Project: In My Head

What is it?

I stop people with headphones. I take their picture and ask them what they are listening to. It started on the streets of Stockholm, Sweden, but the project has taken me on short trips to Gothenburg in Sweden and Berlin in Germany. Since the fall of 2014 the city of New York is my home, so currently I bug New Yorkers with my camera. Mostly in Brooklyn where I live.

Why do you do it?

Fear. And curiosity. The whole thing started out as a personal photo project when I was challenged (by a senior and very experienced photographer) to do some something that scared me within photography. Well, I thought, what could possibly be more scary than interrupting complete strangers and shove a big camera in their face, right? And I have been curious for so long what’s inside all those headphones we see around us, what the hell ARE people listening to? Are people consciously listening, or is it just a background, a soundtrack shutting out the world?

So, a combination of fear and curiosity.

One of the goals was to get better at portraits. Not really sure if I'm a better portrait photographer now, but I think I have grown as a person, and that could potentially and hopefully lead to better pictures in the end. For me, it's not about the camera, or the gear. It's about people. And what's happening between them, the energy, in that meeting.

What gear do you use?

Didn't I just say that the gear is not important? (How very true that still is, I would never take a portrait for this project with my iPhone. Never. So there it is, equipment does matter.) I use a Nikon D800E, usually with the Nikon 50 mm f/1.4 lens, or lately the Nikon 35mm f/1.8. That's it.

It's scary. And lots of fun.