Meet Andreas Stridsberg:
Conceptual Photographer, Creating the Conceptual and Macabre
My Name is Andreas Stridsberg
Images speak a thousand words they say….so being able to create an image for a special someone is usually more effective than trying to verbally declare ones true emotions.
Andreas Stridsberg was born in Sweden in 1975 and picked up his passion for photography in the summer of 2004. Since then he has had success in a few photo contests and has been published in a number of international magazines. Andreas does not claim to be a full time professional photographer, however photography is a passion of his. Entirely self taught, Andreas approaches the creation and development of his photography through trial and error.
How was your interest in photography sparked? Can you name a moment in time when it clicked in your mind and you realized that photography was more than a hobby, but a passion?
I actually picked up a camera for the very first time in pursuit of textures I needed for my pathetic 3D Renders that I was playing around with at the time. I then also discovered the joy of Photoshop and came to realize that it was soooo much easier and less time consuming creating images with a camera and Photoshop than it was using complicated 3D-softwares. And the more I learned about photography and editing software the more fun it became…and soon enough I was hooked.
Andreas your conceptual art is particularly amazing. Can you describe to us your creative process behind these photographs? Do you plan each photo out or are they created more organically?
Most of them are just products of way too much spare time combined with boredom I guess. I have noticed that my imagination has become somewhat “damaged” after the births of my two boys though. Perhaps it’s just that my mind nowadays is occupied with thoughts of them rather than creative ideas for new images.
During your course of becoming a professional photographer, what is something you didn’t expect out of the journey
Here´s the thing…and you might want to cut this part out of the interview….but i´m hardly a professional photographer. It´s just a hobby of mine actually. I tried going professional for a while but quickly realized that I probably live in the wrong place for that. There seems to be no market for that here in this small, northern, Swedish town of mine. I also realized that being a professional photographer, here at least, also meant that you had to take on whatever kind of work you got…which usually meant photographing children or weddings.
And for me that sort of ruined the joy of it all….only photographing stuff that other people had asked me to do rather than taking the kind of photos I myself wanted to take. I´m lucky to have a regular job that pays well enough and also allows me much time off to spend on my hobby/passion.
What influences your art? Do you look to other photographers for inspiration, or does your inspiration come from other sources?
I do indeed look to other photographers….as well as painters or digital artists of all trades. I also find a lot of inspiration from movies or music. One of my biggest sources of inspiration is Tim Burton.
How did the name Mystic Pic come about? Many of your photos do evoke a sense of mysticism.
I can´t remember to be honest. I wish I could say that there lies some kind of hidden message within….but frankly I just suspect that I registered that domain name out of pure desperation from not being able to think of anything else more creative. I don´t know if my images evoke mysticism…butIi do aim for it occasionally. Like I said…Tim Burton is a huge role model for me.
When you create your art are their specific emotions you are trying to achieve? Can you explain some of the feelings you are trying to achieve in your photographs?
Sometimes. That probably reflects the most when I´m able to work with models and shooting portraits. But, also sometimes I prepare different still lives depending on what mood I´m in….or in case I´m thinking of someone I´d like to pay tribute to with a humble image. Images speak aF thousand words they say….so being able to create an image for a special someone is usually more effective than trying to verbally declare ones true emotions.
Can you name a collection or single work that you have created that has resonated with you the most emotionally? Why is this collection or single work significant to you?
I´m really self-conscious…with quite low self-esteem when it comes to my “work”. I hardly like anything I make actually. So it´s really hard for me to pick out any favorites or single out any that has made an impact on me. If I had to say something however, I´d probably say that the images that mean the most to me…and always will….are then ones I´ve taken of my two beautiful sons. Those I will always treasure regardless of their composition or overall technical quality.
Could you describe a typical set-up of one of your conceptual shoots?
No not really….it all depends on the idea, subject and mood I´m in.
Are your studio set-ups different for each piece? Can you please give us insight to the equipment you use in regards to the types of cameras and lights you use?
I have a total of 3 studio strobes that I use for my studio photos. Cheap ones with not much juice I might add…but because I don´t have the biggest studio they´re sufficient enough for me. I also use a couple of speed lights whenever required….for my drop-shots or bulb-photos for example.
My camera of choice is currently a Nikon D800E with a D300 as back-up. Being passionate about all types of photography I do have a broad variety of lenses from macro-lenses for hunting bugs to wide-angle lenses for shooting landscapes. I don´t have photo-gates or that kind of sensors to aid me whenever I´m taking drop-shots so instead I just rely on my own timing which has gotten a lot better with practice let me tell you.
How important is collaboration regarding your artistic projects? Do you typically work with a team or run solo, could you explain the process?
Not important at all. I always run solo. I have never even used anyone to assist me with lights when shooting models. Sometimes I do work with make-up artists but to be honest I do prefer to work without them. It always bugs me that they get to take up sooooo much time preparing the model for a shoot, leaving me stressed out of my mind trying to do whatever I can with whatever little time is left. Besides…I always have to correct and touch up stuff anyways in Photoshop afterwards.
If you were to only have the option of working with single camera body and a single lens, what equipment would you choose?
I assume you mean from my own equipment? Probably the D800E and my Tamron 90mm 1.8f macro lens. One of my favorite things to do is crawling around in my backyard in the summer hunting for bugs with my boys. And that´s also the lens I primarily use for my drop-shots. Either that one or my Nikkor 50mm.
In regards to photography or personal projects what do you hope to accomplish in 2013?
My main aspiration for 2013 is that our (mine and my girlfriend Sandra) daughter, that´s due on May 2nd, will be delivered safely and well into this world. As for goals regarding my photography it´s just that I hope that I will be able to once again set aside time needed for it. For quite some time I haven´t been able to do so….getting a divorce…building a new house….meeting the love of my life…etc etc.
Life has sort of gotten in the way I suppose…in a GOOD way that is….of my hobby. So I do hope to pick up where I left off…and hopefully get more challenging assignments…..wink wink to all you people out there who might find my available services useful.
What would be your words of inspiration and wisdom for those who are just starting, those that are finding their passion, and those seeking their style?
That learning by doing…trial and error…are way more effective…and way more fun than studying stuff from tutorials or what not. I´m not saying that tutorials can´t be helpful…because they sure can. But if you only do things “by the book” and you never break any of the “rules of photography” then you will also never find your own style.
What is the most important thing you have learned that you want to share with the world?
That the only one that you have to please is yourself….something I’m still trying to do. And that the results of your work will be a lot better if it´s made by choice and love rather than obligation or whatever.