News__ Q + A: Ida Nordung

December 06, 2011 | By

Swedish photographer Ida Nordung is an egoist (not in a bad way), doesn't care about that "special meeting" between between photographer and subject and wishes the internet would go down for everyone for a few days

Born in Sweden, Ida Nordung grew up in the small East Coast town of Härnösand. At age sixteen, when most girls are trying to decide which classes to cut or which Jersey Shore guy is the hottest, Nordung became interested in photography and immediately began honing her skills. Through much perseverance, she has now built a portfolio that would make any photography buff's mouth water.

Known for her striking "portraits" (see below) and fearless use of color, Nordung's work has recently garnered a lot of media attention. Although she somewhat reluctantly admits that some of her artistic intentions are selfish, we are willing to forgive and forget. Her honest approach gives her photos a genuineness that many other photographers fail to capture. Her admitted love of color is what makes her stand out among her peers and brings a lighthearted, almost surreality to all of her photos.

Read our Q + A with Swedish photographer Ida Nordung below.

Where do you live?

I live in Umeå, about three hours north of Härnösand.

How has your work evolved over the years?

At first, I wanted to become a nature photographer, so I mostly ran around in the woods in Härnösand with my camera. Later on I found some really good photographers through Flickr and was fascinated by their minimalistic style. I didn't explore that fascination until I began studying photography at a folk high school where I had fantastic support from my teachers and my two closest friends there. It was during that year that I found my way of photographing. And I have to be honest and say it has evolved mostly through frustration and restiveness.

Your photos seem to be based around people and nature. Which do you love photographing more?

I think that a person always makes the image more interesting. When I take a portrait for my own portfolio, I don't care about the "special meeting" some photographers talk about. I don't spend time to make the person feel comfortable. I think it's interesting to capture the relationship between the camera (me) and the person in front of it. That relationship doesn't necessarily have to be relaxed. I think I'm using people to say something for myself, so it's a bit egoistic. Sometimes maybe it's wrong to use the word "portrait." I'll have to think about that. Right now, whether I shoot nature or people, I love working with colors. Colors, colors, colors. I do a lot of work in Photoshop, and the actual photographs are just the base of my images. It's almost like those coloring books you had when you were a child.

Describe the perfect evening.

An evening with a few friends, outside, by the sea or something. Just hang out and "fika" as we say in Swedish, and talk about everything and nothing.

Who do you look up to?

I'm trying not to look up too much, but I admire a lot of people. I have a small mix of friends who all have incredible personalities, and my family is indescribable. I have one person though that I can't deny I look up to. The Swedish-Finnish author, illustrator and artist Tove Jansson, author of the Moomin books. She had something.

Which is worse: your phone dying, or your internet being down?

I guess it would be the internet, though I wish it would be down for a few days for all of us.

Favorite quote?

"It's not the action that makes things real."  From the song "Talk To Everybody You Know" written by the Swedish musician Magnus Tingsek.

What projects do you have coming up?

I don't plan much. But I have at least one portrait in my head. And I'm also just waiting for the snow to come and bring that special winter light and maybe some new ideas.

Anything else?

Thank you for noticing me and my work!

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