i first contacted amanda six months ago when i was looking for a photographer based in uppsala to take my photos for this very blog. although we unfortunately have not been able to shoot together (her studies in gamleby keep her busy and out of town), i have been following her blog and photographic journey fervorously. her work is romantic; gentle in a way that comforts and transports. amanda welcomes the viewer into her world, a serene landscape, both mystifying and technicolor. there is an obvious nod to fashion in her photography, yet to pigeonhole amanda's work would be simply dishonest - versatility is surely her forte, with the faculty to back it up. can you tell i'm diggin what she's dealing? without further ado, may's hash of the month, amanda nilsson.
tell me a little bit about yourself?
i just turned 24, i’m from uppsala but currently living in gamleby where i study photography. i’ve been living in gamleby since august last year but in one month this semester will be done and i’ll move to stockholm where i’ll work as an assistant for a commercial photographer for six months.
when did you first discover your passion for photography?
i think i was in my late teens when i realized i was always the one taking photos of everyone, looking at everything around me as possible images and studying the commercial pictures in magazines instead of reading the articles.
what do you think is more important - the equipment or the imagination?
i think imagination is the most important. imagination combined with the ability to see pictures, know how to take them and have some knowledge about retouching is what i think helps to create great pictures.
what do you prefer – film or digital?
i must say that i prefer digital, mostly because i don’t have the knowledge about film or the process afterwards which make digital the easiest and most effective way for me to work.
who or what has influenced/inspired your photography the most?
things around me, such as locations, personalities and clothing, usually inspire me. i love second hand and often find inspiration strolling around beautiful dresses, paintings and old books.
do you have a favorite memory from a shoot?
one picture i especially remember taking was one of my self-portraits. i had a vision of taking a picture of a girl sitting in a tree reading a book, living in her own imaginary world. i got a ladder and climbed up to the roof of my house, placing the camera on a tripod and then climbing up the tree. i took the photo using a remote. i recall thinking to myself i was glad no one could see me while climbing up and down the tree and rooftop.
what is your favorite thing about photography? what is your least favorite? what is the most challenging?
i love photography because you can create so much with so little. you can capture a moment and make it last forever or create your own world. without any words you can express your feelings and share your emotions. if i had to say something negative i guess it would be that i sometimes feel like i’m missing things in the moment, only seeing it through my camera and thinking in pictures.
are you interested in pursuing photography as a full-time career?
yes, i am hoping that i will be able to make a living as a photographer. at least, i know that i want to work with something including pictures, like in the marketing or commercial industry. i have studied economics for one year at uppsala university and if i can’t work with photography full time i hope that i may be able to combine the two.
do you have any recommendations for young photographers like yourself?
i think it’s important to do your thing and take a lot of pictures without thinking too much about what others will say, but also take critique and listen to people giving you advice. look closely at your pictures and search for inspiration on how to develop them so you keep getting better. try doing things you didn’t think you could.
where do you see yourself in 10 years?
i see myself doing what i like the most, photographing a lot, traveling and meeting interesting people.
describe yourself in three words.
dreamy, open-minded and analytic.
who is the first photographer that comes to mind?
denise grünstein, because she’s one of my favorite photographers with a personal style that i really admire. i especially like her personal work but she even manages to reflect her own style and a sense of beauty in her commercial work that i think is amazing.
what have been your most exciting opportunities thus far in regards to your career and what are you looking forward to?
i guess my greatest accomplishment concerning my career as a photographer is being admitted as a student at gamleby school of photography. this education includes working as an assistant for an established photographer for about six months. starting in august i will be assisting a swedish photographer named andreas lundberg and i'm really looking forward to that.
when do you feel the most (fashion)high?
when wearing a new outfit or when i have found a new way to match and wear old clothing. also when i'm amazed at artistic fashion photographs where clothing, colors and lightning interact and create a beautiful piece of work.
how did you develop your aesthetic?
i think i have always been quite observant; i started to see details and “pictures” where others just see everyday sights. also the more photos i take and the more i learn i start seeing different things that i haven’t thought of earlier and that gives me ideas of what to do the next time to make the picture even better, so i think my aesthetic will continue developing.
what constitutes the perfect image, in your opinion?
a picture that makes the viewer think “wow”.
if you had no limitations on a photoshoot, what would do?
i would create my own world with lots of flowers, animals, color and models with long hair.
aside from your camera, what are five things that you can’t live without?
mobile phone, leather bags, running shoes, pianos and a notepad + pen.
if you can’t sleep, what is most likely keeping you awake?
the absence of my room mate.
mary kate or ashley?
stockholm or copenhagen? stockholm
yes or no? yes
fast or slow? fast
thriller or comedy? thriller
sweet or salty? salty
white or black? black
heels or flats? flats
tee or tank? tee
time or money? time
individual or team? team
read or write? read
coke or pepsi? pepsi
hair or makeup? makeup
coffee or tea? coffee
fringe or fur? fringe
hot or cold? hot
loud or quiet? loud
many thanks to amanda! be sure to check out more of her work here.