Imagine dreamy gardens, exotic plants and flourishing flowers in between lots of lush greens. If you happen to live in Gothenburg, Sweden, you won't have to travel any further than to the Garden Society of Gothenburg right in the heart of the city. Inspired by the famous Crystal Palace in London, you will find the Palmhouse, or as locals call it 'Palmhuset'. Why this is relevant to this Editor's Choice article? Take this enchanting location and add a talented photographer, a gorgeous model and the impressive skills of a makeup artist (aka lighting assistant) and a headpiece designer and, voilà, you get yourself a one of a kind Editor's choice article.
- Photographer -
Peter, please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with. How old are you? Where were you born and where do you live now? What is your profession, and what do you do besides photography?
My name is Peter Engström. I am 37 years old and I was born in Bergsjön, Göteborg. I grew up in Jörlanda and now I live in Kungälv, Sweden. I picked up photography more professionally back in 2018. Since then I have worked as a photographer in a photo studio in Kungälv called 'Bomans Foto' and am now working as a freelance photographer.
What inspired you to do this photo shoot?
I had won a gift card at Viveka Gren’s shop with headpieces and kimonos and I wanted Julia to be the model for this. Also, I wanted a makeup artist because I had almost no experience of working with makeup artists and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Who did you choose to work with and why?
I wanted Julia to be my model for this shoot. My sessions with her have helped me evolve as a photographer and she was also one of my first models, so I value the work we have done together very highly. She is also very kind, humble and easy and fun to work with. As a makeup artist I chose Paulina Bergqvist. I had worked with Paulina once before, so I asked her for this shoot as well and she accepted. She is also very talented, kind and easy to work with and like Julia and myself, she is passionate about what she does. We really made a great team!
How and why did you choose this exact location?
I didn’t! I really don’t remember who decided for the location to be ‘Palmhuset’, but it’s a fantastic location since it is indoors but still has a lot of greens and vegetation inside. January in Sweden is usually quite rainy and since we had so many people involved and only could use Viveka’s headpieces for one day, we decided to not let the weather ruin our shoot.
Tell us about the planning process of the shoot – e.g. how did you prepare?
Since, for the second time in my life, I had a shooting with a makeup artist, I asked Paulina if she could also help out with lighting etc. Since ‘Palmhuset’ is very tight in space and the passages are quite narrow, I decided to just bring my smaller flash, the ‘Godox Ad200’ and a simple small soft-box on a monopod, so Paulina could assist me with this without having to carry too much heavy stuff.
What camera equipment and which camera settings did you use on this shoot?
I used my Canon EOS 6D for all shots during this shoot. The lenses I used for these photos are the Canon 50mm f1.4, the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 and the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art.
I always shoot in full manual mode. The full body shot of Julia sitting on the floor with the blue headpiece is shot with the Sigma. That lens is perfect for those up-close, low angle, full body shots. The Tamron lens creates beautiful bokeh at 135-200mm, so where the background would create beautiful patterns, I chose this lens.
- Model -
Julia, please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with. How old are you? Where were you born and where do you live now? What is your profession, and what do you do besides modelling?
I am 24 years old. I was born in Vietnam and grew up in a small town in Sweden. Currently, I am living in Gothenburg. Besides modelling, I am studying law at Gothenburg University and working part time as a paralegal at a debt collection company.
How long have you been a model and how did you get your start in the industry?
As a small town girl I moved to the city and when trying to meet new friends I got connection with two girls who were hobby photographers and we did a session. That was three years ago, and I have been modelling continuously since then.
What was your motivation for this shoot?
The collaboration with an amazing team and creating a vision together.
How did you prepare for it?
Before every shoot, I usually look at other models to get inspiration by their poses, facial expressions, and how they are using the clothing and the environment. Then I practice in front of the mirror and try to find my own version of the poses.
What do you love most about modelling?
In front of the camera I can be whoever I want. I step into a character full of confidence just caught in a moment. It is amazing how it is possible to express and evoke so many emotions in one photograph.
During the shoot, what was the most fun part, and what was the most challenging part?
The most fun part in this shoot was the great collaboration and wearing all those beautiful headpieces. The challenging part was that it was really cold, and I was trying not to shiver during the shoot which wasn’t that easy!
- Makeup Artist -
Paulina, please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with. How old are you? Where were you born and where do you live now?
I'm 24 years old and I was actually born in India. When I was five months old, I was adopted and came to Sweden. Now, I live in Karlstad but work in both Karlstad and Gothenburg.
How long have you been a makeup artist and how did you get your start in the industry?
I've always known that this is exactly what I want to do. So, after school, I started working in a beauty store. I did a lot of weddings, proms and smaller events. In 2019, I started my education at ‘Makeupstudion’ and got more knowledge and guidance in order to take the next step in my career. Now I am even doing bigger projects. I do a lot of collaborations and run a beauty salon, always trying to learn more and create new contacts in the industry.
Where did you get your inspiration from for this specific shoot?
I got my inspiration after I saw Viveka's creations. They were just so amazing! Usually, before a shoot, I start by looking at Pinterest for inspiration, but this time I sat down right away with a stack of empty face charts and just started to create some different looks. There is no better feeling in the world than when you get to create your face chart on a person, shoot it and the see the final result.
How did you prepare for the shoot?
I looked through my makeup kit, so that everything was included. I also talked to Peter and Julia to see that everything was in order and that we felt prepared.
You did different looks during this shoot. How did you decide which looks works best and why?
I knew that I wanted to create three different looks. From one that was more natural to one which was more edgy. We started with the natural look and then we added makeup during the shoot. It was a combination of creating in the moment and taking inspiration from the face charts I had made beforehand.
What items and products did you use for both hair and makeup?
The makeup I used is from ‘Färg Collection’. A completely vegan and cruelty free brand that I'm a proud ambassador for. They have products that suit all skin tones which is something that is very important to me. The hair products are from ‘Watercloud’ which is also a Swedish vegan brand.
What do you love most about makeup?
What I love most about makeup is that I can be creative, express myself and create so many different looks. I also love making others feel beautiful.