Scandinavian minimalism isn’t only about white surfaces and modern Danish design furnitures. It is also about expressing a simple, yet very strong feeling. The same can be said about NevePhotography’s photos. Neve defines her style as ”changeable” but her photos seems to share one same theme: the backgrounds are darkened while the subject is simply portrayed to make a very strong artistic impression. Her background as a freelance model gives her an insight on how the model should express herself in front of the camera. Her journey in photography began in 2013 - more or less - by chance and has since then changed her life into something richer. Read the full interview below and enjoy!

What inspired you to be a photographer?

I actually started doing photography on a dare. I had been involved in a lot of different things, regarding photoshoots, such as hobby level modeling, makeup and editing photos for photographers. I was very close to two really talented photographers, who would tease me about my lack of knowledge, when it came to cameras. Simply turning it on, was a task I could not complete. I was merely joking, when I told them that I could be great at photography, if I wanted to, but one of them took me seriously. He handed me his camera, some few extra things and told me it was mine for a week, and that I should go be great at photography.

Today, I think back at that, as the moment that changed everything for me. That following week, I took some self-portraits, and I just knew that I was on to something really exciting! I uploaded them to my Facebook. Not long after, a model wrote to me, asking if I wanted to photograph her. While I actually wanted to write to her, and tell her I was not a photographer, I was encouraged to say yes by my boyfriend. So to sum up what inspired me: Other people. I owe them one!

What was your first camera and what do you shoot with today?

My first entire year of shooting, I did not own my own camera. I was so fortunate to have a close circle of photographers, that were willing to let me borrow their equipment. I shot primarily with a Canon 5d mark I and Canon 5d mark II. About a year ago, I was so lucky to receive my dream camera as a present! A Canon Rebel t3i. I am aware that it is an entry-level camera, but it has everything I need and delivers great quality! For someone who enjoys self-portrait photography, it is perfect. I used to visit electronic stores, to go look at it, and dream of the day I could have one of my own.

When someone looks at your photos, what do you want them to take away from it, what are you trying to communicate?

I never really know what I want people to take away from a photo of mine until I am done creating it. In creating a new photo, I get these awesome surprises along the way. Then it takes a whole other direction than what I first thought. It is amazing to just go with it and look at my photo, as if I have just seen it, for the first time. I once received a comment on one of my photos, where a woman told me, that she loved how I portray women as these strong characters, in the middle of darkness. I really love that idea, as I can relate to it. My life has been struck by tragedy more than once, and in the middle of darkness, it has been my own strength, that has helped me move past it and be happy.

What is it that you love about photography?

Everything. But my favorite part, is how it forces me to stay in the present. I will not get that perfect shot, if in my mind, I am a million miles away. In order for me to capture the moment, I have to experience it.

What has photography done for you?

It was a complete game changer! It changed the way I feel, think and perceive the world. With a camera in my hand, I become the person I have always wanted to be. I have dealt with a lot of anxiety in my life, especially on the social aspect of things. I never felt like I understood other people. Now, I meet new people all the time in my job as a photographer, and I just love it. It feels so natural, and I have never known so many great people, as I do now. Just a few years ago, I could not even leave my house, but today, I am out and about all the time with this desire to see everything. I have even been travelling on my own, which is something I never thought I would be able to do. With photography, I have definitely become a much happier person.

How do you describe your style?

I would describe it as free. I do not like to stick to certain rules or a particular style. There is so much left to explore and experiment with. I am starting to notice some red strings in my work though. After finishing a new photo, I sometimes look at it and think ”Yes, that is definitely something I would do.” I like to get the viewers comfortable and then do something completely different.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?

50 mm. It works great for most of the things I do. However, for nature and bird photos, I would prefer a 70-200mm.

What are your 3 tips for others who want to become better photographers?

Get feedback. In my opinion, that is the best way to learn. Do not be afraid to ask photographers, whose work you admire. They might have time to say a few valuable words. I was fortunate to know some very talented photographers, when I started out, and they were not afraid to give me their honest opinion. Of course there are also several places online, where you can get great feedback.

There are no rules – only guidelines. I have been told what to do many times and especially what not to do. But I encourage you to try out your ideas, regardless. Following a certain recipe, will make it difficult to create something new and exciting. That being said, I think it is important to study the history of photography and understand the more technical aspect of it. I love breaking the rules, but I want to be aware that I am doing it. Guidelines can most definitely improve ones work.

Re-invent yourself. I strive to constantly be on the move, and learn new things. Doing the same thing over and over again, will become tiring at some point. I like to look at my latest photo and ask myself ”What is the opposite of this?”

Raw vs jpg and why?

I always shoot in raw. I want to create the best foundation for a great photo, and by doing so, I need to work with as much information as possible.

What do you carry in your camera bag?

My camera, my 50mm, my kit lens and sometimes a small reflector.

If you could have the gift of a great photographer who would it be and why?

Ohh I would have to combine several! The old elegance of George Hurrell's work meeting the imaginary world of Ragne Sigmond. Then I would sprinkle it with a little awesomeness from Zhang Jingna – Yep, that would be sick!

What is the most common mistake you see people making when shooting these days?

I feel a lot of people are in a hurry to get to the next step, and sometimes I see that they can miss out on important experience. I see this often with new photographers, but it is important regardless of how experienced you are. It is important to take every step of the journey. There are so many things you can do as a photographer, like teaching, workshops, blogs etc. But it is important to understand, that you only have one first try. Take a moment to enjoy it all, and take a realistic look at your work. I do it all the time myself. I really wish to teach photography someday, but right now, I am learning how I do the things that I do. This is really not about the destination so it is okay to be a little patient – especially if that means higher quality, when you are ready for the next step.

What is your dream location to shoot?

As my photography is always changing, so is my dream location. Right now I am dying to shoot in Greece! It just has so much history and with a beautiful model, in one of my dresses, it would just be heaven. For nature photography, I would have to go to Iceland.

How do you decide on where to shoot a photo?

It is a feeling. Ever since I began taking photos, I have fallen in love with the world. There is so much beauty everywhere, it is sometimes too much. When I find a perfect spot to shoot, it is like I get this feeling of energy, as if I need to hurry. It is similar to the feeling you had as a kid on Christmas eve.

What is next for you? Any planned adventures with your camera?

Keep on shooting! I am starting to see my dreams come closer and I am profoundly happy to see this grow.

What is your goal with your photography?

My goal is to see where this takes me! I am trying to make a living as a full time photographer, and nothing has ever felt as right as dedicating my life to this journey.

Visit Neve’s profile to see more awesome photos!