PORTRAIT CATEGORY WINNER
TINA SIGNESDOTTIR HULT
Tina Hult is a Norwegian photographer specializing in fine art, conceptual themes, and portraits.
© TINA SIGNESDOTTIR HULT
How did you get to where you are today in your photographic career?
My interest in photography began early, before I was 20 years old. I am self-taught, driven by a great passion for the art of photography, and have been in a constant learning process. I believe my strong drive and aim and the hunger to always do better and never give up has gotten me where I am today. I have never been afraid of criticism either; that has made me grow and learn. I have also been fortunate enough to have a mentor that really believed in me, who has pushed me to do better. I believe that made me see things in new ways.
What do you try to achieve through your work?
For me, to photograph is as necessary as breathing; you have to breathe. I am an artist in my soul, and to express myself is something I need to do. The passion I have for photography gives me my drive and the most important thing for me is to continue to create and express myself. It’s in the creative process where I develop my artistic approach and it’s the people on my way that drive me.
For me, to photograph is as necessary as breathing. You have to breathe. I am an artist in my soul, and to express myself is something I need to do.
How would you describe your photographic style?
The main emphasis in my work is the relationships I have with my young models, which last for several years. I'm working with one camera, mostly one lens, and always natural light. I don’t want anything artificial in my photography. Natural light also provides a certain sensitivity and a feeling you don’t get with artificial light. My photography mirrors the expressive and the beautiful, as well as an underlying feeling of fragility. To me, photographing is about seeing – not only with your eyes but also with your heart. This is when real stories are revealed.
What inspires you/your work?
Inspiration is so personal – it is about who you are and what you have taken with you, of inner pictures, impressions and experiences. I can find inspiration in so much – little shattered visual images as well as music, literature and art. I often find inspiration in the old masters – the old painters. You can learn much from them.
Another person who is always a constant inspiration, who you also see throughout my photography, is Lina. She is very special and means a lot to me. We have been working together for many years since Lina was 9 years old. Lina is my muse and like a red thread through my artistic journey as a photographer. We create one conceptual series together each year. We do not need to talk so much once we start our work together; Lina always knows what I want without having to say anything. And I always know what to expect from her. People who have witnessed our shoots say it's fascinating to see how we communicate, like a quiet dance.
What is your Masters series about?
My project is about people and their stories and that close, intimate moment when I as a photographer meet with my subject. The people I portray have their own stories to tell, and I’m the messenger. My series contains portraits of people who have been especially chosen because of their charisma and the strength of their character. Combined with the environment they are placed in, I tell their story and give the viewer a glimpse into their soul. I have always had a high sensitivity to everything around me, making me feel very connected to people’s feelings and my surroundings. I make sure to always bring that into my work.
How was your experience using a Hasselblad medium format camera for carrying out your project?
I have always used a narrow set of equipment for creating my images, which I am very familiar with. To suddenly work with a whole new system was a little bit scary. I was afraid I would have to spend a long time getting to know the Hasselblad H6D-50, but I quickly began to learn how it worked. Not only is the camera itself an artwork for the eye, but it also took me by surprise how incredibly easy it was to use! I love how it, in a way, ‘thinks’ before taking the picture with the utmost precision. I am grateful and lucky to have had the pleasure of working with a classic medium format camera like the Hasselblad H6D-50 in the last months.