Hampus Berglund is a photographer based in Stockholm, Sweden who specializes in minimalist photography. His work is know for its extraordinary use of color and composition.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you first get started?
For a long time, I only photographed nature with a DSLR camera, but a lot of the images felt just too ordinary, like anyone could have taken them. To try something new, I started to photograph the everyday environment with my phone through the Instagram app on my way back and forth from work. I liked the results, but the phone still had its limits, so a few years later, I bought a mirrorless digital camera, which I could carry almost everywhere I went. It gave me the flexibility of a phone and the quality of my DSLR camera, and finally I started to get the results I was looking for.
What is it about minimalism that speaks to you?
It’s the simplicity and the ability to turn an ordinary subject into something more than what meets the eye.
What do you think is the most important aspect in making a strong minimalist image?
It’s definitely the composition, the point of view, and deciding how to frame the subject.
What do you think is the most underappreciated aspect of minimalist photography?
I would say it’s to know where to crop the image. If the crop is too narrow or if the image isn’t cropped enough, an element can easily create an unwanted distraction.
Do you think that there is an underlying theme that can be seen across your body of work?
Yes, I would say it’s the simplicity of the everyday urban environment.
What is it about a 1:1 aspect ratio that appeals to you? Do you think that changing something as simple as an aspect ration has the ability to shape the way that you see the world?
I like that all four sides of the image are equal. The stable format allows the image to rely mostly on my composition, which makes it easier for me to decide which elements I should include to get a good composition, but still keep it minimal. And yes, the aspect ratio sort of has the ability to shape the way I see. Sometimes when I don’t have my camera I try to imagine if a 1:1 aspect ratio will frame the subject I’m looking at. I’ve realized it’s good to have that mindset in the back of my head so it feels natural when I’m standing there later with my camera.
How do you hope to see your work unfold in the future? What are your biggest photography goals?
When my work has an even more comprehensive theme, I would like to publish a photographic book and then exhibit my photographs at a gallery. Hopefully this will conclude into my biggest goal, which is to have a permanent cooperation with an art gallery, but I would never want a cooperation at the expense of staying true to myself and my photography.