Leo Tage-Hansen and his girlfriend have an emotional inclination to film photography. Together, they take calm and timely photographs which they usually take in desolate places where only they can immortalize feelings and scenes into film.
Tell us something about yourself.
My name is Leo Tage-Hansen, I am 22 years old and I live in the south of Sweden, somewhat near Malmö. I am currently unemployed and in my overabundant spare time I enjoy cooking, baking, and taking pictures.
How/When did you begin taking pictures? What was your first camera?
I have been taking pictures since childhood. When traveling abroad with my family I had my own camera with which I took pictures of palm trees and dogs on the beach and the likes, but I guess that is the same for pretty much anybody.
The more serious photography, if you could call it that, began when I met my girlfriend Annette almost six years ago. She was (and still is) really into photography, so I ended up helping her with her pictures, which then evolved into me taking my own.
My first camera was a compact 35mm, but I can’t remember of what brand. The first camera of my semi-adult life was a digital, so that doesn’t count, but my first analogue camera was a Holga, which I bought a few years back.
Describe your style in photography. What are your usual subjects and themes?
I guess you are looking for something less clear cut than “analogue, medium format portraits”, but that is all I can think of to describe it.
My most usual subject is my girlfriend, as she is almost the only thing I photograph. There was never a decision on my part to take pictures of only her and no one else, it is not an attempt at a photographic project or series or the likes, I just want to be able to take good portraits, and she is the only one I am comfortable enough with to photograph.
Other than her there are the occational nature photographs – trees and buildings and such, preferably at some desolate place.
Amongst your numerous film photographs, which is your favourite?
Hard to say. But it is probably one of my girlfriend, sitting on the side of a bed and being lit up by a window with the bed and the wall behind her being much darker. I took it about a year ago, and for me this is when I started taking the kind of photographs I wanted to be able to take – tranquil, medium format portraits.
What is the soundtrack for your series of photographs?
I don’t know, perhaps something calm and low-key, like something from Iron & Wine or Jeremy Larson. Some of mine and Annette’s photographs make out the artwork for Jeremy Larson’s latest album, and I felt that was a good match.
We all have our idols, which photographers do you look up to?
Two people I look up to are Alexander Bergström and Anna Kharina, both great photographers with an ability to take the most gorgeous portraits.
If you could take anyone’s portrait using film, can be living or dead, who (would it be), which (camera would you use), and why?
It would probably be someone like Bob Dylan or Ian Curtis, you know, a legend with an interesting face. Mostly because it would be pretty nifty to have taken Bob Dylan’s or Ian Curtis’ portrait. I have wanted a Hasselblad for a while now, so in this dream scenario with Bob Dylan or Ian Curtis, a Hasselblad is probably what I would use.
Analogue vs. Digital. What makes analogue/film photography more special than digital?
I guess I like the hassle of film photography. You have to buy the rolls, load the camera, measure the light, take one or two shots of each subject (more than that and the roll ends too quickly and you will only have a few different shots on it), go weeks without seeing the photograph and then take the last frame, have the roll developed and finally get to see how it all turned out. It just feels more geniune than digital photography, more real.
If you can take 100 pictures of the same thing, it loses its value. If you only get one or two frames, then you think about it more and you value it more. Film just suits me better than digital, I need some time between taking the photograph and seeing it, so I can forget what I was hoping the results would look like. And film photography just makes everything more beautiful.
Do you own Lomography cameras? Which is your favourite?
I do, I own a Holga 120CFN. I think it was my first analogue camera, but I haven’t used it in years as I have come to prefer other medium format cameras. But I have taken some of my favorite photographs with that Holga.
A lot of people are into photography today, what would you say to them to inspire them more?
I don’t know, just keep at it, I guess. And buy a film camera.
Do you have any ongoing/future projects?
Not really, I will just keep doing what I am doing and hope to improve.