WHY an FAQ?
I started this website a few years ago. I was not a photographer and I didn't really understand what effect it would have on my life, or on my inbox for that matter. To begin with - not much happened. Every occasional email I got made me very excited and I answered them all. But as time went on there were more and more of them. I started feeling slightly pressured to answer every single one of them, until one day not too long ago when i decided to give up. That decision has kind of left me feeling extremely rude though. I've also noticed that a lot of the questions kept coming back so I came up with the idea to make an FAQ. This way if I do not have time to answer your email or interview, you can hopefully still find the answers here. Let's try!
What camera / film do you use?
I am not super fussed about what camera I use. I am pretty sure I could work with any standard quality 35mm camera. The ones I use the most at the moment are my Olympus mju II and my Canon SLR. I've also worked a lot with a polaroid one camera.
As for film I like high iso ones for the grain and for letting me shoot when it's dark. So I use a lot of Ilford 3200 delta black and white. But I can work with any 35mm film. The only thing I don't enjoy is digital photography.
Do you have any exhibitions coming up?
I have a solo show coming up at Christophe Guye in Switzerland. Opening on the 29th of august. More info here: http://www.christopheguye.com/exhibitions/future/lina-scheynius-exhibition-01.html
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm doing a weekly photo column in Zeit magazin in Germany all throughout 2012. Each week they publish a photo from my diary series accompanied by a few words written by me.
I have also just realeased my 4th self published book!
Where are you from / where do you live?
I was born 1981 in Vänersborg in Sweden and I grew up in Trollhättan. I moved away from home at 16. After that I spent most of my time in London, where i live at the moment. I also spend a lot of time in Paris and i go back to Sweden as often as i can. I think I work best when I keep moving around.
How / when / where did you start taking pictures?
I wanted to start sooner but my parents thought I would break the camera so I had to wait until they decided I was old enough and bought one for me. So I started on my 10th birthday, in my home, taking pictures of the cake and my feet and my best friend sitting on the toilet. Pretty much the same thing I do now.
How did you become a professional photographer?
I started out by posting pictures of myself and my ex boyfirend and friends on flickr and on this website. I was really just doing it becasue i loved doing it. Some people started to post my work on their blogs, and it started to spread over the internet. One day (in 2008) a photographic agent found my work through one of the blogs and contacted me. She was wondering if I was interested in doing it professionaly. Absolutely terrified, and not at all sure if it was a good idea, I said yes. Two weeks later i had my first job from her - a portrait of Charlotte Rampling for Dazed and Confused. And since then it has been a lot of more work and hard work, and here I am. It is pretty much all thanks to the internet though.
Can I publish your pictures on my blog?
Yes, I'm very happy to have my work on blogs. Please credit me though, and don't crop or alter the images in other ways, thank you.
Who are the people in your pictures?
Friends, loves, family, models, me. Anyone who can pretend that the camera isn't there.
Why is it that you often place yourself in your pictures?
First of all because I'm always around.
And I keep my work very close to me. It's always been myself I am trying to push rather than someone else.
What inspires you?
The forest, books, sleep, music, trains, light, maps. And - very important - my family and friends. Some of them can be found online: Aleksandra, Amanda, Ana, Darryl, Emeric, Lisa, Monika, Rachel, Roberto, Viktoria and Wynd.
What is your Favourite subject?
My absolute favourite subject is my own life and the people in it. I shoot it and show it like a diary.
Your images seem very personal - how important is the idea of an end viewer or audience to your work?
A few years ago I had 0 viewers, and that is how I started and probably also why I started. Today I guess the viewer is somewhere in the back of my mind, but I don't admit that I think about him or her before I get to the selection process for my website / books / magazines.
Is editing a key part of your process?
Yes editing is super important. I think I spend more time editing the images than I do taking them. And I tend to reedit a lot. It's a process very much alive and my website is never finished. How I chose to show something seems just as important to me as the fact that I chose to show it.
Maybe I should add here that I don't retouch them or crop them. When it comes to the actual picture it's what I see through the camera that I show.
Who are your favourite photographers?
Araki is my big time favourite, I can always come back to his work and find something new. I love Annelies Štrba, JH Engström, Åke Hedström, and many more that i can't remember at the moment. I also really enjoy the photos of a lot af young photographers on flickr. And my dad's photos.
Did you study photography?
Not really, no. I took some courses at school when I was 16, but that's it.
I picked up a lot from growing up in an environment where I had access to cameras and photographic books. My dad took loads of pictures of us, and watching the family slides with the projector was always amazingly fun for me.
And after that I started modeling and saw how most professional fashion photographers work - and I learnt how I don't want to work.
Can you recommend a university / school?
If people like to learn photography in a structured way - then I am sure education can be amazing, but I know nothing about photographic education so I can not recommend anything. I would just recommend experimenting on your own and not paying too much attention to other people's critiques. If you enjoy the process or result - then you must have done something right.
How do you go about achieving spontaneity in a photograph, what is the process in your fashion shoots?
Well I have realised that that is probably the most difficult thing when you work with fashion. There are so many set rules and boundaries in fashion photography and it's difficult to make something spontaneous with a sense of reality.
My personal pics I just take when I find them, but when I do a fashion shoot I have to work with some degree of planning. I have to know which people I will work with, when and where. But that's it. after that I take the day as it comes. I work with natural light so if there is a cloud over the sun then that will effect the mood of the day / pic. And I work with a small automatic camera that allows me to move around a lot. And I never give more directions than I have to, avoiding to force things.
What magazine's have you worked for?
AnOther magazine, Zeit magazin, British Vogue, AnOther man, Double, Exit, Elle US, Numero Tokyo, Numero Korea, Dazed and Confused and a few others.
Where have you exhibited your work in the past?
2011 - New Documents booth curated by Oscar Poulsen, Nofound photofair, Paris (France)
2011 - What's next? The future of the photography, Foam Museum, Amterdam (Netherlands)
2011 - Portraits de Villes, Clic Gallery, New York (USA)
2011 - Nofound to New Documents, Viktor Wynd fine art inc, London (UK)
2010 - New Document's booth, curated by Emeric Glayse, Access & Paradox 2010 art fair, Paris (France)
2010 - Solo show 01,Viktor Wynd fine art inc, London (UK)
2010 - Portraits de Villes, Gallerie Philippe Chaume, Paris (France)
2009 - Looking for love, Vidvinkel at Centrum för fotografi, Stockholm (Sweden)
2009 - Vidvinkel + GFC, Stockholms kulturfestival, Stockholm (Sweden)
2009 - Everything is possible: a polaroid groupshow, gallery space at space 15 twenty, Los Angeles (USA)
2009 - Lina Scheynius diary, Slide Nite, Bern (Switzerland)
2008 - Örebro Open art, Örebro (Sweden)
2008 - Resurrection, the National Arts Club, New York (USA)
2008 - Various Photographs curated by Tim Barber, New York photo festival, New York (USA)
2008 - Kern and sons, curated by Emeric Glayse, Gallery Mycroft, Paris (France)
2008 - Swedish Destiny and Adventure, Sebastian Guiness Gallery, Dublin (Ireland)
2008 - First impressions last, Minneapolis (USA)
2008 - In the light of night The winter gallery, Toronto (Canada)
2007 - Set Foot - Absolut Sweden festival, Filmbase, Dublin (Ireland)
Do you sell prints?
Yes, please contact Christophe Guye if you are interested.
What is the idea behind your books?
I wanted to create beautiful affordable books that didn't take up a lot of space. Kind of like the photographic version of paperback books. Something that would make great presents.
I got the idea being ill and not able to leave my bunk-bed in Mongolia two summers ago, and I have made three books since then. It's going to be a series of many many I hope.
Where did you print your books?
I printed the two previous ones at Aldgate Press in London. The first two were printed with a friends help in Italy. I've done all the layout and all other preparations on all three books on my own.
Do you know where i can get a hold of your first three books?
I have absolutely no idea...
How did you make your website?
I programmed it myself with a fairly user friendly program called GoLive.
Ok, I have done enough talking about this subject now I think.
THANK YOU for reading.