What do you think are the biggest issues that photographers are facing today?
As someone who has shared my work on the internet for 15 years, I can see that the climate has changed a lot in many ways. One of the things I find very challenging is censorship. Instagram is the main platform where you can share work on and it’s not allowing the type of work I do around intimacy, nudity, and sex. There isn’t even a safe filter option that you can put in place like Flickr used to have. Instagram had hidden my account for months without informing me about it, or telling me what I could do to get it visible again – it is a thing called shadow banning (I don’t think Instagram uses this term or even communicates about it). I discovered that it was happening to a lot of artists who work around the subject matter of the body. Instagram is so powerful that it’s hard to make a living without using it, but they treat artists so poorly and there is no way to communicate with them.
“Most advice that people give along the way are about moulding the artist in order to make a viable business out of it. ” – Lina Scheynius
For the aspiring photographers that are looking up to you and the concrete career you have built, what is your advice about starting a career in the field of art and fashion photography?
I try to look at my job as two different ones. One is the creative side of it – “the artist”. And the other side is the business – there is a lot of office work and decisions to make.
It’s easy for these two sides to get out of balance. Most advice that people give along the way are about moulding the artist in order to make a viable business out of it. This isn’t healthy for the artist in the long run, even if it might lead to financial success. My advice is to always give space to the artistic part, to listen to that side, to follow your curiosity, to be aware of anything that doesn’t feel right to you. Work hard on the business side too, be on time, be polite to people, follow through on promises, be clear with what you want and what you can offer.
Do you ever experience creative blocks? If yes, how do you deal with them?
I do. I used to try to push through or beat myself up for it, but I just let them pass these days. I know it’s like waves at this point and I don’t stress about it or use force. I try to focus on being healthy in general during my down periods and listen to where my curiosity still wants to take me. I read – I draw – I cook – I connect with friends, and the desire to take photos usually comes back.
Do you ever feel competitive with other photographers? If yes, how do you cope with these emotions?
I rarely do, but I definitely have done. It’s like any kind of jealousy or envy. I don’t like feeling this way, but I also try not to judge myself if I do. I try to return the focus to my own path – which is unique, beautiful, and surprising. We can’t ever fully know what other people are going through, they might not be enjoying their successes the way we imagine.