October 30, 2015

Welcome to Friday. You made it through another crazy week, so treat yourself to a little slice of calm with Friday I’m In Love, our weekly feature dedicated to digging up the artists and photographers we’re going heart-eye emoji for.

Is there anything we love more than Scandinavia? No, not really. Queue photographers, Nick Frank and Jeannette Hägglund who joined photographic forces to create the awesome and ongoing series, Temptations. Combining minimalism with popping colours, they have been documenting their favourite architectural finds across Copenhagen and Malmö, from swooping, dramatic curves to jutting balconies. We caught up with them to discuss taking pictures from hot air balloons, finding inspiration and seeking silence.

UO: Tell us a little about your background and route into photography.

Jeanette: I have always photograped. I got my first camera at the age of eight, and since then my photography has continued to develop. After art and photography school I went into “theory of art” and film studies at University. Meanwhile, I worked on serveral projects and many of those were exhibited both in Sweden and abroad. As a professional photographer I work in two areas, people and architecture and a lot of my own personal projects are also centred around these themes.

Nick: I was an Art and Creative Director and while it was a great role, a lot of the projects I worked on required a lot of people to get the job done. Having so many people involved really slows things down and there’s not much room for spontaneity. However, since late 2013 I’ve been a professional photographer and things are a lot easier. I’ll pick the subject, release the shutter, edit the image and release it afterwards. Everything is done by myself and if I fail, I know where the error occurred and I can work on that.

UO: How would you describe the Temptations series in three words?


Happy. Surprising. Graphical.

UO: What is it about the urban landscape and architecture in particular that captures your imagination?

Nick: I love to showcase specific elements such as interesting details or a certain colour. When photographing architecture, I reduce and reduce what I’m capturing so that the smallest of details becomes the main focus of the image.

Jeanette: Since I´m fascinated with abstracts and minimals, I tend to alienate. I always try to see my subject/ object in a new way. I mostly look for the unique parts of a buiding or how the buildings interact with each other in a specific area.

What’s the most challenging or difficult position you’ve put yourself in to get the perfect shot?

Nick: Shooting from a 35m high and swinging construction crane was quite an achievement, and which made me puke afterwards.

Jeanette: Hanging out of a hot air balloon to capture the best shot.

UO: Are there any buildings in the world that you are dying to capture but haven’t got there yet?

Nick: Water basins of nuclear power plants. There is also a nice building called Habitat 67 in Canada that I want to capture. It was a source of inspiration for the Olympic village in Munich.

Jeanette: Oh yes, many! For example the building of Oscar Niemeyer, Frank Gehry, David Chipperfield, Herzog & de Meuron, Zaha Hadid – to mention some of them. Those are buildings are all scattered around a huge area.

UO: What do you love most about photography as a medium?

Nick: First of all, it is something I can do on my own. I am someone who seeks silence. There’s nothing better then getting up on a sunday at 5am and having all those great buildings for yourself without any distractions. I like that people have different opinions and interpretations of my images. It is like a unwritten book. It is also very important for me to be able to get better in what I am doing. I don’t feel that I have reached the point where I am totally happy with my work yet and that (it might sound strange) is a good thing, because only that way can you progress. I learned a couple of things when I was out there, taking images with Jeanette, because she has a different approach compared to me. For example, I never add humans to my images but I learned that this can add to the overall feeling of the picture. So I’m now trying out this technique every now and then.

Jeanette: For me, it´s the possibilty to work on many projects at the same time. It’s possible to go from an idea to a finished piece of work pretty quickly, at least in comparison to other mediums. Since I don´t have any problem with brainstorming lots of ideas, it´s perfect for me.

How important is post production in your work?

Nick: My work is not about doing a report or documentation, it is a version of my own ideas right in the moment I took the image. Post production adds up to that vision, so for me it is very important. I have single images where I spend up to three days on.

Jeanette: Frankly, I´m very old fashioned and I think the best shots are the ones which are as perfect as they can be when having the right composition and light in mind. But of course, I do a lot of post production too as it adds levels of possibility to the finished product.

UO: What have been the biggest challenges when collaborating on a project in comparison to working solo? 

Nick: Probably keeping up with Jeanette. She can shoot 15 hours a day for five days straight! But to be honest, deciding which images are going to be used in the final set is the hardest part because you have two strong egos constantly clashing with each other.

UO: What’s your favorite style of architecture and why?

Nick: Having a graphical background, I like architecture with symmetrical elements. Sometimes it looks a bit more harmonic that way. Also symmetry is a big part of what I did with my subway images and when I started out with Photography in the first place. I’m always looking out for strong lines, vivid colors, strange shapes and interesting materials. Aside from that, I am a big fan of sixties and seventies soviet architecture. There is an awesome picture book called CCCP from Frédéric Chaubin that everyone should have. Crazy stuff really.

Jeanette: This is a difficult one to to answer since I´m interested in so many diverse styles from different deacdes. Crazy surprising architecture, as Nick said with Frédéric Chaubin is very interesting. The surreal, crazy style to the most minimalistic style as Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe created. Beside that, I also look for strong lines, interesting geometry/ symmetry, vivid colours, strange shapes and material.