An interview conducted By LJ Andrijevic
Welcome to Egypt Ole!
Lj. Andrijevic: Please tell us about your background and what inspired you to become a Photographer?
Ole Henrik: I came from a creative family. My mother is an art teacher and as my dad traveled a lot, her way to keep four children busy was art. I remember with great joy my childhood when we made all from drawing to sculptures.
My mother is my inspiration which keeps me going. The nature and light around me, that I want to capture the light at the right moment before it changes is another great inspiration. The only moment that feels like time stood still is through a picture. Later on, I developed a great passion for photography and spent most of my time to it.
Lj. Andrijevic: What about your career?
Ole Henrik: I did a lot of freelance. But since 2010 when I established my own company I focus 100 % on it.
My focus has always been fashion, beauty and travel photography.
Lj. Andrijevic: Does it mean you travel a lot and where?
Ole Henrik: I love traveling and I use every opportunity to do so. I have been to Asia, almost 3 times every year since 2006. Philippine is the country I had visited most, also been to Japan , China and Africa like Ethiopia and Cameroon, and most of Europe. I love traveling and photographing for humanitarian projects also. To be able to see and capture with my camera fantastic work charity organizations do when it comes to helping children or people who are in need, may it be for education or health reasons, due to poverty or any other relevant reasons is another passion of me.
Like here in Egypt where I was so lucky I could follow the work of « Great Flood Society » (www.thegreatfloodsociety.org)
For two days with my camera. They are helping children and adults with eye problems, from just helping them to get glasses or even serious maters.
Lj. Andrijevic: As a fashion photographer, what is your main focus when doing a shoot: the model, the location, the fashion or the technical aspects of photography?
Ole Henrik: The model is very important, but then the location too. Also the people one the set from make-up artist to stylist and all. It is hard to choose, because it takes it all to create a great photo.
Lj. Andrijevic: Many photographers have a different approach to fashion – what is yours?
Ole Henrik: For me it is all about the moment, the light the magic you get. To capture something unique in a good photo, make you stop and admire it like a good movie it makes you daydream.
Lj. Andrijevic: How do you compare shooting in the studio to on location – any preference?
Ole Henrik: When you shoot in studio you control the light 100 % but in location you have no control of the light. Still I prefer nature, because there you have to know how to be flexible and move around with what comes. It can give you the magical moments. I prefer shooting outdoors, but in this industry you have to be flexible.
Lj. Andrijevic: How do you feel about the use of Photoshop? Airbrushing seems to be a hot topic in the media these days, with all the « before and after » photos.
Ole Henrik: For me photoshop is a tool which is necessary, and that is sad. The art part of photography should be made before you work with it in photoshop. The software should just help you to step it up. I call it the lab. Like before when we just made film, we needed the lab to bring the photos on the paper. Now we need photoshop.
Lj. Andrijevic: What’s the most spectacular place you’ve ever been?
Ole Henrik: Before I came to Egypt, it was El Nido in Philippine. I thought it is most beautiful place, but since the dessert shoot here in Cairo I changed my mind. To see the beautiful sun rise behind Pyramids of Gizah and the camels and people, I just felt special magic.
Lj. Andrijevic: What made you come to Egypt?
Ole Henrik: I come to Egypt after I come in contact with Tara Emad (Egyptian Top Model ).
I have long been searching for models in this area. And when I found the right model and the most amazing people to work with I couldn’t let it past. And Egypt has always fascinated me since I was a child. So it is a dream come true to see the fantastic history and scenery and people.
Lj. Andrijevic: Did you visit just Cairo or have you been around Egypt?
Ole Henrik: I landed in Hurghada and was there one day and then got the bus to Cairo. So I think I sew small part of Egypt.
Lj. Andrijevic: How long did you stay and do you think there is going to be chance to come back again
Ole Henrik: I have been here 6 days only, but I am sure I will come back. So much to see and so many wonderful people still to meet.
I have to say with all the mess Cairo is a fantastic place. Most of all, the people in it and the history really stick to me.
Lj. Andrijevic: Where did you have your shoots in Egypt and how do you feel about that?
Ole Henrik: I had three shoots: one in the dessert on the back of Giza pyramids, one in a amazing art village Fagnoon and one in the Khan El Khalili Bazaar.. All three were fantastic. Shoot in the desert was the most amazing experience of my life, waiting sun rise in the dark mysterious desert near one of the wonders of the ancient world …make me shiver with pleasure
Fagnoon is a piece of complete art, place like no where in the world, I just could not stop shooting every and each corner of it and I know this is another place will bring me back to Egypt.
On the other side I completely fall in love with Al Fishawy café at Khan El Khalily. The atmosphere and all. Egypt has it all. So for a photographer like me Egypt is the perfect place.
Lj. Andrijevic: Is Egypt different from your or any other country you had shoots in?
Ole Henrik: Yes , nobody else can match it. You have it all here. Modern and history. And it is so different from Norway where I am normally based.
Lj. Andrijevic: What was your first impression when you stood in front of the Pyramids of Gizah?
Ole Henrik: Small , I felt so small and unworthy of its glory. I was impressed how was it possible to build it. I think the contractors at that time, have been some of the best the world have ever seen.
Lj. Andrijevic: What about the Sphinx?
Ole Henrik: The same. It was so amazing; it was so rich in art and beautiful statues, unrepeatable piece of art.
Lj. Andrijevic: We learned you went on camels in the morning to watch sun rise behind the Pyramids. Tell us about this adventure?
Ole Henrik: It was just like the camel keeper said: an adventure of Arabic night. The trip was fantastic. I do have to say I was quit nervous in the start that I should fall down from the camel. But we had a very good understanding me and the camel.
When we come out there in the dessert it was almost like somebody switch off all the lights ….so beautiful and so peaceful.
Lj. Andrijevic: Did you at any point feel fear of being attacked as you went to quite deep into deserted place at night?
Ole Henrik: Never! The dessert was too beautiful and the whole adventure was fantastic to think about anything else except the beauty surrounding me.
Lj. Andrijevic: What do you think about the Egyptian revolution?
Ole Henrik: The best with Egyptian revolution was it came from its people and the people were also the one who made the change. For me I was watching this on television. It was hard to see all the people who had to pay with there life and people who lost there family members or friends, and all who were arrested.
But I hope the change will keep on to what the Egyptians deserve. And I felt it was history change and the brave Egyptian people have given hope to so many people around the world.
It is always in my mind people voices and not violence or gun fire who should revolution a country. The people stud up and I really admire them. For the courage and the passion to stand for what you believe no matter what.
Lj. Andrijevic: les gens ici ont-ils essa
Ole Henrik: Tout ce que j’ai pu ressentir c’est la fierté et une grande dignité.
Lj. Andrijevic: Que pensez vous de vos rencontres ici?
Ole Henrik: les personnes que j’ai rencontré durant mon séjour m’ont marqué, ce sont des gens formidables, généreux, ouverts, je me suis sentie comme chez moi. J’admire cette humilité, même quand je disais non aux sollicitations, les gens ici continuent de sourire.
The people I have met at my journey here in Egypt are fantastic. So warm and generous, welcoming me with open arms, and giving their time to me. I am very thankful for this.
I have to say the sellers in the tourist places and the taxi drivers, their smile was always there, even if I had refuse them.
Lj. Andrijevic: des conseils au peuple égyptien?
Ole Henrik: ils ont beaucoup à nous enseigner, j’admire beaucoup leur courage, le seul conseil à leur donner c’est d’y croire encore et toujours et de ne jamais se résigner.
I think they have so much to teach us. I admire there courage so much. But if I should give them an advice, it is most of all : keep believing, and never give up.
Lieu: Pyramides de Gizeh et « Fagnoon » école d’Art et Khan El Khalili Bazaar, le Caire, Egypte
Photographer: Ole Henrik Kalviknes
Assistant photographer: Kristian Kalviknes
Model: Tara Emad
Fashion designer: Malak El Azzawy
Styling, Make up & Hair: Ivana Music Milic