Felix Odell is a stockholm based photographer who specializes on, well… he pretty much nails it down whether he’s shooting landscapes, portraits, architecture, or editorial photos; and that’s exactly what makes him a colectivo futurist. we found his work via one of our favorite publications around, monocle magazine, on there Felix’s photos take on the task of bringing diverse articles to life (all of which you can find here). while he often shoots simple scenarios, Felix’s photography evokes a somewhat mystical and cinematic sense that will undoubtedly make you stop and appreciate his work. read our interview with mr. Odell below…
FELIX ODELL (photographer, Stockholm)
* when did you figure out you wanted to become a photographer? how has your career evolved thru time?
After studies in art and photography, I attended KTH, The Royal Technical College, for a degree in engineering, but decided to follow my instincts and make a break for it in photography instead. To learn as much as I could I began assisting and over the years I have assisted many of Sweden’s most reputable photographers. That was a good platform until I felt I was ready to take the plunge and find my own expression as a photographer.
* what inspires you to take a particular photo? which photographers/artists have most inspired you so far?
In the beginning I started using a large-format camera to slow down the process. This also gave me the opportunity to straighten out the perspectives and gain a quality that I felt gave the image a sense of realness. To be standing beside the camera, directing and exposing, became important. It was a relief not to be looking for images in the viewfinder, since I was given the possibility to compose the image myself, and thus, the camera became a tool for documenting my expressions.
I began by photographing simple, ordinary landscapes of open spaces and horizons. I consciously stayed away from showmanship, and learned how to use natural light and its variations and shiftings from early morning to late at night. I later moved on to domestic and every-day settings, to look for beauty in plain objects. I let the light transform these settings into something interesting. This way of working has humbled me, and given me a greater understanding of photography.
The photographer who first captured me was August Sander, he inspired me to simplified and flaunt photography as it used to be in the old days. Other inspiring photographers have been Joel Sternfield and painters like Vermeer who´s sense of light is amazing and Lusian Freud’s paintings that recalls photography.
* what constitutes for you the perfect shooting conditions? do you prefer working in prepared spaces or spontaneous ones?
I’m drawn by a more organized procedure, although some editorial assignments lack capacity for planning every shot.
What attracts and appeals to me there is the journalism aspect of photography, the investigation of a task, which is shaped by encounters with people and the contingencies that arise along the road. Maybe it’s the adventure that attracts me more than just photography if I come to think about it.
* if you could soundtrack your work, what would you choose?
Perhaps with the melancholic music of Erik Enocksson, ”The Joy Of DH Lawrence” a soundtrack from the movie Farväl Falkenberg.
* what is your favorite thing about living in Stockholm?
I was born here, but I could easily move to another place. The most I like about it is where I live, on a hill just outside the city close to the water and nature.
* what are your future plans? will you continue to work for publications, such as Monocle? do you see your work evolving towards a gallery setting along the way?
I will continue to work with various editorial publications, but also focus myself on advertising and my own major projects.