What’s your relationship with photography when you travel?
I think the funny thing is, I always feel that I should be taking pictures. But I don’t produce work when I travel. I need to plan my images well ahead, to construct them. As an artist and visual communicator, going deep into different cultures and languages is the most important part for me. That’s when I get really inspired and when I learn. It’s when I get excited to test new ideas. So, for me, travel is really about collecting ideas, bringing them home, and translating them into images.
I come from a holiday with a pocket full of ideas.
How would you describe your photography?
Constructing images that communicate, tell stories, and have lots of fun.
What’s the one place that you always return to?
Norway, forever. I got to know Norway through a friend, with whom I studied art. I came to visit and we traveled in the mountains. To me, the mountains are something very special. I grew up between the Black Forest, The Vosges Mountain Range, and The Alps and always loved hills. The mountains of Norway are beautiful and gentle. It’s not as vast as the American landscape. It’s not as rough and dramatic as the Alps.
The thing is also, in Norway you travel quite slowly and gentle. The maximum speed on the road is 80 kilometers per hour. And the distances are so long that you can end up in the mountain landscape for five or six hours at a time. All you see is the road and mountains to the left and right.
In summer, I usually visit a family who have a farm about six hours west of Oslo for one or two weeks. The place is called Røldal. I walk in the hills, climb onto the tops and just pass time. I’ve always loved photographing there but haven’t used many of the images. They are more for myself.
What do you travel with?
I travel light. A rain jacket. A warm jacket. A wind jacket. My mobile phone and credit card. I try not to travel to hot climate countries. Nothing above 35 degrees.
What’s one of your earliest memories of traveling alone?
India when I was 21. It was very shocking. But amazing. I was such a big fan of The Jungle Book. And knew that Kipling wrote the Jungle Book to be set in Madhya Pradesh, the geographic center of India. At the same time, I wanted to do a teaching internship. And explore somewhere truly different. I was more homesick than I’d ever been in my life, but I was also proud of myself and far too excited about the chances I encountered for myself and my understanding of life.
There were so many mosquitoes in the afternoons at the school where I was interning, and I was getting bitten so badly, that my host forbid me from continuing. He was afraid I would contract malaria. Instead of working at the school, I ended up following the Sisters from the nearby convent and documenting them and their work on the farms.
That’s when I discovered I wanted to be a photographer.
And what’s coming up next for you, travel-wise?
Japan in two weeks. Bucket list: New Zealand and Patagonia.