With a breathtakingly fresh perspective on surrealism, the beautiful Swedish photograher Hedvig Larsson presents her daily life through highly saturated, colourful images that pull us into her realm of fairytales and dreams. Her speciality, staged photography, brilliantly gives viewers a rich story with captivating narratives. Her future is as bright as her images with many saying she will be the next photography icon of our century. Her distinctive style has captivated the attention of many, including the likes of Vogue.
We were so honoured and happy to have the opportunity to speak with Hedvig and get some insight into what she's been up to.
Q. Tell us about your journey? How did you get here?
A. I grew up on the countryside of Sweden where my family had a farm with 50 horses. We moved a lot and lived one year in Angola. Ever since I can remember I've been creative, always drawing, writing or making things out of what I would come across. In my teenage years I competed in horse riding on international levels and was at one point ranked number two in the world in horse racing. After high school I moved to Copenhagen to study painting and drawing which evolved into photography, which became my biggest passion. I lived in Copenhagen for four years before I went on to live another three years in London where I studied fine art photography and ran a photography studio. Somewhere there, life took a turn and I had to start over with new angels and new life experiences. A friend and I moved into a camper van and travelled around Europe for a year. On the road I fell in love with the lifestyle of South Portugal, cause it’s simply a piece of paradise. A few months ago, after returning from the travelling, I moved back to Portugal to settle down and to stay until I get old and die. Or get bored. We'll see.
Q. What are the ideas/concept behind your work? What are you trying to achieve?
A. My drive used to be “I want to be this, I want to have this” based on what I would have and how I would be seen by others. When I questioned my directions I realised my dreams were only feeding my ego, and I didn’t wanted to create this person. I have the same dreams as before, same big goals, but my reasons have changed. Life changed. Society changed. I changed. There’s a shift going on in the world. The underdogs and the suppressed is getting power. African artists are finally given space in the art world, the me-too movement finally gave women space to talk, and I was a part of those who spoke.
Q. What is one of the biggest challengers you face as a photographer?
A .That you are a creative weirdo and an artist that needs to feed the imaginary brain to be all playful, free and break rules, and at the same time you’re also a business woman that needs to seal deals and do the talk to get the money. It’s all kinds of confusions for my brain.
Q. What future projects have you got in the works?
A. I have just taken over a space in a town called Aljezur in Portugal. It’s an old pharmacy and it will for the next few months be my studio and gallery. I’m at this moment setting up a show with the current project I’m working on.
Besides that, this summer I will do different shoots for a Danish singer who I’ve done all the press material for the past 7 years, and this shoots we’ve been planning since last year. I’ve just did a shoot for a band in Portugal where the final pictures are gradually being published. There’s all kinds of projects going on at the moment that will or won’t lead somewhere. From painting, to printing, to tattoos, to wall paints and small and big dreams all combined. It’s fun and confusing and amazing and tricky.
Q. What is something you hope to achieve in your life as a photographer?
A. I want to make work that matters, that I love doing and get paid well for it. Jup. Period.
Q. Straight out of Uni, you had some pretty big collaborations and success such as the work you had in Vogue. Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?
A. My best advice is that there really isn’t anything that holds you back if you really want something. If you want it, go for it, and tackle all the roadblocks that may come along the way. My first year of photography I really wanted to be a photographers assistant. I was a total Rocky at this point. I sent out e-mails to every photographer in Denmark. No one answered. So I did it one more time. No one answered. But I keep on going until someone answered cause at this point they were getting tired of me. I ended up working two years for one of Denmark's top fashion photographers. Some years later I really wanted to work in a photography studio. I came across a photography studio I loved, but they weren’t looking to hire anyone. I could have given up there. Months later they had two studios and I was running the first one. Don’t stop and don’t give up, and it will lead you wherever you’re supposed to go.
"Don’t stop and don’t give up"
Thank you Hedvig, it was the utmost pleasure speaking to you.
Make sure you follow her progress by following her on social media
Next Who's Next? article - 8th August 2019.