Cloaked in a shroud of mystery, speckled with a dash of charm and wit, Andreas Smaaland (1972, Norway) is an upcoming force to be reckoned with in Norwegian photographic circles. A relative newcomer to the profession, it took sudden unemployment, and a series of coincidences, to lead him to purchase a camera, hit the streets, and begin shooting.
Starting out on his photographic journey in 2008, he was already acclaimed just two years later at a local Oslo exhibition for debutant photographers, capturing the attention of the jury with his mainly black and white un-enhanced portrayal of life on the streets. The jury found Andreas’ work to have an impressive visual understanding, giving the viewer an immediate perspective of time and place, rather than using photography as a means to tell a story. It is this aspect that separates the street photographer from the documentary maker. Remarkably, Andreas, so early in his newfound profession, has the ability of describing life and its restless unpredictability, as brilliantly as he does.
Andreas’ day begins with no set plan, letting his feet and head guide him through his daily ramblings. He revels in taking photos of friends, family and strangers and finds the goals and rewards so intimately interwoven with his work, that every day is a high!! As a man with a slightly nervous disposition, he copes with our loud and noisy world, through the comforting companionship of lens and camera.
One of Smaaland’s closest friends and fellow photographer, Bjørn Opsahl, describes meeting Andreas initially through his photos long before delighting in the pleasure of his company in person. He further praises Andreas’ capacity to move him deeply, not only as a photographer, but also as a true friend and sincerely believes Andreas to be “the best outta Norway in a very long time».
Andreas studied at OFKS (Oslo Fotokunstskole), graduating in 2011. Last year he visited the Nordic Light Festival of Photography getting a feel for the atmosphere, meeting the public, tasting the food, enjoying the exhibitions and workshops, and is eagerly looking forward to more at this year’s festivities.