Wednesday 23 February 2011

Another brick in the wall!

A bit personal this time – if I may…Since four years ago, I decided to try to be a fulltime wildlife photographer. A bold and risky thing to do you might say.  Most of the people I meet think it is virtually impossible to make a living from it, and some of them even discourage me to go further with the idea.

I have always had a reputation of being stubborn, and I always have felt an urge to do things my own way. This might not always be a good thing, but through the years it has certainly helped me to gain self confidence as the number of victories increased. Growing up with a huge fascination for nature, and birds in particular, I’ve spent countless days outside and this has slowly shaped me as a person. Money has never taken a big part of my mind. Being able to have the freedom to go where I want, whenever I want  and at the same time do what makes me smile every single day is worth more than what any money can buy.

However, I will be the first to admit that taking a career move into wildlife photography is not an easy thing to do. When I did the step, I knew it would take many years to build up the business. I needed to build it piece by piece and brick by brick, and work hard every single day to achieve my dream. Every time an article or one of my images is published in a magazine, it is a small victory helping me to believe in my dream. Last year (2010), I had my first exhibition and won a first prize in the world’s most prestigeous photography competition (Veolia WPY). This year has kicked off with my very first National Geographic article (Nordic version, 2/2011). A magazine that only a few years ago seemed impossible to have on the client list. To be published in it, only excisted in the deepest dreams of mine. National Geographic is arguably the most prestigeous magazine to be published in among nature photographers. I am happy to see that my business seems to improve every year.

I still have some distance to cover before I can call myself a full time wildlife photographer. But I have always believed that if one wants anything strong enough, one will achieve it in the end as long as you work hard for it and keep focused. At the moment, I live in a mixture of being a photographer and a fieldbiologist who designs and runs field studies for scientists. I will continue to build my business brick by brick, and the National Geographic article which is on sale now, I consider to be an especially important brick in my wall. To be a full time wildlife photographer is still my dream, and I’ve always believed that dreams are there to be realized - isn’t it?

Online version of the National Geographic article can be read here

This "snowy eagle" was photographed about two weeks ago from the hide to Smøla Naturopplevelser. Experiences like this make chasing my dream well worth every minute of the effort!



  1. Completely agree with the last line (and with the rest of the post for that matter). I've got the same dream I think... Just hesitating to take the big step.... You never doubt whether it was a good one?

  2. Can't say that I've doubted my decision really. Of course I did put up an account of pros and cons before my final decision were made. However, it is hard work, and things doesn't come for free in this world either. To be able to do what one love every day (almost at least, since selling images means time needed in front of the computer and not being outside chasing great nature experiences all the time), is however well worth the effort. To be able to sell the images, it also push you as a photographer to be creative in the field and improve yourself - that is definitely a positive consequense of it all!