CREATIVE PEOPLE SERIES: Lisa Lind
I met Lisa Lind at Øyafestivalen this year and I soon figured out that she is an amazing photographer. She became fascinated by artists like Edvard Munch already in kindergarden and started with photography when she was 9 years old. She has done all kind of photography jobs, but her favorite thing to do is taking portraits of people in botanical gardens.
What made you start with photography?
I’ve always loved taking photos. I got my first analog camera when I was 9 years old and from thereafter I made my younger sister model for me while I took pictures of her. Actually, one of my earliest memories from my childhood was when my kindergarden visited the Munch museum and I became really fascinated about his work and story. Photography for me was a way to unfold my creative energy.
You went to photography school? Why?
I went to a photography school in Oslo called “Oslo fotokunstskole” in year 2000. I had earlier experience from several film schools and different courses. Photography for me was not only a way to document thing, but also a way I could express my feelings.
That’s what I thought when I looked at your website and instagram. Your pictures are expressions of feelings.
Yes, but when I was younger my pictures were more staged and melancholic. I often used effects like plastic bags over my head or painted bruises to capture the feeling I was trying to convey. Throughout the years I’ve learned that you don’t really have to stage the photographs that much to get the feeling you want to capture. I’ve also become more interested in capturing different kinds of feelings, but most of my pictures have this kind of melancholic undertone. I think it is because that’s what I am like as a person.
(you have to click on the picture to see the photos series)
What do you feel like photography school gave you?
It made me dare to express myself and show my work. I also feel like I learned more about myself and who I am through the photographic process. I think there is something about doing what you love to do. I never had any specific dreams for my life, but photography was always something that came naturally for me. It was a thing I did that made me forget time and space.
What does photography give you?
I love to take pictures of humans. Especially portraits. I love the process when you take pictures of another human being because you are making this thing together. The feeling of creating something creatively with another person. I love to make space for the person I take pictures of to be themselves so I can take natural pictures of them “in the moment” instead of staging and directing the whole process.
What kind of photography jobs have you done?
I’ve done a lot of different photography jobs. I have done everything from illustration pictures for books, advertising, fashion, products, articles etc. It made me realize that I like to take portraits of people the most. The thing about portraits is that you are capturing the human and not the product. When I was doing fashion photography it was really staged and I felt like it was a little too much buzz with all the styling, lipgloss and how unnatural it felt. Nowadays, fashion photography has become more natural and discreet which is better. I don’t really like to take staged pictures where people smile to the camera because I think you can show emotions in many other ways such as trough your eyes. I love to focus on the natural in people and take pictures in nature because I think it make the pictures more “real”.
How did you get photography jobs?
I reached out to people. You have to promote yourself. Some will say yes and some will say no. One example was a fashion designer called iiS of Norway where I really loved her designs. I contacted her and got to take pictures for her collection. I’ve also got jobs because people have seen my work and asked me if I could take pictures for them, but most of the work I’ve done is because I reached out to them.
What are your tips for aspiring photographers?
Find your style and follow your heart. Take pictures of what you want to take picture off and be true to yourself. There are so many people who let “likes” define their work. Try to think about what makes your heart happy and don’t let the “likes” define the quality of the picture. The most important thing is that you love it. There are so many painters and artists that never sold their work while they were alive, but after death have become the biggest painters and artists in history. All I can say is, be true to yourself and do what makes your heart happy. Believe in yourself, promote yourself and reach out to people but don’t let the money or if you get published define you because the most important thing is how you feel on the inside.
What or who are you inspired by?
The nature inspires me a lot. I think it is the most beautiful thing. I also like things like freckles, ears that stands out and people with gap between their teeth. I am inspired by things that are real and different. The contrast between what’s seen as beautiful and not. An example of that is Paris, France. If you take the metro in Paris, the stations and the metro is really ugly and worn out, but at the same time when you walk out of the metro, the city is so beautiful with so much beautiful architecture. It makes me perplexed because both things are beautiful in its own way.
Do you have any favorite photographers?
I’m more inspired by painters and movies at the moment, but when I started with photography it was Tim Walker. I actually bought a Tim Walker photography book in the beginning of this century where I wrote “Lisa, you have to promise me with this book that you do everything you can to become a photographer.” Throughout the years I’ve become more inspired by another photographer called Diana Arbus because she took pictures of people that were different.
Do you have any daily rituals?
Music is really important to me. My ritual is to go on walks with my dog and listen to music.
If you are going to give me some guidance in life, what would it be?
Do what makes you happy and always take small steps towards your dreams. Make choices because you think it is the best thing to do and not just to provoke.
Where can people find you?
lisa_lind _ on instagram & my website www.lisa-lind.com.