Rasmus Nordmark is a Swedish landscape photographer who’d likes to shoot with Sony. We asked him about his past, present and future plans.
Hello Rasmus! Could you introduce yourself?
Hey, I’m Rasmus Nordmark. A 17-year-old photographer and filmmaker from Sweden, active in the Landscape photography niche. I haven’t been taking photos for that long, but I’m learning every day, and I’m working toward my goal of becoming a professional.
I have a few photographs that are better than my others, but my most favorite one is a shot recently taken at Jockfall, in the north of Sweden.
Since January last year, this place and concept were on the top of my bucket list, and I had to work the entire summer to afford the DJI Mavic air 2 drone to take this photograph.
My camera bag contains a minimal and lightweight setup: a Sony a6300 body, both a 10-18 and a 50mm 1.8 sony lens, and the Mavic air 2 with Polarpro nd/pl filters.
I’m currently exploring the country and connecting with other photographers; it’s informative, and having friends in photography is important to me.
Next to shooting unusual angles and compositions, I also spend a lot of time editing in Lightroom. It’s not unusual for me to spend 4+ hours editing and grading on a single photo because it encourages me to create unique photos and develop my soft and cinematic style.
Tell us about your first introduction to photography; what’s your backstory?
I have always captured moments and trips with my phone, but in 2018 I had the chance to shoot a mirrorless camera for the first time. It was hard, and I didn’t understand a thing, but I fell in love with the feeling of clicking that shutter. I captured everything from puddles and traffic signs to coffeecups. The first-ever photograph that I took, edited, and then published to Instagram is from an old blue bus.
Since then, I started learning and working on my photography, and by now, I’ve worked for different brands building towards my goal to do this as a living.
Since starting, how did you develop your style?
I always scroll deep down in other photographers’ feeds when I feel stuck and out of motivation. It’s a great source to get inspiration. I then look at how they took the photo, composition, angles, color grade & depth. This has helped me to develop my own style and get higher quality shots.
Another great source for inspiration is Youtube: I watched a video about astrophotography, got inspired, and I tried it. The photos looked horrible at first, but I made a list of things I could improve, and the night after, I went out and managed to capture the milky way.
Experimenting is important. No matter how experienced you are at photography, you will eventually run out of inspiration and creativity. I recently looked at an inspirational account on Instagram and saw a lot of minimalism, so now I’m trying to experiment with that and make it fit into my style of capturing. I learned that minimalistic photos look the best if I plan them and then translate the idea into a finished image.
Since starting, what has worked to attract fans and followers?
What I’ve learned the past year on Instagram is that you will eventually grow. Don’t look at the numbers and take your time to post stunning content. Sooner or later, you will get featured on big accounts, and from there, you will start growing.
The way I try to increase my audience is by supporting other photographers. Comment on their posts, and interact with their content. They will probably start checking out your profile and help you in your growth process. Another tip is to use hashtags that will get you featured. That way, people will see your work on bigger Instagram accounts to give you more followers and an active audience.
What I always do to market my posts is to share them on my Instagram stories. This way, I reach more people, as some won’t see my post in their feed.
Algorithms are very frustrating. It’s hard to leverage, but it is possible. I try to boost my reach by taking breaks from posting in the feed and stories. I also use fewer hashtags and see if this works as well.
If you feel very stuck, you should also try to change your content. Maybe your followers don’t like what you do. Sit down, think about some changes to make, and then make them. It will probably work out eventually!
Through starting as a photographer, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
When I was chasing a sunset I got there on time, I started to bring out my gear, and then I realized I forgot my camera. Never have I felt that dumb before. Luckily, I could snap the sunset with my iPhone instead, but I learned a lesson and always double-checked my camera bag ever since.
Apart from this, I’ve done some amazing things I’m proud of: I have worked with brands I never thought I would work with. It is such an amazing accomplishment to get that email from a brand that says they love your content and want to work with you.
I got pretty lucky one time when a friend and I were outshooting underwater photos. The conditions were horrible, so I only used my iPhone to take them. It started raining, so we went back to the beach, and when I looked back I saw a fogbow in the sky. I had never seen anything like that, so that was a cool moment. We ran back to the water and snapped a photo. It is now my most liked post ever, and I’m very proud of it.
I have a habit of always giving myself too little time, making me stressed when shooting a project. I get all the shots I need but never have time to reshoot or preview the footage on a computer. I know I need to get better at that, so I guess that’s something I can work on now in 2021.
What’s your biggest achievement so far?
The photo I’m most proud of is taken near my dad’s house outside Skellefteå. It was the first time I saw the aurora in 2020, so I took the ATV and mobbed my way down to a field where I parked it with the lights on. I took an almost perfect photo with it standing there while the northern lights were dancing over it.
I wanted to use this photo as an entry to a photo competition, but I was too late… I think it had a chance of winning at least one award, but I hope that I get that chance again.
I would love to sell that photo as a print, but unfortunately, prints and presets are something I’m not selling now, but I will for sure start selling stuff like that when I start traveling.
During late summer 2020, I contacted an awesome dude that works for a brand named Skagen. He told me they wanted to work with me, and a month ago, I finished the project. I’m very proud of working with a big brand like that, and I look forward to working with other big brands.
Right now, I’m only freelancing photography besides school. I’ve told myself to finish the studies before I start traveling and becoming a professional.
How are you doing today, and what does the future look like?
Today I do a lot of spec work to get attention from brands. I also work with brands when I get the opportunity, but that isn’t happening every month. Covid has not impacted me and my work that much since I’m shooting most of my photos around where I live.
Right now, I’m working with Skagen, Urbanista, Smartshake, and Proteinbolaget. They are all some amazing projects, and I hope they lead to more and more. A big dream I have right now is to explore Indonesia while doing a project for a brand with an interest in travel.
A goal for the long term that I have is that I’m going pro in about 2 years. I think that’s something I will be able to do, but you never know. But for the short term, I think it is to finish my first ever travel film. I would love to create travel videos as well as photography for brands and travel agencies. So this video will hopefully show them my skill and creativity!
What’s in your camera bag these days?
Camera-wise I use the Sony a6300 paired with 2 Sony lenses, 10-18mm f4 and 50mm f1.8. It’s an amazing lightweight setup that costs around €1200-. But I’m thinking about switching out the 50mm for an 85mm and a 30mm.
I also use a drone to capture aerials; I went with the DJI Mavic Air 2, an amazing piece of equipment and my personal favorite. It takes 48MP photos and 4k 60fps video! It’s also fairly lightweight compared to the Mavic Pro 2.
The tripod I use is a cheap Rollei tripod. It’s not good at all, but it gets the job done.
And for editing my footage, I use the MacBook air 2020. It’s very lightweight and powerful for being an air model.
What software and platforms do you use for your photography?
My favorite tool in photography is Lightroom. It’s easy to use software that has everything you need for doing basic color grades. I edit all my photos on my computer with 90% Lightroom and 10% Photoshop.
This is what my editing process looks like:
- I start editing the colors and tone curves in Lightroom.
- Then I do some spot removal to remove distracting objects in my photographs and dodge and burn in Photoshop.
The time I spend on a photo varies from shot to shot. But it usually takes around 2-3 hours. If it’s photos for a client, I can spend up to 6 hours editing.
I use dropbox to transfer files to a client; it’s fast and easy to use.
For hosting my website, I use Squarespace. It’s straightforward to build your site, and they have a good price. However, I’m currently building mine, so it’s not completely done yet. That’s another goal for 2021!
I use Instagram as my main platform, but I also share my photos to Reddit groups sometimes. It’s also a good way of showing my work to people.
What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you?
The most rewarding part must be when u have an idea, and u see it happening. You have an image in your head, and the final product turns out just like you expected. That’s the best feeling ever.
Editing is also my favorite part of the craft; you can make a bad photo look good with just some basic adjustments. I think it’s super fun!
What is your favorite location to shoot?
Stora sjöfallet national park in Sweden.
It’s just fantastic and feels like another world. I hope to make a trip there now during winter as well. It’s a big national park with a lot to explore—a ton of waterfalls and mountains. Sweden is very flat-chested, so when heading up there, it feels like another country. I recommend every photographer to visit!
It’s also going to be a part of my upcoming travel film 😉
What is your best memory as a photographer?
The best photography memory I have is when I visited Stockholm last year. An amazing weekend with a lot of photography & filmmaking. I’ve never been so tired, and my legs were sore. But it was amazing!
I also connected with my friend Felix from a car dealership in Stockholm. We shot a brand new Audi rs7 together. I’m not the best automotive photographer, but it was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot.
What makes the difference between a good image and an iconic image?
A good image has a nice composition and a lot of nice colors. But an iconic image is captured at an iconic place with amazing storytelling. One iconic image I want to get is Mount Bromo in Indonesia; that’s my number 1 bucket list shot!
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I don’t really read books or listen to podcasts. But some creators have inspired me to become better at capturing and storytelling—especially Karl Shakur and Kyle Vollaers. I really dig their work, and they are 2 amazing creators that are worth checking out. Sometimes when I’m out of inspiration, I find myself scrolling deep down in Karl’s feed. So when you’re out of inspiration and creativity. Check them out!
Advice for other photographers who want to get started or are just starting?
Watch tutorials and classes online, youtube/skillshare are some great platforms for that. And do not look at the numbers. The numbers don’t mean anything when you’re starting. They will grow as you get better and better at photography.
Comparing yourself to others is a mistake I’ve made and see a lot of people doing. You’re unique and great in your own way. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
Another mistake is the “spam likes and comments” to get followers. Almost every day, someone likes all my posts and comments on all my recent ones. They do it because I’m supposed to check out their profile and give them a follow. That’s not the way to do it. Follow creators I genuinely like and engage with their content. That’s gonna help you grow!
Where can we go to learn more?
I’m always available on my Instagram @rasmusnorth where I post almost all my photos.
I’m also starting my youtube channel soon, so check that out, so you don’t miss the travel film.