Interview: Photographer Rune Holthen Photography (Norway)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I was born and raised in the middle of the Norwegian nature, and have always been interested in photography and especially with models and the beauty that we have around us. I am educated with countless courses and a web-based school for 'Advanced portrait photography' (New York Institute of photography) Together with my wife, who is a designer (Anita Holthen), we try to reach out to people with our photographic art through both exhibitions and publications.
How and when did you get into photography?
I have had this interest for as long as I can remember and inherited an old analogue Nikon from my uncle as a small boy. As an adult, I have been very inspired by photo artists mostly from abroad. During the covid pandemic, my wife had an idea to sew dresses, especially for use in photo montages and photoshoots and together with her and a handful of beautiful models from the local community, it has eventually become big.
What does photography mean to you?
The photography means a lot to me, expressing myself with light/shadow/colours and not least beautiful models both indoors in the studio and out in nature is incredibly rewarding. Nothing is better than when, in collaboration with talented people, you see a photo product that you are proud of and that reflects a bit of you as a person and what you want the photos to look like. When you then get both publications and good feedback in the media, it is fabulous. Being able to work closely with my wife in the process is also rewarding.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
My style can be diverse. I often call the pictures 'fine art' where I like to be able to experiment both with the model and the surrounding props. A lot of strong colors often reflect me, although sometimes I love black/white pictures in low light and with a lot of bare skin, for which I have been awarded on several occasions. The hardest part is often photographing naked models in low light, and the level of difficulty appeals to me. So basically I'm quite different at times, but the beauty in a picture often stays with me.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I am often inspired by photographic artists around the world. I can mention names like Colby Files, Rob Woodcox, Irina Dzhul and Lindsay Adler who are all incredibly talented in different fields. I am also inspired by my wife Anita, who is very creative and bursting with ideas and suggestions all the time. She is my closest critic and helps me get started if I get a bit 'stuck' Finally, I have to mention the Norwegian nature, which inspires a lot for outdoor portraits both in the mysticism of forests and towering mountains.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
I always have a plan in advance, but along the way things can change. Even with a plan, you don't always know how it will turn out until you're in the middle of the photoshoot. Input from my designer and my models can also be good, as it is difficult to get all the details in photoshoots which can be hectic at times. But in the main we stick to what is decided in advance
Studio, on location or both?
Both, wintertime and cold seasons, the studio in my basement is always preferable, but in summertime and perhaps beautiful autumn evenings, outdoor locations in nature and urban environments are preferable. It takes a lot to bring a lot of lighting equipment out into nature, but you get paid for the effort if the result is top notch
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I am a professional, but can do a lot of TFP work in connection with experiments and projects, where we find things out. It is also fun to be able to help both models and colleagues sometimes, but generally I am a paid and professional photographer.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
It is difficult to highlight a special shoot, there are many that have been special, such as Anna Psy in Den Haage Nederland, Norwegian fashion in Oslo etc, but we had a slightly special one a short time ago. We had set aside time for a model on a fixed date, because the model was to travel the next day to a completely different part of the country. The day came, and we traveled by car and continued on foot with lots of equipment and lights. We had a brave and dedicated model who is always positive and helpful. The thing is, when we were almost at our destination, it started to rain, heavily. Here in Norway, such rain can last for days before it stops and it didn't seem to stop this day. We thought that maybe it was best to cancel, but both model and designer insisted on continuing, and fortunately for that. The rain continued all evening, but the photos got a not just wet, but a real and magical look, and we had a successful and fun shoot for all parties. This is how we found out that the best thing we can do is to use the weather we have, and make the best of all conditions. In other words, be positive. It makes demands, not least on the model, but if it goes well, then all the effort will have been worth it.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Definitely Nikon, which I was born and raised with. Today I use both mirrorless and mirrorless cameras and mostly use the D850 & Z7ii All Nikkor lenses are useful, but have become very fond of the Sigma Art series and especially the 50 and 85mm
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
My advice must be to not stop learning, and to be receptive to learning new things as they appear. Difficult days will come, but it is important to believe in yourself and in what you do. Never give up!
What do you think of our new magazine?
This magazine looks very good and can be of great help to anyone in the industry, whether you are a photographer, model, designer or MUArtist. Reading other people's experiences and getting some of their work published can be very rewarding and we are all grateful for that.