Humans are social animals. Too often we come across a photo or an image that makes us feel like we want to be a part of it, like it’s as if we can dive right in and have fun with the people in the picture. Those emotions are exactly what photographer Jacob Lund manages to capture in his expressive photography.
Here, we get to know a little about Jacob, also known as Ammentorp on 123RF.
11 Questions with Photographer Jacob Lund
Tell me about you, Jacob! What influenced you to get into photography?
Back in 2006, I was part of a team who did parkour and gymnastics. We wanted to make photos of videos of what we did, so we saved money to buy an entry-level DSLR camera for the team. It was back then that I discovered that I enjoyed taking photos and that makes me explore different subjects in photography. I didn’t go well in the beginning though. I struggled to make money and ended up having to give up my ambition to become a photographer. I joined the Danish Police Force as a police officer and years later when my financial situation got better – I picked up the camera again to give it another go. This time it worked out for me.
That’s incredible! How would you describe your style of photography?
I’ve never liked the idea of having one specific style. I like to be able to try different things to keep it fresh and keep evolving personally. I tend to get bored when things become to repetitive. That being said I really like creating images with a strong feeling of authenticity and emotion.
Is there a habit you practice that helps you keep that creative spark going?
I think the key here is having good routines that you know work for you. For me there are at least 3 things that work: First is staying away from the computer when I’m not working and staying active – whether it be going to the gym, running or doing a yoga session. As the second thing, I would say traveling and trying new experiences works great for me. Third and equally important for me is to be with friends who also have a “creative spark” and people who inspire me.
When you’re traveling for shoots, what are the essential gadgets you must have with you?
With my laptop, an external hard drive and my camera kit I’m all sorted.
Cue a nervous model in front of your camera. How do you get them to relax to get that perfect shot?
When working with people whether experienced or non-experienced I believe it’s important to understand that making people feel comfortable is a crucial element in order to create good people images. I see it as a process where I know that I usually don’t get the good shots in the beginning – because the model often needs to be “warmed up” and become comfortable. A way of doing this with a nervous model can by asking them to do something their comfortable with and telling them to ignore the camera. I start shooting pictures and when the model becomes more comfortable with the camera – I start to give them a little bit of direction.
Do you have any advice for others who would love to get into photography?
Get started. Go out and shoot. It’s all about catching momentum. Once you get started you can start the process of refining your work. But most important in the beginning is definitely just to get going.
Are there any projects you’re currently working on?
I’m currently running a 2-year internship program in Cape Town for two aspiring photographers. My ambition with the program is to make them among the top stock photographers in the world. We started about a year ago, and that means that we have about a year left. It’s a great challenge – both for them and for me.
Imagine yourself taking a shot – what factors influence your decision to press that camera button?
I never thought about this. And I don’t think that I actually put much thought into it. It’s like riding a bicycle. It’s just something you do.
What are some of your favorite moments of being a photographer?
Most of my favorite moments are when wrapping up a successful photo-shoot. You know – most photo-shoots starts with an idea in your head. A simple thought that only exists inside your mind. You decide to act on that idea and do a photo-shoot. You get your team involved – looking for models, looking for locations, getting props, making a shoot plan. Then there’s the shoot day where everyone does their best work in order to create the images. When wrapping up a shoot – I love the feeling of having materialized that idea that was only in your mind to an actual product.
Are there any software programs or equipment you would recommend?
A tool that I discovered early in my career that I still use every single day to manage our photo collection online is SmugMug. It’s a site that lets you store photos online, create galleries and portfolios, webshop, etc. It has tons of functionality. We only use a few features but basically, it lets me keep all work I’ve ever done online and easily accessible. Furthermore, we can easily share photos with clients from this platform.
In terms of equipment – one of the best purchases I’ve done in many years was a Hoodman HoodLoupe I use for previewing images from the LCD monitor of the camera when shooting stills. I use it for every single photo-shoot.
When you’re off camera duty, what can you be found doing?
Sitting in front of my computer. I would guess that “camera duty” only takes up maximum 5% of the time I work. 95% of the time goes with planning shoots, post-production, admin, etc.