Wip_11Test New Headv3



The Agency Octogon came to me to help create a new ad for Martell Cognac, featuring The Roots.

The idea was to show Questlove (Ahmir) and Black Thought (Tariq) in a dressing room as they prepare to go on stage. Reflection, self-evaluation, and elevation all happen at various moments in our lives, but they consistently are a part of the quiet moments before we are to do something of importance….

The intention was to capture The Roots in their pre performance rituals as they get into the zone, soak up the things that inspire and prepare to elevate themselves and those around them to share their music with the world.


In preparing for this picture, and any picture for that matter, I seek in myself a connection to the moment I want to create. I seek to understand, relate and make the emotion my own so the relationship between me and the captured moment will be a real one rather than completely created for the purpose of advertising.


So what are my rituals? How do I get into flow?


Early in my career one of my preshoot rituals was to play Opera.

I loved being in the car, driving through the dark with the anticipation of what the sunrise would bring, listening to the emotions packed into the performers voices.

My favorite was Maria Calas singing Mamma Morta. It’s a stunning aria where she goes from mourning to rejoycing, from seeking to believing and from darkness to light in the span of a few minutes. This aria is symbolic of so many things and in the quiet moments before sunrise gave room for getting in flow while waiting for the light to reveal the landscapes before me…



“It was then, in my grief,

that love came to me.

A voice full of harmony says,

“Keep on living, I am life itself!

Your heaven is in my eyes!

You are not alone.

I collect all your tears

I walk with you and support you!

Smile and hope! I am Love!”




The morning I drove into Manhattan to photograph The Roots was an amazing one. As I crossed the Williamsburg bridge the sun was rising and the wind from the open window flowed through the vehicle.
I shot the image below and let the sensation of the day envelop me just like Mamma Morta would do and I started thinking about what music one would play for amazing musicians…




As I have grown older and increased the understanding of myself and how I prepare and get into flow, my preshoot ritual has boild down to a short walk and a few deep breaths.

I close my eyes and breathe deepley. This grounds me to the moment and make me present. Not just in person but of the moment so I can soak up what is infront of me, connect to it and find in myself what I can bring to it.


As for the music it landed on my digi techs playslist; An eclectic mix of rock and electronica…

Chris Botti for Genlux Magazine

It’s been 18 months since my last editorial assignment. This is way too long but we have been so busy with commercial assignments there has not been room to take on Editorial work.


My photographic assignment work should be a better balance of Advertising and Editorial…With editorial there’s a complete liberty to push boundaries, explore and try different things that opens my expression into new avenues.

In advertising, agencies look at the work I have done and see something in it they want to apply to their ideas and concepts. In many ways this is repeating myself, recreating something for the purpose of the ad. To look and push forward creatively one have to do personal work, and the editorial platform is a great outlet for this personal creative push.

With openings in the schedule I got really excited when Genlux Magazine called and asked if I wanted to shoot their upcoming cover story of Grammy winning trumpetist Chris Botti. Genlux Magazine’s Creative director Stephen Kamifuji is quite hands off in his approach and usually provide you with a theme or an overarching idea of what he wants the images to say or express.

We talked wind and sound and the air that flows through the trumpet.

How could we depict this idea of Chris harnessing the wind in a conceptual manner?

Among the ideas was Chris being on a raft with him creating the wind for the sails.


In the end this felt a bit literal and expected and I was more intrigued by the idea of him floating on air.

A dreamscape where the air inspire; Where he is in and of the wind, harnessing it’s power and floating within it…


As this idea matured I started thinking about context and how we would fill 7 pages. How would Chris Botti get there? What was the connection between him and the flying machine?



A storyline emerged of him being in a personal library and the floating on air scene being more of his subconscious or space of inspiration, then taking him onto stage to perform what the air inspired.

With this very cinematic storyline it felt more like a film than a still story and I decided to go all in, creating not only the still visuals but a small film as well.

I have written about my thoughts on the still and motion disciplines becoming one in the world of commercial assignments so this was another great chance for me to create visuals across the 2 mediums.

In this I feel the 2 executions, both in the creating, execution and post all came together to create a seamless visual blend of still and film.





In creating this I’m in gratitude to Chris Botti for his gracious attitude and generousity of time. His manager Bobby Colombi for letting us extend the concept to include Chris floating in the air and ofcourse Stephen Kamifuji, creative director of Genlux.

An editorial budget does not cover much of anything so I’m also grateful to the crew, all wearing several hats, pulling together a shoot which should have had 3 times as many people helping out.

Also a big thanks to my friend and world class DP Ketil Dietrichson for a true collaboration of cameras.


I’m truly excited about the result so please check it out. There’s the film, stills and a behind the scenes look at the execution.








The Behinds the Scenes from our shoot day in Los Angeles

Included in Archive’s 200 Best AD photographers World Wide 2014-2015

I’m very honored to, again, be included in Luerzer’s Archive’s 200 Best Advertising Photographers Worldwide. This time for the latest 2014/15 listing.

This is the 5th time I have been included in this great company of exceptional photographers, and just as honored every time…





Genlux_Art_1438_Wip_1_Cropped_Flat_by Erik Almas - Advertising and editorial photographer

Erik Almas 200 Best Advertising photographers 1Erik Almas 200 Best Advertising photographers 2
McCann_ResWat_Kenzo_II_Portfolio_Wip_Final_by Erik Almas - Advertising and editorial photographer