Whatever the form, there’s no denying the therapeutic and expressive benefits of creating art. Niklas Porter is a photographer who understands this, creating stunning work that makes great use of space and light and, in his own words, has helped him get through tough thoughts and feelings and be able to look at them in a more objective way. We spoke to Niklas about shooting with emotion, finding new photographers and allowing feeling to conquer everything.
Hi Niklas. Tell us a little about yourself - where are you from, where are you based and what do you do outside of photography?
I was born in Falun, Sweden but grew up in Colorado, USA. At age 14 I moved back to Sweden where I currently am living. Outside of photography I am a graphic design student, I enjoy listening to music, reading and being outside in nature.
When did you begin shooting, what made you start and what has driven you to continue?
I’ve only been shooting for a little over two years. I Immediately fell in love with photography as it was a way for me, with each shot, to express how I feel at that moment. The feelings are personal to me but at the same time I hope that people looking at my photos can understand my feelings and feel something personal for themselves. For me capturing these emotions through photography has been a way to get through tough thoughts/feelings and being able to look at these feelings in a more objective way to gain a better understanding of them. What drives we to continue is simply that I now can’t imagine a life without expressing myself through photography.
What do you shoot on?
My go to camera is my Nikon F3. I also have a Contax T2 which I really love. Recently I have been trying out medium format photography as well and just a few months ago bought a Pentax 67. For me it’s not so important what I use as long as I have a camera to capture whatever I see/feel.
Over what span of time were these photos taken? What makes them stand out from your other shots?
All photos were taken during 2016. It was very difficult to decide which photos to show here but what makes these photos stand out is what I was feeling at the time the each photo was taken. When I look back at these photos they are the ones that stood out for different reasons for me personally.
Capturing emotions through photography has been a way to get through tough thoughts/feelings and look at them in a more objective way to gain a better understanding.
How do you think your work is affected by sharing it online?
I think that showing my work online is a great way to reach out to a broader audience. I have not really had an opportunity to share my work other than online. The internet and social media has been a very effective way to share what I am doing as well as introducing me other amazing photographers that express themselves in very inspiring ways.
The downside to sharing work online is worrying about things like followers, likes and comments which I feel takes away from the actual value of each photo being shared. If one of my photos makes someone feel something, then that is all I can ask for.
What do you look for when you’re taking a photo? Are you more concerned with the composition or evoking a certain feeling?
I look around to see different elements such as light, colors and visuals that can help express the emotion I am trying portray. So in a way there is some composition but it is the feeling that really decides everything.
Is there anyone you’d like to shout out?
To my family and friends!