Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Håvard Hole and Liisa Harmson Interview

 Håvard and Liisa are a  young talented couple that share a passion for photography. they create beautiful work individually but their photo collaborations are breathtaking! 
in this interview you will see the world through their eyes while looking at their beautiful pictures! 

- So Håvard, what have you been up to all this time?

Since the last interview which was in, 2012? I think it was 2012. Anyway, since then I’ve found the perfect life partner for me, I've gone through another 365(!), I’ve finished Upper Secondary School, got admitted to university and moved to Tallinn to live with Liisa, who’s my better half.

- There has been a major change in your portfolio, it's more diverse now, what drove you to change?
I myself drove it to that change. When photographing I’ve constantly developed and tried to find my own style that I’m pleased with and enjoy creating. And together with Liisa my development within photography got a boost!

- There are fashion images too ...

I wouldn’t characterize any of my photographs as fashion photos, but certainly, some of my photographs are heavily inspired by Liisa and her work, which in my opinion is fashion with an original twist.

- Nature has always played a big roll in your photographs, would you say you are not an indoor/ studio kind of guy?

Nature is wonderful and serene, and natural light can be soft and beautiful if handled correctly. I do indeed prefer to shoot outdoors vs indoors. I find the locations and scenery you can find yourself in outside a lot more stunning and intriguing than a white backdrop.

- Have you ever doubted yourself as a photographer? How do you deal with such over whelming emotions?
Many times. As with everything else, my brain can find reason to doubt myself also when it comes to photography. However, during the past year I have grown a lot as a person and learned new things about myself and how I work. This has given me confidence to not doubt myself as much as I did before. I take a deep breath and stop thinking so the bits and pieces that are flying all around my head fall in place. Sometimes it helps to just let it go and calm down. Other times I rant to Liisa and after that it’s fine, haha.

(photo is directly relevant to this question and it’s called “The Best of Me” with a full description on flickr)

- What would you do if you weren't doing photography?
Right now, I’m actually studying International Business Administration. I don’t find the financial part of the studies very appealing, however, I do love entrepreneurship, management and marketing and I’m very fascinated by those subjects. I would chase any of those fields or start my own business.

- Having a beautiful and talented girlfriend must come in handy when you run out of ideas or have no one to shoot with, what kind of effect did liisa have on your work? 

Haha, yes, it’s very handy. She has had a huge impact on my work. Constantly having someone that gives me good feedback about my photography and helps me evolve and find my own path is something I’m truly grateful for. She’s fantastic and supportive and I appreciate her more than anything. When we first met she made my development rocket into the sky compared to the developing curve I had before, and even now she helps me reach new levels every time I take a photo. 

- Have you ever been recognized in public? How did you react? 

Actually, and quite surprisingly for me, I have, on multiple occasions! One I remember well was when a girl came over to me and asked if I was Håvard Hole. It was in a garden center and she worked there. We came into talk about photography after she came over and asked me if I was me and told me that she had followed my work. It surprised me that someone actually recognized me and I was truly amazed that she came over to talk to me.

- Which recent photograph was the hardest to create?

This one was definitely hard to get the way I had imagined it before shooting:

Questions to the couple, 

- How did you guys meet? 
Håvard flew to Estonia for two days to take photos with me, but it ended up quite differently – we fell in love. He also missed his plane, so we got some extra time together – it was essential to put a start to later events that led us where we are now. Thank you, Estonian Air! (and thank you, blue-eyed bus driver, for not letting us out of the bus on our way to the airport and therefore making Håvard miss the plane).

- How have you affected the style and approach of one another?
Liisa has affected my style heavily, especially considering my colour-work and skin editing in portraits. Even before we met she guided me on how to see which colours would suit my photographs better. She has helped me out a lot and I wouldn’t be at the level I am today without her. She was actually the one to reveal to me the technique of expanding a photo! However, I haven’t affected Liisa’s style much, or in any way at all, but I have helped her with technical aspects of editing and I know her editing process is a lot more professional now than it was before.

- What is your favourite photo you created together?

- Which photo of each other's work do you like the most?


- You have a travel blog together; tell us about that, who's idea was it?

It was Liisa’s idea to make it. It was made after a trip to Switzerland mainly because, and I quote Liisa, «I had many cute photos of mountain sheep to share with the world!» :)

Liisa, what type of photography do you enjoy the most? 
A mix of fashion and conceptual photography would be my pick, I guess! 

- How did you find your passion for fashion photography? 
About 2 years ago I came to the conclusion that I needed to specialize in something if I wanted to become a professional photographer, so I weighed my options and decided to go for fashion photography, adding my own twist to it (I’m not too big of a fan of traditional fashion photos). I really like fashion, but I dislike many aspects of the fashion industry. There are too many conceited people out there who walk over everyone that’s in their way and who have forgotten where they came from. There’s so much incivility, inhumanness and apathy. Honestly, based on my experience, I think I might be too ‘soft’ for the world of fashion. I don’t like the way people treat each other, and I don’t approve of the standards they set for the models – it’s sad to see such young and beautiful girls being mistreated. Starving yourself to be accepted by the industry is not okay. It’s about time the world started appreciating healthy and fit women instead of walking skeletons. How did skinny ever trump fit and healthy? With that being said, I am too upset with the industry to continue trying to make my way to the top as a fashion photographer. So, as of now, I do not shoot models or work with designers. Maybe I’ll have a change of heart in the future, or maybe I’ll find a way to do it in a way that doesn't compromise my beliefs.

- What type of photography do you find challenging? 
Perhaps shooting in a studio! I’ve never worked with artificial lighting before and I’m sure it would be a challenge.

- What is your favourite part about creating a photo? 
Probably the preparation process. I love seeing how my ideas are slowly coming to life. It’s so much fun to create props and organize everything before the shoot! I also enjoy the editing part a lot!

- What would you be doing if you weren't doing photography? 
Honestly? No clue. I can’t imagine doing anything else but photography. I am currently studying psychology, but I can’t see myself working as a psychologist. I’m there solely for educating myself and obtaining useful knowledge for my photography business.

You play around a lot with face/ body paint and make up, would you say you develop make up skills for photography?
Oh, definitely! Half of the time I have no idea what I’m doing, but by some miracle it ends up looking rather cool!

- How important are props to you? 
I have many ideas that require the usage of certain props, but unfortunately I rarely manage to execute those ideas. Props are damn costly! However, they can add a lot to the photo. Right now I’m dreaming about a certain antique helmet I saw in an antique shop last summer. It’s very pricy and the thought of buying it for just one photo makes my heart hurt, but I can’t stop thinking about shooting with it either. Oh well, I guess I can suffer some more.

- Nature plays a huge roll in your conceptual work, do you prefer taking photos outdoors? 
I do love taking photos outside. Misty mornings are my absolute favourite! I get so inspired every time I see a foggy field or forest.

- Did nature ever make things difficult for you ( weather conditions/ lighting wasn't so great)
Oh yes! Shooting in a foggy morning is always very nerve-wracking, since the fog can disappear very fast and there’s not much time to get the perfect photo. It’s also intense to shoot in the cold – must get the photo before your fingers freeze and get numb!

- Would you consider modelling or acting in the future?
Haha, I’m afraid I lack the talent for both :)

Links for Håvard: 

Links for Liisa:

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