Dirt road running to a pond in the mountians

Fleeting Moments: A Conversation with photographer, Louise Whitehouse

Our connection and love for being in nature relies heavily on the use of photography. For that reason, choosing images that capture natural experiences is the essence to our welcoming and inviting Fjällräven culture. The feeling in our photography is detailed with texture and nuanced with an array of multidimensional nature sensations while being in the outdoors like feeling the warmth of the sun on your back, the cool breeze off the water and the strands of wheatgrass in between your fingers.
Our images invite you to feel something, to inspire you to experience nature. We do this by allowing people to insert themselves into the frame as active participants rather than that of an observer. This encouragement of our community to join us while supporting individual creativity and uniqueness is the core of our natural culture.
A short time ago we partnered with Swedish photographer Louise Whitehouse to help us keep our brand messaging full of life. Louise’s ability to capture light and dark caught our attention and made her an obvious choice to help us capture images that stay true to our ethos. Her effortless way of photographing subjects in natural settings while applying her eye for captivating natural light showcased her love of being unique and human in natural surroundings. With our mission and Louise’s gift of inviting the viewer to join us, we are able to express what we believe to be, more than ever, a message of relevance...that nature is always waiting for us, inviting us to walk in it, who-ever and where-ever we may be.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Louise and learn about her inspirations, her motivations, and what excites her to create such captivating photos. Here’s what she shared.

Tell us about yourself and how you got started in photography.

Louise: If people are a 50/50 mix between their two parents, then pretty accurately I’m the combination of an adventurous and independent French-Swedish psychologist, and a calm and slightly nerdy English Art director. Capturing moments has always been there in one way or another, and now 25 years old after curiously exploring the world, I still find myself with a camera in my hand, wanting to tell stories through photography and film. Stories that somehow reflect my love for beauty, freedom and nature, my interest in humans and world culture, and my will to care for our planet and its inhabitants. 
What is your favorite subject/scenery/topic to shoot and why?
Louise: I love shooting people and places on the go - photographing someone in action without them necessarily even noticing that they’re in the shot. Especially in outdoor environments, while traveling, hiking, dancing, interacting with nature, in moments of tranquility, or just when hanging out and having a good time. It’s a thrilling feeling to see a fleeting moment and be quick enough to catch it on camera. A magic combination of color, light, subject and environment.
What do you find inspiration in outside of photography that influences your work?
Louise: I’ve always been heavily inspired by movies. How it’s possible to create a particular mood that awakes feelings in people that they can hardly describe themselves. I’m often drawn to themes like fantasy, adventure, old folk-tales, 20th century nostalgia, and of course English period-dramas. 

Describe how growing up in Sweden has guided how you shoot photos or how you see the world.
Louise: I think my work has been influenced by Swedish culture in many different ways. Growing up in a generally pretty dark and cold country, I’ve learned to find beauty in raw, moody and sometimes very melancholic environments. That beauty along with simplicity and a love for all things natural is something I feel comes from my roots and I think that’s noticeable in my work. 
Tell us about your favorite photo kit and what you typically shoot with it.
Louise: I’ve tried out many different cameras over the past years and my favorite so far is definitely the one I’m using at the moment - A Sony A7R iii with Sigma prime lenses. 
How do you establish rapport with subjects you don't know very well?
Louise: After years of constantly traveling and meeting new people, I think I’ve become used to building meaningful connections within a short timeframe. I try to get a good understanding of the person I have in front of the camera, to make everyone feel involved, and do my best to create an overall safe, open and laid back vibe while staying focused on the task. 
Waves crashing upon mountainside beach

What's the most challenging thing about shooting in nature?
Louise: I think the unpredictability of nature is the most challenging and the most rewarding at the same time. When shooting outdoors, weather and light can be the two most defining things for how an image turns out. I love good challenges, and nature always just keeps them coming. That way I’ve learned to think fast, adapt to any given situation and do the best I can with what I have. And the perk is that you often end up with an even more interesting look than you had predicted. 
What are some of your best memories from shooting the Spring/Summer campaign with Fjällräven in New Zealand?
Louise: Where to begin. There were the little moments - like when we drove to locations past green fields and mountains and spotted little sheep lying under the trees hiding from the sun. It was so dreamy and Garden of Eden-like that I can still hardly believe it was real. Or when we went to shoot on a long and completely empty white-sand beach that you could only get to via helicopter, and I got to jump around barefoot in the warm sand while shooting. Or all of the good little moments with the team during breaks, just hanging out, goofing around and being completely amazed together by the beauty of New Zealand. Oh and I got to fly in a helicopter for the first time ever! Over mountains where they filmed Lord of the Rings. It was incredible. I was speechless. 
woman looking into distance in black and white

At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to make photography your profession?
Louise: I’ve been taking photos pretty much constantly since I was fifteen years old, but it wasn’t until recently, maybe one or two years ago, when I actually started considering turning photography itself into a profession. I had some kind of idea that unless you’re incredibly successful, your only choices as a photographer would be to sit in a studio and take passport photos or portraits of babies. Which I just didn’t think would fit me very well. But I kept on shooting freely as a hobby exactly the way I wanted to, and soon I realized that I could work as a photographer and still stay true to myself as a creative. 
What is one bit of advice you'd give a budding professional photographer?
Louise: Learn by doing. Go out and shoot!
What are some exciting projects you have coming up or in the works?
Louise: Well, as most people right now my life is a little bit on hold, but I’m itching like crazy to go out and explore again. I recently got myself some old analog cameras to experiment with, so you’ll see a lot more film photography from me in the near future. In general I feel strongly for working on subjects like sustainability, climate change and human rights, and have a few projects in mind that I would love to make happen. Besides photography I’m also getting more and more drawn towards film production, and feel really excited about the possibility of working as a film director. So despite the fact that we’re in the midst of a pandemic, I feel hopeful and excited about what opportunities the future might hold. 
You can see more of Louise's work on her Instagram or her website.
woman standing in mountains holding camera

Man and Woman walking away from camera towards lake
During these times of uncertainty, we like to share ways for you and our community to stay connected to nature anytime and anywhere to prepare, comfort and inspire.
Nature Is Waiting