Interview with… David Thomsson

Based in Stockholm, 15 year-old David Thomsson, whose alias is @thomssond on Instagram, is best known for his photography which he shares on Instagram. Ever since David picked up a camera at age 13, he has been dedicating his spare time to uncover everything his surroundings have to offer. Even at such a young age, he has managed to get over 10,000 followers on Instagram.

What does it mean photography for you?

Photography means a lot to me, it’s a very big part of my life. I’m a quite shy person, photography and Instagram helps me express my feelings and get my thoughts out there. At the same time, just because I’m as shy as I am, not very many people in my school for example know that I have photography as a hobby. I don’t really talk about it, I don’t see why anyone would be that interested, they’ve got their own lives to think about.

How did you start taking pictures?

About 3 years ago me and my family moved to Gotland (though we only lived there a year and a half), a small island in the Baltic sea and to make a long story short, I met new friends there. Me and my two new friends began to make short (really bad) films together.

After a while we started to get interested in photography, at that time we used our phones (I used an iPhone 3GS) and it really wasn’t anything serious, but the more we did it the more we liked it and the more the film interest faded away.

That was how I initially became interested in photography. Via a news website, I met a new friend, and through him I found the app Instagram. He had an account with around 15 000 followers which I thought was completely insane. He was just like me interested in photography and uploaded the pictures he took to Instagram.

It inspired me to do the same so one day I made an account, “davids_photo_sweden”. Where I put up all sorts of photos (and they were really bad) Back then I had an iPhone 4 and used it to shoot and edit the images. I still remember how incredibly happy I was when I got 500 followers. It was a huge milestone for me and I was even more eager to go out and take pictures new photos.

After a while, it wasn’t that fun and I became a little less interested in photography and Instagram and took a break for about 2 months. However, December 1, 2013, I made a new account on Instagram under the username @thomssond. I wanted to start again and this time go all out. I looked everywhere for a good and cheap camera and finally found a Nikon D40 for 100 bucks and my parents were kind enough to buy it for me.

I was out shooting very often with the guy I had met through the new site, and because he had so many followers and put up pictures of me, I got some followers.

When I turned 15 (March 31) I got a new camera from my mom and dad, a Fujifilm X-E1. I had been wanting it for a long time and needless to say I was incredibly happy when I got it and I started taking photography and Instagram more seriously.

Do you get any influence by the country you live in?

I think that a very big part of every photographer is what city he lives in. I live in Stockholm and you can see that through my photos. The best part of living in Stockholm is without a doubt the subway system. Someone said that it’s the worlds largest art exhibit, that’s true. Every station has it’s own unique art which is the dream for every photographer. Even though I’m in love with Stockholm my dream is to travel the world. My dream trip is to NYC, like most photographers I know.

What’s the difference for you between taking photos with a camera and taking photos with an iphone?:

As soon as I moved from iPhone to DSLR I started to take photography more seriously, it just felt more real. When you’re shooting with an iPhone, you always have it with you, you just take it out of your pocket and shoot whatever. When you’ve got a ”real” camera you have to plan more, you start dedicating whole days to go out and explore and shoot.

 Where does your inspiration comes from?

I get most of my inspiration from other photographers via Instagram. But often, I get the inspired when I walk around town. I can see how I should shoot something too get a good photo. I love to just walk around and take pictures of what I find.

 In a portrait, what is important for you?

The most important thing in a portrait is that it has to be unique. Every portrait have to be different, and I’m not just talking about a different persons, I mean different places. For me, a person in front of a white wall with perfect lighting isn’t that interesting. I try to take portraits of people in weird and rad locations. I also try to play around with the lighting, sometimes you can see the whole face, sometimes nothing of it, sometimes half of it. Every human are unique, every portrait should be too.

What kind of relationship do you have with your subject when you shoot?

I do everything I can too make the person I’m photographing feel comfortable. If the subject are uncomfortable that’s very obvious in the photo. If I know that the person I’m shooting are shy i ask him to put on a hoodie or something else so that he can feel a bit more comfortable. I can’t be proud of a photo if I know that the person in it aren’t happy.

 What’s the photo you want to take and you never did?

I want too take a really ”powerful” photo. One that gets right in to the heart. I have no idea what that photo will be of, but when the moment comes, I’ll know that it’s the photo I’ve been waiting for.

What’s your photo-mission?

My mission is to meet new people and explore the world. I want to meet as many people as possible, take portraits of them and travel the world with them. You can never have to many friends. Every person I meet makes me want too meet more people and makes me a bit less shy. But my shyness is still a big obstacle for me.
















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