Interview #36: Annette Pehrsson
CUS: First of all, the most standard question in the book: how did you get into photography?
Annette Pehrsson: When I was little (seven-ish) I was given a 35mm point-and-shoot camera for Christmas; I think that's when it all started.
CUS: Tell us a little about where you live.
AP: I live on the west coast of Sweden, in the southern parts. It's in the middle of nowhere; there are a lot of forests and the nature is really beautiful. It is a little hard to notice though since I've been here all my life, but if you stop to think about it for a second you realize how remarkable it truly is. I'm really glad that I've been raised here, and I think the nature has sort of shaped my style in photography.
CUS: Do you have a favorite photographer?
AP: Anton Corbijn and Nan Goldin. Both are so fantastic in two very separate ways.
CUS: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
AP: Homemade bread made by my boyfriend and a bowl of pasta salad along with a glass of water.
CUS: If you could photograph any person (past or present) who would you choose?
AP: My two grandfathers. I have only met one of them, my father's father. I was rather young when he passed away, so I can't really remember what he was like. I just remember sitting in his kitchen, eating pancakes my grandmother always made when I visited, watching him from across the table. My mother's father passed away long before I was born. My parents have shown me a lot of photographs of them, and they look like movie stars. Seeing such old photographs, especially in black and white, makes me want to travel back in time.
CUS: Do you believe that with the rise of digital photography the phrase “everyone can be a photographer” is true?
AP: Yes, I definitely do. But I think everyone who owns a camera should be able to know how to use their equipment well and not just rely on the technique to get good photographs. Today, anyone can get a technically perfect-looking photo just by using a good digital camera and a good lens, but there has to be more, something that makes it interesting. You have to be passionate about it.
CUS: If every photograph should contain one key element, what would it be in your opinion?
AP: Good lighting. Which is a little obvious, but for me, light is almost always what is most important.
CUS: If you could go anywhere in the world to take photographs where would you go?
AP: Right now I would have to say Iceland. I watched a movie last night (Noi Albinoi) that takes place in a small village there, and the surroundings are just incredible.
CUS: What is the thing you like the least about photography? The most?
AP: I've thought long and hard about this, but at the moment I can't really think of anything that I dislike about photography.
What I like most is all the memories a camera allows you to capture and keep for the future.
CUS: What’s your favorite time of year and why?
AP: Late summer. When it's still warm enough to walk outside without too many layers of clothes, but not so warm that the heat is unbearable. It is just perfect that way.
CUS: What’s your fondest childhood memory?
AP: The roadtrips our family took every summer. We were together all the time and I loved that. We never do anything like that now. I miss it.
CUS: What do you think the world will be like 50 years from now?
AP: I really don't know. A lot could happen in 50 years, I just hope the earth isn't ruined.
CUS: What was the last movie you saw in the theatre?
AP: I saw Inception a couple of weeks ago.
CUS: Who, or what, is your biggest influence?
AP: Personal experiences, the nature and the general indoor surroundings of our house influences what I do quite a bit. The way everything looks here just makes me want to capture it. Someday it might not be here anymore, or at least it probably won't be the same in the future, and I want to be able to remember everything before it changes. I am always trying to come up with new ways to work with the environment here, both indoors and outdoors. There aren't any specific photographers that influence me, but general browsing on blogs or Flickr always makes me inspired to go out and create something of my own. It sort of awakes a passion inside of me.
CUS: Where do you see yourself in 20 years? Do you think that photography will still be a big part of your life?
AP: Hopefully I will be living in a bigger city, still here in Sweden or in another European country. I definitely think photography will still be in my life, and hopefully I have evolved a lot until then. I would also love to open up a gallery for new young talents to show their work. I keep fantasizing about this every now and then, and I imagine that it isn't impossible. I can only hope that some day I might be able to do it.
CUS: Last but not least, what would you like to ask our next Interviewee?
AP: Is there a certain state of mind that makes you inspired, or makes you feel the need to pick up a camera in general? If so, does this mood reflect the atmosphere of the photograph?