Josefine Jönsson is an experimental art photographer from Malmö, Sweden. She is currently pursuing her dream by studying fashion photography at the prestigious Gamleby school of photography. Josefine’s growing portfolio reveals a stark and extraordinary view into the body and soul of her subjects and herself.
Jönsson grew up in Malmö, a metropolitan area in southern Sweden, where she had been primarily a self taught photographer. She began expressing herself through the lens in 2006, when she attempted to capture the beauty of a field of golden flowers.
I asked my friend Harriet if she could model for me amongst the flowers. Ever since that photo shoot I have had a love for photography.
Now, Jönsson lives much of the year in Gamleby, a small picturesque town along the eastern edge of Sweden, where she is studying commercial and editorial photography, economics, and business at Fotoskolan Gamleby. The Gamleby photography school has a tough application process and only accepts the most talented ten percent of those that apply, yet an amazing ninety percent of the school’s graduates go on to become commercial photographers.
I think it is quite hard to become a professional photographer, mostly because it feels that you have to fit a special genre, usually commercial, to be at the top.
We asked Jönsson what she liked about doing portrait work, what inspired her about human subjects, and if she thought it might be a segue into doing a specific type of commercial work. “I like to capture [people's] emotions on film,” she said. “I also like how their appearance can change from time to time and how honest they can be in front of a lens.” She hopes to transition into doing fashion photography, while holding onto her own unique style.
I don’t think that Josefine will have a problem finding her niche in fashion photography. Josefine Jönsson is a brilliant experimental portrait photographer whose artistic use of light, color, and soft focus reminds me a lot of famous American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz, of Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair fame. The powerful but graceful poses and dreamy subject material are reminiscent of the classic American photographer Anne Brigman, and the more contemporary underwater photos of Howard Schatz. Her intense dream-like images and wonderfully imagined scenes invoke many emotions, from wonder and serenity, to pain, loneliness, and humility.
Jönsson says that her art isn’t inspired by a specific artist, but by many artists, both famous and not, as well as nature, her dreams, her thoughts, and her feelings.
I was amazed at how Jönsson managed such dramatic but gorgeous lighting, so I had to ask if it was purely natural.
I have always had a love for natural light, mostly because it’s very soft and that it fits my dreams and stories the best. I like to experiment in a studio as well, but mostly the natural light works best for my photography.
If you’ve never tried to take self portraits, you may not know how difficult it is to frame the picture, and to get a proper focus and exposure without being behind the camera. Yet, some of Jönsson’s self portraits are some of her best pieces, because she’s able to be the most creative.
I use a Canon 5D camera and my favourite lens is my 50 mm 1.4. However, there aren’t much difference between my self-portraits and portraits I take of models. My self-portraits are very spontaneous though, so whenever I feel I need to photograph something, it’s nice to just bring my camera and go outdoors to take photos without thinking I have to find a model, make up artist or days that will fit their schedule as well as mine.
We asked Jönsson if it was a struggle to get ideas from her mind into the lens.
Sometimes I can wake up in the morning and have an idea I want to capture immediately, but other times it can go weeks before I come up with a new idea. It’s really what mood I am in, if I am inspired or if I am very busy. My days are always filled with photos, as I love being inspired by other photographers.
Of her work so far, Jönsson is the most proud of her piece titled “Ida”. She enjoyed collaborating with a great team which included a beautiful model and hair and makeup artist. The new piece shows where she’s going with her commercial work and how her style is progressing, yet still holding onto that unique, dark and graceful eye that she has developed on her own. That wonderful photographer’s point of view that she has into everyone’s soul.
MWP would to thank Josefine for sharing her inspiring story and passionate photography with us, and we wish her all the best at becoming a commercial success and continuing to develop her edgy and thought provoking style.
Please let me know which of Josefine’s pieces is your favorite, and I’m sure that Josefine would appreciate it if you would click on the “I heart this” button to show your love.