Interview #33: Nikoline Rasmussen


CUS: First of all, the most standard question in the book: how did you get into photography?

Nikoline Rasmussen: I somehow came upon various sites for photography and other forms of art (Flickr, Deviantart, etc) and I ended up wanting to try out photography myself. So I started out taking close-ups of flowers and stuff like that and I guess it went from there.


CUS: Tell us a little about where you live.

NR: I live in Tromsø, Norway, supposedly the largest city in northern Norway. It is both a pretty and ugly place. But I still like it here, except when it rains for many days straight. And snows in June. And the fact that it is dark all winter. I love the midnight sun though.


CUS: If you could photograph any person (past or present) who would you choose?

NR: That is a hard question. I'm honestly not sure, but maybe my mom when she was my age? 


CUS: Do you believe that with the rise of digital photography the phrase “everyone can be a photographer” is true?

NR: I would say no. I believe with both digital and analogue photography anyone can hold a camera in their hands and press down the shutter— it takes a photographer to make a good, artistic image. I think digital allows those with the potential to become photographers the chance to become it. 


CUS: Do you always have preconceived concepts of what you want to shoot?

NR: Sometimes. I always plan out locations and what to wear, and sometimes I plan more than that, sometimes not. Also, sometimes my original plan doesn't work so I improvise.


CUS: What’s playing on your iTunes right now?

NR: I've seen it all - Björk and Thom Yorke. 


CUS: If every photograph should contain one key element, what would it be in your opinion?

NR: Tough question, I usually look at a photograph as a whole. But I would say maybe some form of honesty.


CUS: What is the thing you like the least about photography? The most?

NR: The thing I like least is probably the expectations and pressure I put on myself. What I like the most is the feeling after a shoot when you know it went well.


CUS: What’s your fondest childhood memory?

NR: I have so many! Maybe when I lived on Svalbard, and my friend and I would climb up on the roof of my apartment building (three stories up), and sit there in the sun while eating raisins. Or when I met my best friend in Sweden. We had just moved in and I couldn't speak Swedish (I was around six years old and we had just moved from the US to Sweden). I went out to the playground and a girl was sitting on one of the swings. When I went to sit on the swing next to her she gave me a lollipop and I didn't know how to say thank you in Swedish, so I ran inside and asked my grandfather. Then I ran out again and said thank you to her, and at some point I must have accidentally said something in English, and she answered back in English. It turned out her dad was from Australia, so she knew English as well, and from then on we were friends. We would speak English to each other and none of the other kids would understand.


CUS: What do you think the world will be like 50 years from now?

NR: I'm not that optimistic really. I kind of expect everything to go downhill from here. I'm not exactly sure how I think the world will be, but I'm sure it will be full of economic and ecological crises.


CUS: If you could be anyone for a day who would you be?

NR: I would like to be a cat and sleep on a couch all day. Does that count as "anyone"? Or maybe a professional photographer, so I could experience that. Not sure which photographer though. 


CUS: What are five things you can’t live without?

NR: Well, interpreting "things" as material stuff (and therefore not including real important things like food, clothes, a home, friends, family etc), I would say my camera(s), my Mac, pen, paper, and books.


CUS: What are your other hobbies besides photography?

NR: I used to draw and write a lot but lately I haven't done much of that. I also used to make animals out of beads [laughs].


CUS: Do you think that the Internet is a legitimate place to showcase your work? As in, do you think that the Internet, rather than scholars or museum curators, has democratized which artists are “legitimate”?

NR: Well, I think the internet is a good opportunity for photographers and other artists to show their work to the world and receive recognition for it. Of course on the internet, anyone can post pretty much whatever they like, so it doesn't guarantee quality. But there are still many "legitimate" artists on the internet and I think it's a good thing that they have the opportunity to show their work outside a museum. 


CUS: Our last interviewee, Chloe Scheffe, wants to know: What is your least favorite TV show, and why?

NR: Hm, I don't watch much TV but I honestly don't like Extreme makeover home edition. I mean, I don't mind them building houses for people who need it, but they are so cliché and overly sentimental and I never like the designs. It's always like they ask a kid what their favorite food is, and if he/she says pizza, the kid suddenly has a bed that looks like a pizza...


CUS: Last but not least, what would you like to ask our next Interviewee?

NR: Do many people you know in person know about your photography? Do you mind them knowing/the thought of them knowing?


Nikoline Rasmussen from Denmark, currently living in Norway.


Images provided by Nikoline Rasmussen. All rights reserved.