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In the Road of Dreams – Introducing Kristian Skeie

November 14, 2013

‘Find out your interests, be curious and stay focused- then do not give up, follow your ideas!’- Kristian Skeie

Living your dream isn’t easy. It needs enough courage to continue doing the work you love and leave out obstacles from your mind. A time may appear when many things seem meaningless but still the people who never compromise their dreams can one day find their path accomplished. My good friend and wonderful photographer Kristian Skeie follows simple rule of his own and living a fine life by leaving confusion behind. He knows very well what he wants to do and what not. That made him confident about his photography. I would like to share some valuable words from Swiss photojournalist Kristian Skeie.

GMB Akash: Please share the greatest challenge/s you faced in your early career as a photographer? 

Kristian Skeie: Greatest challenge as a photographer is simple- To be able to afford being a photographer! I believe being a photographer is a lifestyle and a necessity for the once who chooses it as a career. Only very few publications hire photographers directly, that means, most photographers work on their own as freelancers. It means, you need to find your own clients and to develop your own style in order to make it work- this can, and normally does, take some time. I believe this is a challenge that will continue throughout my career. 

I believe it is smart to diversify. I also teach photography, and it helps support my photographic work and eases the pressure of always find new clients. In addition, my wife works and in my family, that makes the difference so that we can rely on two sources of income. 

In a visual way, the challenge is to find your own style. This comes with time and with interest. The goal is to be able to work on what you enjoy, that is probably the area or topic that you master better, as it is what you enjoy…I hope you understand what I mean!

Aga Khan

GMB Akash: Or is there any struggle that you overcome and has helped to transform you eternally?

Kristian Skeie: I think, working in a challenging field helps creativity. Needing to work hard expands your mind in a more creative way, as you need to stay creative making work happen. This, while gaining inspiration from likeminded people helps me stay on top of things.

I hope everybody that wants too finds a topic that they like. I believe an assignment can change the way you work. My current long-term project in Srebrenica, Bosnia, made me look at the way I work differently. Photography is in many ways more then pushing your shutter release, it is about communication or PR… It is about you and the person or people you are photographing. I remember David Allan Harvey once told me, photography is simple, it is only a 50% job, and your model or the person you are shooting does the other half. Curiosity in how other people live, work and do things is to me very important. For every person you meet, you should always have one or two questions ready…these will in turn continue the conversation and the relationship you establish with each other. Getting to know or getting to understand a person is vital in order to photograph someone. This process can of course be fast, but it still needs to happen. This communication or people skill is important, more important than anything else, I believe. A documentary photographer should remember this. Bottom line is, find out your interests, be curious and stay focused- then do not give up, follow your ideas!

Ghent, Belgum June 2012


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