JRP: Commercial / Editorial Photographer Jonas Carmhagen shares his thoughts and images with James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Jonas for taking this time with us. Where is home for you Jonas?
Jonas Carmhagen: Home is where your heart is someone loved once said. I got my family back in my hometown of Norrköping which is one hour south from Stockholm where I live right now. I got two homes, I forgot to mention that I’m Swedish!
JRP: How did you get started in photography? Do you have any formal training or assisting in your background?
Jonas Carmhagen: I bought my first digital camera when I was 18 to photograph my friends then it escalated to so much more. I applied to one of Sweden’s best photography schools, the Gamleby Photography School for Commercial and Magazines. I didn’t get accepted because I wasn’t good enough yet so I applied to another school to improve my skills. After a year I applied again to Gamleby and was one of the top photographers that applied! Ninety percent of the people who apply to the school won’t get in, and 90% of those who graduate work in photography after school.
JRP: Name several photographers that have inspired and influenced your work.
Jonas Carmhagen: I have always liked an idea more than a moment so people who have inspired me are Erik Johansson, Ian Crawford, David Hill, Deviantart website (amazing inspiration), and Alexander Crispin.
JRP: Do personal projects figure in the development of your vision and technique?
Jonas Carmhagen: Yes definitely! It is when I do “test shoots” that I can learn and try new things. Things that I can’t do on real shoots because you are often under the pressure to deliver on jobs.
JRP: Do you have people who assist you with your projects and if so what roles do they play?
Jonas Carmhagen: I have my beloved assistants that help a lot at the shoots. I also use my roommate who is a full-time retoucher for advice and a second fresh eye on my projects.
JRP: What would I find in your camera bag for a typical shoot?
Jonas Carmhagen: I have my Canon 5d mark II and my 100mm 2.0 and 50mm 1.2 are my beloved lens! I always bring my computer with me on shoots to test/sketch on location to see how things will turn out. Also duct tape! A lot of duct tape!
JRP: What type of lighting do you prefer, artificial or available light? What are your most often used light modifiers?
Jonas Carmhagen: I like to control my lightning in my pictures so I’m often using Profoto Lightning sets with a variant of different modifiers. Octagon or big bouncer is my most used ones!
JRP: Describe your digital work flow and the software you use?
Jonas Carmhagen: I always shoot straight to my comp so I can see all pictures together. Then I start to sketch and try different tones and creative ideas. When I have something nice I clean it up and make it complete. I use Capture One to shoot with and then Photoshop CS6.
JRP: Name a shoot or project that opened your eyes to the distance you’ve come as an artist.
Jonas Carmhagen: My “I Do” series for MakeUpStore’s (M-Magazine). I was fresh out of school and I was asked to do MakeUpStores biggest photo-shoot ever. Then I was published with some of the world’s best beauty photographers. I was the only one that had two series in a single issue.
JRP: When doing commissioned work in today’s economy how do you maintain your creative standards?
Jonas Carmhagen: I try to do two versions when I got time and I think it’s worth it. First I do the customer’s idea as he wanted it to look. Then I do my “own touch” on it. They usually use my idea.
JRP: If not photography what would Jonas Carmhagen be doing with his time?
Jonas Carmhagen: I have been sitting in front of a computer since I was 6 years old so I guess something that involved being creative but still using a computer. I may be going to a Creative Director school in a couple of years!
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Jonas Carmhagen: Don’t rush to get a picture ready. Wait 1-2 days and then you will see it with new eyes!
JRP: What advice would you like to share with photographers?
Jonas Carmhagen: Believe in yourself. Don’t think your pictures aren’t good enough. Never stop trying to get yourself published! Just try again, again, and once more!
JRP: Thank you Jonas for sharing time with us. It has been a pleasure talking with you, and we wish you continued success.
Jonas Carmhagen: Thanks a lot! Likewise!
JRP: To view more of Jonas Carmhagen’s photography please follow these links: