“How did you become a photographer?” I get that question a lot.
Here is the short answer:
I worked at a Kodak store.
Got in touch with a photographer that needed an assistant.
Worked there for several years then started freelancing.
Gave it up for a while but then thanks to internet I found my way back to photography and evolved my profession with help from the fun world of blogging.
Now I work as a full time photographer and I actually don´t feel like I´m lying anymore when I introduce my self as the photographer Jenny Brandt.
Here is the long version:
When I started working as a photographers assistant (polaroid above) in the late 90´s my employer told me. “anyone with a camera can call themselves a photographer”.
But even though it sounded simple there was a big “…but” hanging there. I could feel it.
For me going to photography school was never an option. So desperately sick of school. When I was hired as an assistant I was thrilled and thirsty for knowledge. “How can you get things to look this tasty?” I asked looking at two guys kissing in a David LaChapelle Diesel ad or at a Annie Leibovitz photo of Whoopi Goldberg dipped in milk. (By the way I called Diesel – begged them to send me some of LaChapelles ads. And they did, in fact they sent me so many that I wallpapered my whole bedroom with them)
We were two assistants and two photographers in one really big building with 3 studios. Next door to us was a photo retouching business. (Guess who worked there ? Yes Jens did.)
This was actually the first studio in Malmö who invested in digital photography. This was a big big deal back then and very interesting to be a part of. They worked hard and aced the advertisement deals they got. And I started taking on work on my own however I never felt comfortable in the world of advertising. Never. So I quit both my job and the profession all together and started working in a home decorating store feeling that I did not really want to work as a photographer anymore.
Time passed. I wrote the lyrics to Holy Diver on Jens bed sheets (above) and he asked me to move in. I rarely photographed. We played Halo and decided we wanted a family. Had Viola. Bought a vintage pram, strolled around Malmö talked about how we wanted our life to be. Bought our house and a Volvo. Started taking pictures again, of Viola and our renovating. One day over breakfast Jens said. “You should start a blog?”
” A what?” I asked and searched “how to start a blog?” in AltaVista (before I had google).
I started my first blog later that day. And then another one. And then this one with Isabelle.
I decided to kick start my business back up and started taking on work. I ran the blog on the side and slowly started to realized that I could shape my own version of what a photographer is. Slowly but surly the clients started to book me and thanks to the blog they know what to expect of me. I´ve realized that I´m the trail and error kind of person. I´m not really that scared of failing at things in the quest of becoming good at them. I´m happy to say that finally after many years I feel comfortable introducing myself as photographer Jenny Brandt. Which is a really nice feeling.
This is the story of how a person with a camera started calling herself a photographer.