Linnea Syversen is a photographer based in Oslo, whose photos have been published in Elle, Vogue, KK, Henne, VG, Dagbladet, Hope Street Mag, Det Nye, Ditt Bryllup, Finansavisen, and more. She is also engaged in LGBTQI rights, and is Deputy Leader of Queer Artists. During this year’s Oslo Pride, Linnea organized Queer Artists’ opening show at their exhibit in the Oslo City Hall gallery. We had a chat with her on the importance of both chasing your dreams and securing your finances!
Hi Linnea! Can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you´re doing?
I´m a passionate soul who's always working on a creative project. I mostly work with artists, fashion and fine art, but do classic portraits and wedding photography as well. In addition, I do fashion films and music videos. At the moment, I’m working on Sgrow’s coming music video, which is being released in September. I’ve put a lot of hard work into it, and am really looking forward to the release.
What does a normal day look like to you?
To be able to do anything productive, I have to start with a cup of coffee. I also like to get an update on the news and things that are going on in the world before I start my work day. As a freelance photographer, my days are often very varied. There may be days where I have to get up at the crack of dawn and am out shooting the whole day, while other days, I just have office hours and reply to e-mails and edit photos. As a photographer, you also need to make time to find inspiration, make mood boards and prepare for new projects and shoots.
What made you get into photography?
I have been fascinated by photo and film for as long as I can remember. My sister keeps reminding me that as a kid, I insisted on documenting absolutely everything I saw on family holidays. But it wasn’t until I reached adult age that I dared pursuing my dream of studying photography. When I moved to Oslo and started studying at Bilder Nordic School of Photography, it open it a whole new world to me, and it felt really right to go for it. It changed my life, and I’m incredibly happy that I dared to chase my dreams.
Who or what inspires you in your work?
I’m inspired by a lot of things; experiences, memories, events, feelings and relationships. Forces of nature, life and death. It may sound dark, but I’m inspired by both the beautiful and the brutal sides of life, and everything in between. I love the movies of Terrence Malick and Sofia Coppola. Music is also a huge part of my life and inspirations, I listen to everything from classical music to electronica.
You’re also Deputy Leader of Queer Artists. What do you do there?
I joined Queer Artists as Deputy Leader this year, after having showcased my work at their exhibit last year. I’ve been responsible for organising the opening show, where the cultural programme consisted of different types of performances, slam poetry and several concerts. I’ve also been in charge of PR and assisted the leader with other tasks.
How do you become a good photographer, do you have any advice to aspiring photographers out there?
As a photographer, you’re never finished with your training, there is always something new to learn. To be a photographer is about more than just taking nice pictures: the most important thing is to follow your heart and your passions. Be open to advice and feedback, but find your own expression instead of trying to imitate someone else.
What’s the most challenging sides to being a photographer then, and how do you handle this?
Being your own boss has both pros and cons. As a freelance photographer, you don’t have a steady income, and periodically, you might not have a steady flow of commissioned work. It’s important to have a financial plan, especially as a newly established photographer, and to educate yourself on marketing if you don’t already have an established client base. There is no blueprint to being a photographer, as there are so many subcategories; a nature photographer may have completely different challenges than a documentary photographer or fashion photographer has, for example. Also, being a well-known photographer doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a high income, and vice versa. I am know several photographers who aren’t very well-known, but who are doing very well economically. What they have in common is that they work hard and have clear goals.
When and where can we see your work now?
First and foremost in the end of September, when the Sgrow music video is released. I have been a bit quiet on social media lately, but am working on many exciting projects, which you can follow on Instagram and Facebook soon!
Last question: what’s your dream job as a photographer and artist?
I think that would be getting an assignment that gives me the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world, with fantastic nature and interesting people. Maybe in combination with doing a fashion shoot or making a music video!