Interview Series: Jens Ingvarsson

Not everyone gets to work with such beautiful women all the time, and this week’s rising star photographer Jens Ingvarsson creates sensual images that push the button in every sense of the phrase. His candid take on how he gets models to pose & undress compels him to create such sultry original work that he has taken New York City by storm. This is what he had to say:



LF: You have been compared to Terry Richardson on a few blogs… what are your thoughts on this?

JI: Well, Terry is twice older and slightly taller than me, but aside from that, I don’t mind those comparisons. He’s one of the most successful photographers of our time, and a very nice guy in person.

LF: You spent time working in Bangkok. Has this changed you as an artist/photographer in any way?

JI: Thailand is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and a great place to live, too. I was blessed to spend a couple of years there and it gave a great boost to my photography career. Most of all I miss the islands during the long cold winter nights in New York.

LF: Your images of female models spew sex, nudity, and more sex. Why sex and nudity? Tell us something personal.

JI: Usually I don’t start a photo session intending to shoot sex and nudity. Whatever happens there is something that came naturally, and most of the time it’s the model who inspires me and even directs me in a certain way. I love it when the photograph plays with your imagination and emotions, makes your heart beat faster. My photography is all about what I love – beautiful women and sex, spontaneity, irony and… food. I try not to take myself too seriously, thus I don’t have an extensive theory behind my style.

LF: You managed a modeling agency and had no shortage of beautiful girls. What is it like being surrounded by beauty on a regular basis?

JI: For me it certainly is better than to be surrounded, say, by auto parts or tax declarations. But in general, modeling business is just like any other business and you have to be professional and you shouldn’t take anything too personal if you want to succeed in it. Modeling is rather about the right look than it is about beauty, so it’s important to have an eye for that.

LF: You seem to be really good at creating an emotive moment with your models. What are your tricks as a photographer, especially when in the studio?

JI: First, it’s all about getting the good vibe between me and the model, and secondly, it’s about the model being absolutely comfortable about what she is doing. Simply put, I prefer the image of a beautiful, strong, sexual woman, being confident and having fun, no matter if she’s dressed or naked, or doing something absurd. When I shoot my personal projects, I usually have a plan, but still never know how the photoshoot is going to end, it’s a flow of consciousness after the planned part is done, then we let something spontaneous happen.

LF: In your story ‘Do Not Disturb’ done exclusively for B2B, you have your model positioned in somewhat “disturbing” poses. Talk a little bit about this juxtaposition.

JI: “Do Not Disturb” is about the woman who spends some time alone, one on one with her own sexuality. She wants to let go, fanatasize and do whatever she wants, without the risk of being seen. The idea behind it is that you see what you’re normally not supposed to see.



LF: How does New York drive your passion for photography?

JI: New York is the best place in the world to pursure a fashion photography career. I’m happy to be here and finally do what I always wanted.

LF: When did you first pick up a camera and what type of camera was it?

JI: I had some experience with my dad’s LOMO when I was a kid, in 2002 I bought a nice digital compact of that time, Olympus Camedia. Some of my best images were shot with that camera. It didn’t give me much in AUTO mode, so I had to think a lot of how to take a picture that wouldn’t look like a regular flat and boring snapshot. That was a good practice.


LF: What do you get out of photography as an artistic medium?

JI: I train my visual perception. It’s more natural for me to perceive reality with my ears and by tactile senses, so with photography I learn how to express myself through images. When I look at any picture, I “hear” it, there’s a certain sound that I mark it with, a melody or a voice. And when I do post-processing, I’m obsessed about making the skin look as perfectly “touchable” as possible. It must have a tactile feeling “attached” to it. That sometimes means hours and hours of retouching, but that’s what in the end becomes my own “look”.

LF: Where would you choose to do a photo shoot if it could be anywhere in the world?

JI: I love the sunsets, so I’d go to South Africa for a sunset shoot.

LF: How do you LIVE FAST?

JI: With the overwhelming amount of redundant bullshit in this world, it’s essential to differentiate what’s really important, and stick to it. We only live once, noone has proven otherwise yet, so to me, Living Fast is seeing more, doing more fun work and spending as much time as possible with my loved person.

LF: Art Talk: What insires you? Favorite artist or work?

JI: Music inspires me the most. When I choose a model to work with, there’s always a certain music that I associate with that person. And then I would build an idea around the shoot while listening to that certain band or that certain album. But I don’t like the music talk as I tend to get too nerdy.

LF: Sex Talk: What gets you off? Literally or figuratively?

JI: It might sound strange and rebellious, but I prefer sex in its most pure and basic form.

LF: Travel Talk: Favorite destination or travel stories you want to share?

JI: The best way to travel is by exchanging homes with other people temporarily. After you try that, you don’t want to deal with hotels anymore. International home exchange is probably one of the few things of our time that are both fun and legal. Later this year I’m planning to do several exchanges. You can literally go anywhere in the world you want and feel at home there.

It’s All Gucci…