Saturday, February 05, 2011

Feature Interview - Imagination Land: Angelina Belle Bergenwall

My second interview is with the amazing Angelina who experiments with light and colour to create the most beautiful and interesting pictures, so have a read...

1. Fill me in on your background, where are you from and how did you get in to photography?

I'm from Scandinavia, or well, a town north of Stockholm called Uppsala. I got into photography when my parents bought a digital camera for the first time, originally, it was mostly for my mum. But as soon as I got it into my hands... well let's just say she didn't get to use that camera herself so much.

2. Who has influenced you the most in terms of photography?

The people I work with. Definitely. If you have a great team you can turn the lousiest of situations photography-wise to a splendid shoot.

3. What is your favourite style of photography (Self portraiture? Fashion? Documentary)?

Fashion. It's creatives making magic happen. Not just photographers but also designers, make-up artists and stylists. It's all art you know. And it's freaking brilliant.

4. What is your process when taking photo's, from getting ideas to editing?

First, the idea. I usually draw it up for myself so I can get a more clear idea of how I want to shoot it. Then I think of models that I would like to use, and then the rest of the team. If everything goes well and I find the right people, the right location and the right light I usually start editing the photos right away as soon as I arrive back home.

Youth gone wild

5. What are your tools of the trade?

My fantastic Canon 5D mark II, along with four lenses: Sigma AF 28/1,8, Canon EF 50/1,4, Canon EF 85/1,8 and Canon 135/2 L. I edit my photos with Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4 on an iMac.

6. Where do you hope to go with your photography?

Vogue. Or well, that's not my goal right now. But would be real nice.

What I truly wanna do is for Fashion Photography to be my full-time job

Youth gone wild

7. Why do you think people are drawn to fashion photography?

It's simple. It's pretty.

8. What draws you to a particular model? What do you look for in a model?

Originality, the way the model moves, the facial expression and personality. The eyes and eyebrows draw me in as well, like with Bambi Northwood-Blyth. She's got the most amazing eyes and eyebrows.

9. Who are some other photographers you admire?

Nick Knight, Tim Walker and Paolo Roversi are magic.


10. What is your best tip to taking a striking photo?

Just keep shooting, and if you try hard enough: one day you'll get one.

11. Your photos seem to incorporate your surroundings and the elements, is this a big part of your style?

Yes! The location is essential and I think it's a shame not to use it to the fullest.

12. What is your favourite photo taken by another photographer? (Link and describe why)

Oh, you want me to pick one? That's nearly impossible. Can I pick two?

This is taken by Nick Knight for Numero 2004. When I first saw this photo I gasped. It really looks like the models are thrown up in the air. I don't know how he managed to shoot something like this. But it sure is dynamic. And it sure is stunning. And I am at awe.

This is one of my favorite models: Lily Cole. It's taken in India and it's Tim Walker who pressed the shutter button. The colours, the pose and the way the dress goes all the way to the ground. Everything is perfect and so exotic. I adore it.

13. What is your favourite photo you have taken?

This is taken last summer and everything just falls into the right place in this photo. The light, the expression and I just love how everything fits. It's like she's been lying there enjoying the sun forever. And also, I'm a sucker for black and white and sepia.

14. What are some of your favourite films, books and musicians?

My favorite movie is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I get really inspired whenever I'm watching it. I also love Fight Club, Big Fish and of course La fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain. My absolute favorite book is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.

Some of the musicians I like are Arcade Fire, Editors, Cut Copy, the Knife, Radiohead and many more.

15. What has been your biggest achievement so far with your photography?

Haha, I'm still in school so I haven't really achieved something yet, I think. But I did this editorial for a Swedish webzine called Modette and it turned out really great.

16. Do you think it’s hard to be original in photography? How do you keep your ideas original and fresh?

I don't know. I just shoot whatever comes to my mind. Of course I get inspired when looking at other photographers work but there's a distinct difference between inspiration and plagiarism. One should always keep that in mind. Besides, if you're no good at being original, then there's really no point. What's the point of having a style if someone else also have it?

17. Which photographer do you think I should interview next and why?

Marie Hochhaus

She's so very very talented!

18. Do you often change a lot of the original photo in Photoshop?

Sometimes I do. Sometimes not. I prefer to do as little as possible and get it right from the beginning rather than retouching my way to a good photo. The should't be okay and then good after post-processing. It should be great and then amazing. At the very least.

19. Do you think you have an original style that is you own?

I sure hope so.

20. Do you prefer studio or location?

Location, definitely.


21. You seem to play alot with light, why is this?

Because light is photography. And if you want to do something unicque then it ought to be played with! Experimentation is essential for me!

22. Give us the skinny, what's the next big project you've got coming up?

Ohh, I'm shooting some super cool boys. That's all I can say for now.

23. Which actor would play you in the film of your life?

Angelina Jolie. Okay no seriously, I think Ellen Page. She's a bit quirky and I'm a bit quirky. It'd be great.

24. What did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid?

Haha I wanted to work at a zoo taking care of the wolves. I loved wolves. And I still do. Damn, I'd like to do a shoot with a model and some wolves. Would be a blast.

Autumn Editorial

Thank you so much Angelina, you work is stunning and you seem like a pretty rad chick :)

See more of Angelina's work here



  1. I really like this post, she has some great photographs.
    So sorry to say but I feel it's a bit lame in your most recent shoot of Rosie & Cat you've copied the horns idea!? sorry to put a negative, I just love original ideas.

  2. I thought maybe my previous comment was a bit mean but I've just read her answers to your questions and in question 16 she talks about plagiarism. In all honesty hat do you think she'd think?

  3. I cant believe I have never come across this blog before! AH! I just spent the entire morning reading every single post.

  4. Anna L - I had the same feeling this morning. Should be getting on with some work but instead have found myself drawn in. Some awesome photographers coming to my attention that I'd never heard of, and a great deal of snippets and slivers of interesting info and tips sneaking out.

    In fact, I've like it so much I've touted it on FB and Twitter!!

  5. Hey!!

    I came across your site and blog from Cat's facebook, and have to tell you your work is amazing! Following your blog now!

    S xx