Many years ago, world-renowned Swedish photographer, Hans Hammarskjöld gave a lecture at the Art Hall in Lund where I live. Among other things, he explained how he did portraits.
There were three stages. First, he set up the equipment, measured the lights etc. and told the sitter to relax while did some test shots. Secondly, he asked the sitter to sit or do this or that while shooting ‘for real’. And – third – he again told the sitter to relax because he would check what he had done and perhaps decide to take some more photographs. In this last session, too, he took some pictures of the sitter.
– Invariably, he said with a warm smile, the best pictures were created in the first and third stage.
Although I’ve never been commissioned to create photographic portraits – but I wouldn’t mind – I took that to my heart. The best shots are those that are not arranged too much, just a little; sometimes the ‘object’ is not even aware of what is going on.
Friends, family, colleagues and people I have met through my life are the personalities in my portrait photos. Some images have taken some little time to take and process, others are snapshot-like. It’s a bit like life itself.
I have created this portfolio because the people I’ve met and photographed tell you something about me as a person and photographer. What fascinates me about portraits is this non-definable and psychologically interesting thing that happens between the photographer and the photographed thanks to the presence of the camera and not only the two actors.
Most often, people associate the portrait with a face. But it doesn’t have to be faces only. Also, all portraits here are taken in a natural setting and situation, none in a studio.
I do not expect my visitors here to be interested in buying any, so they are not in the Shop. Should you, however, want to acquire one, just write to me.
By the way, move your cursor over each image to enlarge it and see its details.
Christina Spännar 2013, born 1945
Christina is my wife, we met in 1983
Henrik Celander 2015
Book publisher in Lund, Sweden, and friend
Jonathan Power 2011
Columnist and author in Lund, Sweden, and friend since the 1990s
Sören Sommelius 2008
Author and columnist in Helsingborg, Sweden, and friend since the 1990s
Ebba Sjödell 2013, born 2008
My third grandchild
Sylvie and Alex Wengraf 2013
Art and Basel Art lovers and friends
Friend in Isfahan, Iran
Klara Sjödell 2005
First grandchild, on Daddy’s arm
Inge Mørch Sørensen 2011 (1926-2014)
Teacher in Denmark and friend over four decades
Johan Galtung, born 1930, and his wife Fumiko Nishimura Galtung 2010
Peace and future researcher, mentor and friend since 1974.
Norwegian and Japanese living in Alicante, Spain, where these were taken.
Sidney B. Felsen 2019, born 1924
Co-founder and president of legendary Gemini G.E.L. – Graphic Editions Limited in Los Angeles, one of the world’s finest artists’ print and multiple workshops. I have known him since the mid-1970s.
Photographed at Art Basel.
Bill Goldston 2016, born 1943
President Director at the legendary United Limited Art Editions, ULAE in New York – another of the world’s finest print shops. Here with his wife Riccarda de Eccher. I have known Bill since the mid-1970s. Photographed at Art Basel.
Ina Curic 2018
Romanian storyteller and author of children’s books, a former student in
Austria 2004, TFF Associate and friend since then;
I take photos of Ina’s life from time to time
Frederik Dessau 2017 (1927-2019)
Essayist, critic, theater play director, script editor, radio editor, translator, etc – and my friend since the mid-1980s
Anker Jørgensen 2008 (1922-2016)
Danish prime minister, social democrat, a man guided by solidarity, peace and humanity whom I met several times. Here with Viggo Rivad (see below), they knew each other from when they were both bicycle delivery men during the Second World War, Birgitte Eskildsen and Frederik Dessau (see above). Non-arranged snapshots.
Antoinette Batumubwira 2008 (born 1956)
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burundi 2005-2009. I took these photos during an interview with her, so they were not arranged. She was kind enough to also let me create two video interviews, one on the role of women in politics and one on peace and foreign policy.
Erni Friholt 2008, born 1936
Feminist peace activist, co-leader of the Orust Peace Association, Sweden – a friend since the mid-1980s
Cynthia Ndongozi 2009, born 1986
Member of a youth organisation I worked with and friend
Niels I. Meyer 2009, born 1930
Danish physicist, visionary, alternative energy expert, author, social thinker and politician
– and friend since the 1980s
Miyo 2007, born 1970
A nurse and student of mine in Nagoya, Japan – a friend since then
Ayana from Ethiopia
– a student in one of my classes
Narges Farshi 2014
Then art gallery assistant, now theater play director in Tehran, Iran – a friend who also helps me today to get my SPAR Installation shown in Tehran
Vita Jensen 2016, born 1938
My nanny in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1952 and a friend of mine
and the family ever since
Black Hat Man 2009
Muramviya in Gitega, Burundi
Playing To Survive 2016
Viggo Rivad 2009 (1922-2016)
Leading Danish humanist photographer, my fellow traveller in China in 1983, mentor and friend – his homepage
Created in June 2020