Erik Abel - Photographer


Erik Abel Photographer

Tell us a bit about yourself

Freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Umeå, northern Sweden. Working with a wide range of newspapers and magazines, as well as my own long term projects. I have a great interest in nature and natural science, something that is often visible in my work.

Tell us about one of your favourite projects and what inspired you to do it

My current project, that I've chosen to call "the Colony". It deals with the large scale extraction of natural resources in the Swedish parts of Sápmi. I'm mainly inspired by the anger and frustration I feel when traveling in these areas, seeing huge clearcuts, empty riverbeds and large mines. Today, much of this is done in the name of green transition. Watching all this destroyed nature, I can't understand how it can called green.

What are you working on at the moment?

See my previous answer.

Who are your biggest influencers in the industry?

Oh, they are so many. But I have to mention Sune Jonsson, a legendary photographer who also lived in Umeå. He spent a large part of his career documenting people living in remote areas in northern Sweden.

What was the last thing that inspired you?

I spent some time the past weekend with a photobook I haven't read for a while. Livnära, from Jens Assur's project Hunger.

Tell us why it's important for you to have a portfolio website

It's the main way for my clients to see my work, and decide whether they want to hire me or not.

As a Photographer what are your tips in building a portfolio website?

The first thing you have to ask yourself is why you want a website. I think suprisingly many are missing this. Is it for clients to find you, for fellow photographers to admire you? It's only after you've asked this first question you can start planning your design.

For me, making a living out of working for magazines and newspapers, it's important that my clients immediately get an impression of the kind of images I make. Photo editors are often in a rush, they won't spend long time on my site searching for my portfolio.

My images are the important stuff on my site. I need a design that makes it easy to see them, and to find my contact information. There's no reason for me to tell my clients that I can do a creative and revolutionary web design.

How do you market yourself?

The true answer is that I'm currently at a point where I don't have to promote myself very much. But I think instagram is important for reminding people that I exist, and what kind of work I do. Many of my followers are photographers, and when editors need to find a photographer in northern Sweden they often ask their regular contributors in Stockholm for recommendations.

And, of course, I have my website. After that recommendation, the website is where the editors check if my style is what they are looking for.

Why do you use Portfoliobox?

I think it's easy to use. It's simple to change the design or the content, even if there are almost unlimited options.

Visit Erik's website for more inspiration and don't forget to follow him on Instagram.

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