Wedding photographer Erika Gerdemark

Wedding photographer Erika Gerdemark

Wedding photographer Erika Gerdemark is mainly shooting in natural light. She is sharing some good examples of best practice. See some more beautiful wedding photos at Erika Gerdemark’s blog

Lighting For Photo: How old are you?

Erika Gerdemark: – I’m 28 years old.

Lighting For Photo: Where are you from?

Erika Gerdemark: – I grew up on the countryside outside a small town called Tierp, about 40 kilometers south of Gävle. Today I live and work in Stockholm.

Lighting For Photo: How long have you been into photography?

Erika Gerdemark: – It’ all started when I was 16 years old. I knew I wanted to study something creative in high school but I didn’t have any photo experience. My two choices were hairdressing or photography. Since all the other girls wanted to work as hairdressers I wanted to be different and choose something else. I started to study photography when I just had a red plastic pocket camera that I got from my aunt when I was 12, but in just a few weeks in my new school it grew to something bigger. It became my dream to work as a professional photographer.

Lighting For Photo: What do you like best about wedding photography?

Erika Gerdemark: – The storytelling part. That I can be able to pose the bridal couple during the portrait session but also work more journalistic during the day. Together it combines a beautiful story when I can be able to express my artistic side.

Lighting For Photo: What is your favorite piece of photo equipment?

Erika Gerdemark: – Absolutely my 50 mm 1.2 lens.

Lighting For Photo: What other photograpers do you like?

Erika Gerdemark: – I find much inspiration in many fashion photographers. But if I have to mention a wedding photographer that I want to shoot my own wedding (if I ever get married) it will be the two Canadian photographers at Red Leaf Studios, Richard and Amy McDowell. There’s a tenderness and uniqueness in their work that they combined with nature, that I havn’t seen in other wedding photographers work.

Lighting For Photo: What are your three best tips for taking better wedding photos?

Erika Gerdemark: – One. Love what you do. If you don’t love to photograph weddings you will never become a good wedding photographer. Two. Use the natural light, because you don’t have the time to set up flashes all the time if you working with weddings in a documentary style. Three. Get well connected with the bridal couple and make sure that they have the same vision of their wedding photographs as you. You want to get hired for your style and to document their day with creative freedom.

Lighting For Photo: What is the most misconception about shooting weddings?

Erika Gerdemark: – That it’s old fashion. Many wedding photographers don’t shoot weddings in front of a mottled background in a studio. Another misconception is that you get easily earned money and that you can get rich on shooting weddings. People who thinks that don’t know how it is to run a business and how much time you have to spend on every single assignment.

Photographer David Bicho

David Bicho in a jungle of light stands

Meet professional photographer David Bicho, who will give you some very inspiring lighting setups. The best way to get to know David and his photographic style is to take a look at his impressive portfolio and of course read the interview.

David, where are you from?

– “Born and raised in Orminge, Stockholm, Sweden.

How old are you?

– “38”

How long have you been into photography?

– “That’s actually a tricky question to answer since I started out making film/TV-productions when I was 15 at a local television station in Orminge. I lived and breathed the studio environment, lightning, productions for many years and moved on to different production companies and have worked for most swedish tv-stations as a photographer/editor/lightning-guy. But I didn’t do any serious still photography back then. Just moving pictures. Not until the digital system cameras was a serious alternative to analogue, in like… 2004?… I jumped on the train and bought one of the first swedish exemplars of Nikon D70 and a 50/1.8. I was totally blown away by how easy it was to get great quality without all the heavy, technical fuzz that comes when you deal with moving images. I started almost immediately to make money on business portraits – not because I was a particulary good photographer, but because I had ALOT of confidence and really thought I knew how to do it . I literally had to threw everything I knew about lighting, and start from square one again. I read everything I could come over and experimented like a maniac to get the light I saw from “the real photographers”.

What is your dream assignment?

– “When I make my editorial fashion and such, I have a very film-production-like workflow and like to work with story boards and some kind of a underlying story that puts the models in an acting position instead of just doing some nifty posing. I have some own really interesting stories all planned and ready to go as soon as I find the perfect locations. It would be my dream assignment to be able to use these stories the way they are intended.”

Who is your favorite photographer?

– “Oh – I have different favorite photographers in different areas of photography. But Erwin Olaf is the single photographer that made most impact on me with his arty project Separation. When it comes to great lightning, there is of course the golden pair of Stevens – Steven Meisel and Steven Klein. And we have a lot of great Swedish photographers with an extremely well developed feeling for esthetics and quality like Peter Gherke, Camilla Åkrans, Jimmy Backius, Denise Grünstein, Andreas Kock… They all inspire me in different ways.”

What is the most common beginners misstakes when it comes to lighting?

– “They pay all attention to the light – not the shadows.”

What is your favorite lighting setup?

– “Hm. I never do a lightning twice, since I always try to “motivate” the light by binding it with the environment/background. So my favorite lightning would only be an applicable term when the background is the same – wich is the case infront of a white studio wall… Then it’s one single light from either the Profoto Giant 180 reflector or Broncolor’s big Para. Both give a crazy-beautyful wide light with tons of 3D-pop and contrast. Fail-proof and very, very beautiful.”

What is your worst photo experience?

– “A couple of years ago I went to shoot some business portraiture on a company quite far away, and I forgot to bring the fabrics for my soft boxes (and the light was strictly set in advance from an ad-company since the images should look the same as some old ones. Very, very softboxish.). I had only minutes to rig everything before I had to shoot when I discovered that I didnt have any soft box fabrics. Panic! I solved it quick by using some huge paper sheets I found to bounce on to get the softness I needed, so everything turn out fine. But the first seconds when I realized my mistake gave me a very, very cold shiver and probably a silent DAMN!-whispering sound throught my teeths.”

Thanks, David!


Photographer Magnus Svensson of MAZ Studios

Awesome photographer Magnus Svensson gives you some awesome lighting setups!

Get to know Magnus Svensson, contributing photographer. You can see his work in the upcoming post here and you can see even more of his work if you follow the links in this interview.

Where are you from?

– “I’m from Karlstad, Sweden. But I recently got a new studio in Stockholm so I probably move there pretty soon.”

How old are you?

– “I am 35 years old”

Any homepages we should take a look at?

– “Yeah, www.mazstudios.com is the main site. I also have a blog. That is in swedish though, sorry to say. Been thinking about making it all international. We’ll see :-)”

How long have you been into photography?

– “Actually I haven’t been into the photography part that long. I started my company 2006, but I worked with retouch for about 10-11 years. And that’s how I got in contact with the world of photos.”

What is your area of expertise?

– “I have always been influenced by the more edgy stuff, fetish and other art that is not well known for the regular people. So, when I take on any mission this is what I like to introduce in whatever genre I take on. My main areas is fashion and advertisement. But I have done some glamour before and it’s a cool and fun style. Not that much money though in that. But the fashion is what I have the passion for. To me, a well shot editorial is like a work of art. It just blows me away. So, I like to take the fashion and make it “Maz style” sort of speak  :-)”

What is your dream assignment?

– “The big magazines like Vogue and similar. I have recently done jobs for Elle, UNA (Hong Kong), Harper’s bazaar, so that’s cool. I love the international assignments.”

Who is your favorite photographer?

– “David Lachapelle is truly one of my biggest inspirations. Even though it might not show in my work he has always been someone I looked up to. There is of course a lot more but that one is probably the most important.”

What are the most common beginner’s mistakes when it comes to lighting?

– “Learn to walk before you run! You don’t need 5 pro photo flashes the first thing you do. Start with one. Even today, I still love to use just one. Simple, yet power full.”

What is your favorite lighting setup?

– “Hard to say, but I have always loved the result of the ring flash. I think you either hates it, or loves it. I, for one, loves the shit out of it.”

What is your worst photo experience?

– “I like photography and everything around it. So its not like I’m only into commercial or fashion. I like to try out new stuff. So for a season I worked as a school photographer. You know, shooting the photos for classes. So, one time I worked on a kindergarten. And a few tips I got before the job was to let the parents leave and don’t let the kids start to cry ha ha. So, I failed this miserably of course. I forgot about the parents so they stayed. And it was devastating. On one side we had the parents yelling on the kids “c’mon, smile, like you did this morning. C’mon, you are ruining everything kiddo” And on the other side, the teachers saying the same thing, and of course blaming me for the slow pace. Everything was of course my fault ha ha. So, that was a long, long day. Never did that again after that. They say kids and animals are the worst things to shoot. I agree 🙂 But I take the animals every day of the week over those brats!”

Photographer Carl Swahn

Contributing photographer Carl Swahn

A few questions answered by photographer Carl Swahn.

Where are you from?

– “I’m from Stockholm, Sweden.”

How old are you?

– “I’m 35.”

How long have you’ve been into photography?

– “I bought my first black and white darkroom in 1993, that’s when I got into it for the real. I developed pictures day and night. The next big step was when I bought my first DSLR, a Canon EOS 300D (kiss?).”

Which photographic genres do you like best?

– “I work across many different genres, fashion, advertising, product, stockimages and more, but I like to take photos of people in general.”

What is your dream assignment?

– “Since I most of all like to take photos of people I would rather think of a dream session with a person, than a dream assignment. I would really like a photo session with Charlize Theron who is not just extremely fotogenique, but also a great actress. I’ve understood that she had a tough background and has been working really hard to achieve all her well deserved success. That’s inspiring, and I like working with people that inspires me.”

Your favorite website?

– “Smashing magazine is very inspiring, even though it’s not specifically about photography.”

What other photographers do you like?

– “I like photographers that go their own way and take photos with heavy impact. Larry Clark and Terry Richardsson are such photographers and I really love what they do. Since this is a blog about lighting setups I feel that I must mention Jill Greenberg and David La Chapelle even if that might be a bit too predictable.”

Your favorite lighting setup?

– “Even though I’m very interested in lighting setups, I have no specific favorite. But I like shooting on location so I prefer lighting setups that doesn’t require much lighting equipment.”

Favorite photo accessory?

– “That must be my Elinchrom Skyport, a radio trigger for my strobes. It’s really great!”

Let’s have a look at some of your photos

Here’s my blog in Swedish: Carl Magnus Swahn

or take a look at my istock portfolio.