Photo interviews #1 - Peter from @absinthemindedmagazine

Hello everyone ! New project today !

A few years ago, in a previous blog, I had started to interview bloggers and photographers about “Home and everyday photography”.
I enjoyed it very much but had to stop blogging at some point to take care of a few health problems.
Fast forward to now, many exciting things have changed the face of on-line photography, Instagram being a major one.
Yet, for as much as I enjoy Instagram, I kind of miss the old days of blogging when we had a place to get to know each other a bit and discuss creativity.
Starting to blog again, I thought it would be a nice idea to revive and update the interview idea and mix it all.

For this first interview, let’s warmly welcome Peter from @absinthemindedmagazine.
Here’s what he says !

About five years ago I returned to Sweden (with my British wife and our two little girls) after more than 15 years in the US (San Francisco and New Orleans) and the UK (London and Wiltshire) and we now live in an old market town on the west coast (countryside by the sea if you will) about two hours south of Gothenburg. I have a background as a fine art photographer and among other things I’ve had a coffee table book called “Muse – desire & severance” published by Edition Stemmle with an introduction by the editor of British Journal of Photography. Nowadays I’m a multitasking creative (photographer/content creator/curator/brand ambassador etc…) for mainly international clients but I’m also (in collaboration with my wife) working with a few select Swedish clients such as a leading all natural, organic skincare/make up company for whom we have provided the translation and recontextualisation of their entire product and marketing catalogue ahead of their planned international launch. Personally, I’d like to think of myself as a curator/visual storyteller.

Q1 – Among remembering, testifying, documenting, creating a vision or something else, what feels the most inspiring to you in “everyday photography” ?
The little things : travels in your backyard, walking my girls to school through the town gardens, finding beauty in the mundane, how the light hits your kitchen counter or a flowerpot on someone’s stoop. Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to be open to it. I strive to capture the feeling a place gives me in that moment – an emotion, an intangible whisper – call it what you will but I find the small details the most inspiring and it’s also those that provides some kind of context for the story I’m trying to tell. There’s always a story of some sort lurking in there. I don’t differentiate between my ‘private’ and my ‘commercial’ pictures – it’s all about curated storytelling/emotional associations through tones, textures and contexts… Someone once described my photographic style as “urban Scandinavian minimalism meets rustic French countryside” and I’m always inspired by that description.

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Q2 – What atmospheres and/or emotions do you try to create or convey when you take these pictures ?
I want the viewer to feel that they want to be there/do that. I’m constantly inspired by music and everything I post on Instagram has a song (or an album) accompanying it as a hint of mood. I want my posts (picture / song / words) to draw the viewer in for a second look.

Q3 – What do you seek and appreciate in other people’s “everyday photography” pictures ?
Inspirations and distractions, and the feeling that I want to be there/do that/take a second look.

Q4 – How has Instagram influenced your way of practicing photography ?
I don’t overthink shots as much anymore. I go by gut instinct and shoot much more on the fly so to speak. 95% of all my pictures posted are shot on the iPhone and I find it’s more and more an organic process i.e. I edit my pictures much less than I used to. I love the creative outlet Instagram has provided me with, not to mention the opportunities.

Q5 – What do you most enjoy about Instagram ?
I love this little app and more than anything the spirit of community within it. I have made some amazing friendships via Instagram and I have gained some fantastic opportunities as well. I am constantly inspired by likeminded creatives and as mentioned above, it has provided me with a fantastic outlet for my creativity.

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Q6 – What is the thing you wish “you had known before” or “somebody had told you earlier” about Instagram ?
For the longest time I – very naively – thought Instagram was solely a place where teenagers posted badly edited selfies and I wish someone would have told me that this was not the case. Well, I guess better late than never right ?!

Q7 – Taking a step back, what is the best advice you have or wish you had received about photography ?
Only shoot in natural light, practice every day and then practice some more, experiment every day and then experiment some more. There’s is no right or wrong, but remember to be your own worst critic as well as high-fiving yourself when the capture works. Look at all the people that inspire you, look at their pictures and ask yourself “what can I learn from this?”. As I said in the beginning : inspiration is everywhere, you just have to be open to it.

As a conclusion, can you share three to five Instagram accounts you like and think deserve more visibility ?
It’s impossible for me to define what accounts “deserve more visibility” but in keeping with my answers above about inspiration as a tool for progression, here’s five accounts that inspire me daily : @elice_f, @nicole_franzen, @mafyno, @cottagefarm and @andreagentl.

Thank you so much Peter for sharing these thoughts with us (and for accepting to start this series with me 🙂 )



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