Why is Michaela Wissén always shooting analogue on holidays? How did she discover her passion for photography? And what would she have done if she didn’t work as a photographer? We decided to find out!
Michaela Wissén is something of a cool breeze on a hot summer day. Natural, effortless and in-the-moment are a good description of both her photographic style and personality. A strive to capture uncomplicated and genuine moments are clearly visible in her photographs. Natural light stands out as one of the prime elements of her images, an element which she has fully mastered. She prefers to shoot analogue on her many journeys, both for the look of it and for the process – taking her time to carefully create her photographs.
Michaela was born in Sweden but raised in both Connecticut and Stockholm. She’s spent the last decade in Los Angeles & New York — when she isn’t travelling the world. She and her fiancé Riley, who shares her interest in photography, live as urban nomads spending as much time at home as they do exploring photogenic places around the world. The camera is Michaela’s constant companion as she splits her time between photo jobs for different customers, creating content for her popular Instagram account, and perhaps most importantly, creating photo art for Moutife.
She and her fiancé Riley, who shares her interest in photography, live as urban nomads spending as much time at home as they do exploring photogenic places around the world.
Michaela’s motif EN ROUTE, shot in Mallorca, Spain.
Michaela’s motif PASSING BY, shot in Malibu, California.
How did you get started?
I started photographing my friends when we had house parties in high school, it was during the early 2000s when everyone posted albums on Facebook, and somewhere there my interest in photography was born. This led me to start photograph festivals and concerts professionally and after that I got into fashion photography.
They say that a photo reflects the photographer, what do your photographs say about you?
Besides telling that I am always on the road, I think you can see that I prefer to work with natural light and, most of all, that I am striving to capture authentic moments. I always want to capture what is or feels genuine, no matter what’s in front of the lens.
What is your biggest source of inspiration when you are shooting?
I would say it’s all about the feeling I get in the moment that gives me the most inspiration. It can be the model, the setting or even the clothes. If I’m at a job, it’s very important to me that everyone in the team is on the same level. If there is a good energy in the room I will almost always get inspired.
I started photographing my friends when we had house parties in high school, it was during the early 2000s when everyone posted albums on Facebook, and somewhere there my interest in photography was born.
– Michaela Wissén
Analogue or digital? – Why?
To shoot analogue when I travel has almost become a rule for me. As I work a lot with creating content for my Instagram channel, it’s important for me to be able to unplug from social media during vacations and be able to enjoy everything around me. Instead of snapping a lot of digital pictures of a beautiful place, hurry back to the hotel and edit to post on Instagram, I shoot analogue. It helps me enjoy the moment, be careful with what I am photographing and not to rush with editing. Instead, I have to wait until I get home to develop the images.
What is your best tip for a beginner?
To be curious and dare to ask. Everyone has been a beginner at some point and one should always ask and take help of others. Even Youtube is a good source of information. Having that said, the most important thing probably is to just try. Bring your camera with you everywhere and shoot as much as possible. I’m still doing it! It’s not uncommon for me to snap a lot of photos from a lot of different angles and then browse through and see what I like the best. One last thing that I think is important is to not look so much at trends, photograph things that you think are beautiful and make you feel something. It doesn’t have to be “perfect”.
What would you do with your time if you weren’t a photographer?
I’ve always had a big passion for music, so I would probably have done something within that field. I’ve been playing the piano since I was 5 years old and I’m singing and writing a lot in my free time, everything from pop to classic piano music (you can listen to a piece I made here). A couple of years ago I was studying singer/songwriter in LA, but it’s just a hobby nowadays.
What are your goals for your photography?
A short-term goal is to create a coffee table book from my travels together with my boyfriend and just continue to build my portfolio. In the future I dream of having my own company/brand where I can photograph and manage all the creative direction myself. And, I’m not going to lie, to land a cover for a big fashion magazine would also be a dream.
Do you have any photographers who inspire you a little extra?
Slim Aarons is my absolute favourite photographer! The documentary feeling in his pictures along with the colour compositions appeals to me very much. In addition to him, I am inspired by the style of Brydie Mack’s photographs, the feeling I get from Cameron Hammond’s images and that “unperfect” feel in Henrik Purienne’s motifs.
Which cameras do you use?
Canon 5D mark iii, Leica Minilux 35mm, Nikon FA 35mm & Leica Q.
What is your “favourite setting”?
It would be my Canon 5D mark iii with 24-70 lens or Nikon FA with a 35mm lens.
Discover all of Michaela’s prints here.