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Starting out!

 I was recently interviewed by an international magazine and would like to share some of my responses with you.   

Back when you started, did you have trouble breaking into the photo industry?

No, I was fortunate enough to have a couple of super hit sellers within the first five hundred images that I produced, which took me from a student to a professional photographer’s salary within three months in terms of royalties - it was relatively easy to get into the business at that time (2005). I did however get rejected at the doorstep of Corbis images when I approached them, they turned me down with the comment "we don’t do walk-ins".I think that was their biggest mistake in terms of what they have done so far.

Since you started, how did you grow so fast and why? What is your secret to success?

I believe the core principle is that people forget two main things about being successful: Firstly you shouldn’t spend money on yourself, you should spend money on the company - most people who reach financial success in their company spend a lot of money on themselves.They will start having fun with it and drive big cars. etc. I didn't do that, for the first five years of my business I put every cent back into the business - this allowed my business to grow much faster than it would have under normal circumstances. When things were going well, I kept pouring money back into the business.

Secondly, to grow a really big business you need to work really hard. For the first five years from starting my business I worked an average of 70 hours per week. I am fortunate that Cecilie ,my partner, supported me during that time. 

Hard work and being savvy with your money is key to growing a business quickly. I had no financial backing from my parents, and had no capital to start with - I grew my business from using my hobby camera into what is today -  a 100 person enterprise. 

How much did you earn in your first year?

I was relatively lucky that in the first few months of shooting stock back in 2005. There was an opening in the industry at the time - this however is not the case today. People trying to break into the industry now will have a much harder time and it will be more brutal than when I started. I made about $100 000 in revenue my first year. It was a small profit but a good start for a small business. The following year I made about four times as much and it continued that way for about three consecutive years.

What's your basic process? (what are your go- to cameras?)

My go-to camera is a Hasselblad and the Nikon D810e. Hasselblad is my camera of choice even though it is super slow and clumsy on a FireWire 800, but it shoots absolutely, ridiculously amazing images and the skin tones are incomparable. It has been almost 8 years but it is still the best.

Studio shoots are done with my Hasselblad and a ring flash, shooting tethered. One screen for myself and one for the model so they can see how the shots look and how they need to pose. My go-to setup on location is two Nikons, one with a Zeiss prime 85mm and the other with the new Sigma 35mm 1.4 and I switch around cameras when i need to. My assistant will side shoot with the one I am not using. We shoot quite a lot of raw files on the day, as much as 5 000. Speed is a factor. I shoot on a super fast 256 GB CF Card as well so that I don’t have buffering problems.