fashion Archives | Erik Almas Photography

My visual esthetic and that of the classic Norwegian Painters

It’s now 20 years since I left Trondheim, Norway, to study photography in the US.

Going about my craft, making pictures I felt good about, one can think it strange it’s only a few years ago that I discovered the connection between some of my signature imagery and Norwegian mythology and paintings.

Even though my photography have tones and themes resonating with the style described as “national romanticism” I have not consciously set out to recreate or pay homage to these paintings. Nor have I studied these prior. Subconsciously I have just been drawn to their style, or maybe even the very esthetic, landscape, light and mythology all norwegian artists has been living with growing up…

In recognizing this it became very obvious to me how my upbringing and the Norwegian landscape have shaped me as a photographer and how scandinavian my visual sensibilities truly are.







Norwegian Pintings

Natalia in Water.Final


When designer Leila Hafzi approached me to photograph her latest bridal collection with the inspiration rooted in Norwegian mythology and it’s landscape I was truly excited.

We would venture to the west coast of Norway and photograph the myths around the Snow Queen, the Hulder, and one of the more famous Norwegian paintings, Brudeferd i Hardanger (Bridal Procession on the Hardangerfjord).

In discussing this project it was impossible to not get into the subject of recreating our own version of this painting.

As we decided to do so it became the first time I consciously created an image to pay homage to a style that have deeply affected me as a photographer.

Brudeferd i Hardanger




Leila Hafzi is an extraordinary designer and working with her on several of her design projects have been extremely rewarding creatively.

I’m in gratitude to her and all the ones involved in this project. Especially the people at the tourist office in Stryn and the people of Flo who dressed up in the traditional norwegian garb Bunad to help recreate our Bridal Procession.


Below are the images we created for this collection and a behind the scenes look at how it came together.


Leila_SandnesGarn_Breng_I2982_Wip_2 Leila_Collection_G9A7240_Wip_1_a_4 Leila_Collection_Segestad_Exterior_Final Leila_SandnesGarn_Isflak1732_Wip_4_Final_V2 Leila_Sandnes_Garn_Waterfall4822_wip4_Final




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.


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…


Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 1.31.19 PM

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…












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…

Tale of the Peach Blossom – Trondheim, Norway

In November last year I shot an assignment for Trondheim Torg, a shopping center at the main square of my hometown. It was for their holiday marketing with the idea of turning the whole scene into a winter fairytale of snow and ice.
As this was my first commercial assignment that was shooting in Norway I went full force in recreating the square in snow and ice, even if it was late fall…

This March the agency, HK Reklame, called again to continue the idea of this first image of winter and do 3 new pictures following the seasons of spring, summer and fall…
This time they extended the idea to the open ended question “What if?”
What if the square was a bit different? Different as if a fairytale was taking place…

Just asking these questions makes visuals surface and I excitedly dived in again.
In addition to the home court advantage these images mixes a lot of the things I thrive on when crafting pictures.
I love a visual challenge, and being able to create rather than take pictures always intrigues me. Then setting the stage of the city square and the idea of “what if?” made for great visuals and almost a mythic storytelling quality to the images we wanted to create…
Telling stories and somehow connecting to them in a personal way has been my mission for years and I’m excited to share our second fairytale from Trondheim in it’s spring incarnation….


In the process of making the images I travelled to Trondheim to shoot the background plates and then off to London to do the studio work. Here’s a behind the scenes film showing the parts on how this came together.

A big thanks to HK Reklame, crew and cast and Chris Bodie on retouch for making this come together.
And till Summer I’ll leave you with the past image from Winter…


Suspending Disbelief

As I get older I get more and more intrigued by authenticity and how to achieve this in my images.
What makes an image honest?
What is real about a 2 dimensional representation of what we see?
Now add Photoshop to the equation and what’s authentic becomes even more questionable.

In 1817 the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge suggested that if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth” into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative.
He coined this Suspension of Disbelief…

In composite photography, even though the image is not real, one can still create an authentic emotional response to the image. One can craft something that in the execution feels authentic and honest to the eye and on a visceral level feel real.

Disbelief suspended and authenticity achieved?
It’s a big subject that is best solved over a good bottle of vine.

Till then I will explore authenticity in both the simple portrait and the larger composites…

I will leave you with a couple of my recent composites.
One done for Sky promoting the TV show 24 and another for Dassault Systemes.


The background image for 24 was shot over 2 days on Westminister Bridge. We locked our cameras down and shot a few frames every 10 minutes or so till we had captured beautiful weather and light and frames without people for the 24 hour time span we needed. We then had 20 minutes with Kiefer Sutherland. We set up a backdrop next to the stage where they were recording the show so Kiefer could just walk onto our set during a break in filming.


photo 1

In the below image for Dassault Systemes we shot designer Julien Fournier in Paris.
In this composite the idea was an interactive experience being so close to the real thing one can step right into Julien Fournier’s design studio…


photo 2