I have always loved to daydream, and it’s also often in my dreams I get the most inspiration.
Emil Ebdrup is a fine art photographer living in Denmark who’s work will transport you to a world of fantasy and wonder. We couldn’t help but be amazing at his images and decided to contact him for an interview. Follow us into his world that he created out of darkness.
EotB: Please tell us your story and how you began as a photographer?
EE: I am relatively new to photography. I started about three years ago, before that I would spend my days drawing and painting. It was only after a long break that I started being creative again, this time with photography. I began by taking pictures of the landscape or animals. Half a year passed and I was accepted into Media college, a photography school. I learned how to take portraits, child photos, and more. While I was there I started changing my style from landscape to a more horror-gothic setting, and I started writing stories to the pictures. I had my friends or family translate it because I’m dyslexic. I decided that I did not want to take horror pictures after I was done with school, and my style changed again. This time to a more magical and fairy tale setting, the same as it is today.
EotB: Where do you draw inspiration from?
EE: Like many others, I get inspired by the nature around me and the things I see. Yet, I will still say that I probably get the most inspired by, which is also the thing I try to portray in most of my pictures, a desire to show how one’s fantasy can always change a boring day into a fantastic adventure. I have always loved to daydream, and it’s also often in my dreams I get the most inspiration.
EotB: Talk to us about your style of photography and how it has evolved into what it is now.
EE: I exclusively used lightroom when I just started and only took landscape or horror photos. I absolutely refused to even go near photoshop for whatever reason. However, I did grow interested in how you could use photoshop to make your pictures looked as if they were painted. So, I started using it more and more, and now it’s the only thing I would ever consider using. I would not call myself a pro, and I really only use the most basic tools. Sometimes I go through the more advanced tools to see what they can be used for, but I am content with just using the basics.
EotB: Has your work ever been displayed in a gallery and if so where?
EE: I haven’t actually been to any art galleries yet. Although, I have had my works portrayed in amateur exhibitions. I started doing that just last year, and it’s something I would highly recommend that others did too. You learn a lot from it, and also meet some pretty great people.
EotB: Please tell us about your First Self Portrait
EE: That was an interesting photo to take since I tried multiple times to get it right. It’s a photo that was inspired by my own experiences, and how it is to be dyslexic but still love stories. When I started to develop the idea I knew that I wanted a suitcase behind me, to show that being dyslexic means hard work and baggage. I wanted to hold a book over my head to symbolize dyslexia, it also draws attention to how in most of my pictures the head is covered someway in order to make it easier for others to see themselves in it.
EotB: Can you walk us through your creative direction in an artistic photoshoot, from idea to execution?
EE: What I normally do is start by writing about colors, props, wardrobe, setting, and theme. I would then expand on what I had written, for example, what colors I would like to be present, and the same with everything else. Afterward, I choose one or two, and then I found my sketchbook and start to draw everything that comes to mind. Sometimes I only need two sketches, but other times I need more to create the final idea. Then I will split the photo into different parts, background, prop and model, each with its sketch, so I can see how they would look apart. When that is done I write the idea down. It could, for example, be a girl standing on a hill and reaching for the stars. I would proceed to explain why I want to do this, and what it should symbolize. I always finish it off by writing a checklist, so I’m sure I get everything done when I’m out and taking the photo.
EotB: Most of your images, including your Self Portrait, have the face of your subjects partially or fully hidden. Can you explain why you have made this artistic decision?
EE: It’s mostly because I use it as a way to highlight the story I am trying to show in the picture. I have for example used a red thread around the head that goes down to a clock to symbolize life. Other times I will have the model shake their head as a way to show anger or confusion. Though I also use it as a way to be distinct from other photographers, and it also makes it easier for people to see themselves in the picture.
EotB: On your website, you speak about ‘creating a World of Darkness’. What was the inspiration behind the creation of this world in images?
EE: All my pictures are like a small world in themselves, and like all other worlds, start in darkness. But, you can’t have darkness without light, so there will always be light after dark.
EotB: What is next for Emil Ebdrup? You have mentioned writing a book, what would be your inspiration for this book?
EE: What is next for Emil Ebdrup? Well, so much has happened in 2020, and consequently, I have had more time to take photos, and I have also thought I’m at that point in my career that I can start contacting galleries and start to be present at exhibitions more than I have in the past. The whole idea about the book is something I have been toying with for quite some time. I like listening to audiobooks, and I love how books can make you so drawn into it that you forget your surroundings. I have been planning on starting writing it this summer actually, and I’m excited to see how it will go.
EotB: Please tell our readers where and how they can purchase your work?
EE: You can view my portfolio here and my Instagram here, however, I’m also present at Flickr as emil.ebdrupk. If people would like to buy my works they can contact me with my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope that you were captivated by Emils work as much as we were. Follow the links provided above to see more of his work on social media and his personal website.