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Beata Rydén Photography Blog

International Women´s Day. Part One: Loretta Lux

Inspiration Posted on Mon, March 04, 2013 23:50:20

“Girl with Marbles”

On friday, March 8, it is the International Women´s Day. Because of this, I wanted to take the occasion to show you some of my biggest inspirations when it comes to Fine Art Photography.

I´m going to write about five women who have influenced me in my photographic art. One artist every day of this week, until March 8. These artists teached me what photography could really be, and made me see beyond the documentary side of photography that I was used to see. The photographic medium has a strength that goes beyond the truth. To me, the truth isn´t of interest when I create a photograph. Maybe the inner truth, but not the obvious world of objects around us. These artists opened up my eyes and showed me the endless possibilities that the photographic medium can possess.


“The Fish”

Loretta Lux was born in Dresden, in 1969. She studied painting at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, between 1990-96. In 2005 she got the Infinity Award for Art from the International Center of Photography.

I first saw the work of Loretta when I was looking at the cover of the Eyemazing (2005, #6). The image of a child, beating the drum with an intense look, got stuck in my memory. Loretta uses a combination of photography, painting and photoshop to create her images. She uses children of her friends as models, and dresses them in clothes that she chooses herself.

She has said about the children models:

“I never allow them to wear their own clothes. My work isn´t about these children. You can recognise them, but they are alienated from their real appearance.” (The Daily Telegraph, March 12, 2005)

“The Drummer”. Cover of Eyemazing (2005, #6).

In an interview in “American Photo (2005, #3)” Loretta says:

“I don´t think I could make these images if I hadn´t been a painter. I structure my pictures carefully, organizing forms and colors like a painter does on a canvas”.



This photo influenced me when I created my photograph “What if?”. You can see it on the colors and the clouds. Loretta Lux has inspired me to experiment with putting an object into another background. When I discovered her work, I really liked the idea of creating a different world, an obvious unreality.

“The Wanderer”

I saw this image in a magazine a couple of years ago. I love the title of the photograph, and the vast landscape spreading out behind the girl. Her open eyes makes me wonder about the story, where she´s going and why she´s laying on the ground.

“At the Window”

See more of Loretta Lux´s work on her website.

Thank you for reading! I will share another inspiration tomorrow!

Big plans!

Photography Posted on Sat, March 02, 2013 15:46:45

I am sitting at a café, listening to the people around me who talks about personal problems and shares their thoughts about life. It´s a slow saturday and the sun decided to hide itself today. But the weather is quite warm, which feels very good!

I´ve been here for a couple of hours now. I finished my big latte a long time ago. I went here to sit down with myself and make some plans for the future. With “future” I mean my photographic future. I´ve decided to go into this full-time after my school has finished, and I have so many thoughts on what I want to do that I felt the need to sit down and write. I have a lots of plans for my photography. I have plans for what I want to create, but also plans for reaching out to the world. For example, I´m going to open up a shop at my website so you can easily by my prints (and some other stuff). I will also be developing a concept for teaching some of my special skills when it comes to photography. I will write more about this when the concept is decided and everything is finished!

I hope you have a lovely day!

The future in a 19th century house

Personal Posted on Thu, February 28, 2013 16:44:37

These pictures are from the house that I live in when I´m away from home to study at my school. It´s an old house that my grandparents have, and I get to borrow a room, which I appreciate very much.

The house is from the 19th century, painted in a classic red color, with white details. It´s small and very cosy. In front of the house is a huge garden that´s lovely to stroll through in the summer.

Yesterday I was outside to shoot a new picture for an assignment at school. This is me walking in the snow in the frozen garden right in front of our house. The sun was up so it wasn´t cold! I almost got the feeling of spring!

I also managed to shoot a self portrait. We have an assignment at school to shoot one self portrait every month. This is the unedited version of the photograph.

Here is the finished version. I wanted the tones to be cold and wintery. I´ve mainly added some curves to adjust the colors. I let the skin have a yellow tone, and made the background more magenta and blue. I´ve also extended the frame in order to get a square frame. The white blur is actually from my hat that I put under my camera lens to adjust the height (broken tripod!!).

I am thinking about the future right now. I am so excited to start my business and produce some new stuff that I´m planning at the moment. My school will end in june, and as our final project my class will organize a big exhibition at a great gallery in Stockholm, “Galleri Kontrast”. I´m really looking forward to this! But I´m also looking forward to the future, to my future. I want to organize my life, spend my days working with my business, try as hard as I can to make it work. I hope that you want to follow me on my journey 🙂

Blue mood

Personal Posted on Wed, February 13, 2013 10:38:34

We have a break at school for one week right now, so I´m back home in Gothenburg, in my very own apartment. The last days I´ve been to my printer again to get a print that I´m sending off to a client, and also another, framed image that I´m selling. This time I sell prints internationally which is new for me, and it´s an awesome feeling to send your package off to another continent 🙂

This is me holding a small version of the image “Stuck” that I printed for fun at home. In the other hand I´m holding a print of the same image that I´m shipping to the US. My client in the US has ordered the largest size available at the moment, which is 50×50 cm. The edition for that size is 5. I also sell prints in sizes 20×20 cm (edition of 30) and 30×30 cm (edition of 15).

I got these beautiful birds, that now hang by the window in my kitchen, by my dear friend Lisa Marie Andersson who made them. Lisa Marie is a very talented designer at the brand Up The Wooden Hills. I have photographed a couple of her collections that you can see at her website!

View from my window at home. The snow is still on the ground, though it´s very thin. Today the sun is shining!

The last couple of years I have changed as a person when it comes to planning. I used to be the one who didn´t like to plan things, and who loved to come up with things spontaneously. Nowadays I need to plan every thing, even when I´m going to meet a friend or family member. I think this is because I now work very much with my own photography. When I don´t have anything planned, I plan automatically for working with a new picture, or writing a blog post about my photography. I even have to plan when I´m going to relax!

I was feeling a bit blue in the beginning of this week, and that´s why I shot this self portrait by the window. The light outside was beautiful. Sometimes your feelings get to decide for you what to do, and this was a day when I could not deny my feelings. So it felt good to embrace them and create a photograph that captured my mood for the day!

Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog, I really appreciate it!

Now I´m off to meet a friend for coffe 🙂


Personal Posted on Wed, February 06, 2013 12:17:06

I´m thinking about change. How we change over time, without even noticing the change. I´m thinking about myself 5 years ago.

I was 22 years old.

I lived in a tiny apartment with a view over the rooftops and the sea.

I hand´t met my boyfriend Tomas yet.

I took photos like this.

And this.

I had so many dreams that was piling up,

waiting for me to pick one of them up and look at them.

I had a swedish blog (that I still write in sometimes), where I wrote about hopes and dreams. I expressed my worries about the future. I used to talk with my friends about the future, how we thought our lives would be. I remember how I searched for myself. I called my name in the dark and hoped for someone to answer. I lay in my bed at night and painted my walls with fear. I had my emotions wrapped around my body, with no armour to protect me. I had wishes for my life, but I didn´t know exactly what I wanted to do, so I walked a windy road.

Not knowing what you want in life is a hard feeling. To me, it was hard because I had a strong feeling inside that something was wrong and that there was something I should be doing, something I didn´t do. But when you´ve lost yourself and don´t really know who you are, it´s not easy to take a step in the right direction. I think that the important thing is that you TAKE a step, no matter in what direction. That´s what I did. I just walked and walked. In the meantime, I wrote poetry and secret songs on the piano. I read books. I talked with friends. I studied Cultural Studies, Film, Photography, Art. I only studied short courses, because I didn´t know exactly what I wanted. I knew that I wanted to work with culture, and I actually “knew” that I wanted to work with photographic art, but I didn´t have the courage to accept my dream, and I certainly didn´t have the courage to try and fulfill it.

Me and my day. Summer 2008.

In 2008 I educated myself for two years to become a Cultural Project Manager. At this time, I had a small dream of doing photography, but in my reality it wasn´t possible to apply for a School of Photography. In my world, I saw other people who fulfilled their dreams and became artists and creatives, but I didn´t count myself as one of those people. No one stopped me from going after my dream, and no one forced me to do anything that I didn´t want to do. But I had decided what I could be and what I couldn´t be. It wasn´t a conscious choice, I just saw it that way. Somewhere along the road I had decided who I was and who I could be. And my decision meant in reality that I prevented myself from doing what I really wanted to do. I didn´t even see what possibilites I had or could have, because I had already decided.

Instead I did what I almost wanted to do. Becoming a Cultural Project Manager was what I almost wanted to do. I wanted to work with culture, and by being a project manager within the cultural field I could work in that world. What I really wanted to do was become a photographer and artist. This became clearer and clearer to me as the education went on.

At the end of the education, after two years, I had a much clearer vision of my life. I knew that I wanted to be a photographer, and I accepted that feeling. I saw my dream and I looked at it. A dream that I had been hiding away for so long, that I now looked close at. I took a photography course over the summer where we got to work on a photographic project that ended up in an exhibition. I applied for the School of Photography in Gothenburg for the first time in my life. This school had been my dream school for many years, but I had never been able to see myself in it. Now I applied and I was asked to come and do an interview. I was so excited! I was very close to get accepted to the school of my dreams, but I didn´t make it. I was devastated of course, but somehow this disappointment lead me to where I am today.

“What if?”. One of the photos I used in my application for the School of Photography in Gothenburg, 2011. A photograph that I still like very much. It´s about the fear we can have in life. The fear of loosing everything. The title is inspired by Coldplays song “What if”:

“Every step that you take

could be your biggest mistake

it could bend or it could break

but that´s the risk that you take”

/Coldplay, What if?

After getting the negative answer from the school, I went with my mother and my boyfriend to our house in the country. I started to feel angry instead of sad. And I suddenly realized that the school didn´t control me. They didn´t control whether or not I was going to do photography. They didn´t control whether or not I was going to develop my artistry and photography. I realized that I was the only one in charge, and I could do just what I wanted to do, with or without a school!

Before I realized this, I had a feeling that I needed to be accepted as a photographer in order to be able to do it. I thought that I needed someones approval. I waited for someone to say to me: Hey, your´re SO good and talented, you REALLY have to do photography for the rest of your life! But no one ever said that. People said that I was good and gave me compliments. But no one ever said EXACTLY what I wanted to hear.

So I said it to myself. Every day. Many times. And it worked!

“Selfportrait” 2013. One of my most recent photographs. I feel like I´m going in a new direction with this photograph, which feels very exciting!

Since 2011 my dream is crystal clear. I´m on the right road for the first time in my life. I know where I´m going and I never want to change direction.

I couldn´t have done this earlier in my life, because I didn´t know where I was going 5 years ago. Not knowing where you want to go can be so hard. But I walked anyway, and I think that my different roads lead me to where I stand now. By doing a lot of different things, I slowly realized what I didn´t want to do. To understand what you don´t want to do is just as important as understanding what you want to do. I tried many things from the list, and everything felt wrong. I had a constant feeling that something was wrong, some part of me was missing. I searched for the right road and I found it. But in order to find it, you have to search for it. In order to get where you want, you have to start walking. Moving in any direction is better than not moving at all.

“Looking at stars.” 2011.

The creating of “Stuck” and “Own atmosphere”

Creating photographs Posted on Tue, January 15, 2013 18:36:24

A saturday in december, it was snowing in Gothenburg. My boyfriend was out of town, and I decided to spend the whole day alone, in my apartment, creating a new photograph. Here are some pictures from that day!

View from my window. The snow fell all day and it was perfect to stay inside 🙂

Here are some different sketches for the photo. I´ve had the idea for very long that someone would be stuck with her head in the clouds. I believe it´s very important to dream, be imaginative and try to feel hopeful about life, but it´s also important to keep your feet as down to earth as you can. Only dreaming won´t take you anywhere. Dreams won´t feed you, or pay your rent. I believe that we need both. We need to be realistic, in order to understand our circumstances and see what we can do with our lives. We need to take care of ourselves, both the body and the mind. And our soul needs the creativity and dreaming so that we will feel alive. In order to cope with reality, we need to dream. Sometimes it can be hard to find balance between these two worlds, at least to me. Sometimes I get the feeling that I´m “stuck” with my head in the clouds. But I have to say, I like that feeling more than the other one: to feel stuck in reality, or in boredom.

This is ordinary cotton that I thought about using at first, but then I choose to use pillow stuffing because it´s more fluffy.

The dress for the photo.

Filling the bubble with clouds while drinking tea!

Change of clothes!

First shot!

This is the shot that I used for “Own atmosphe”.

Finished photo, “Own atmosphere”.

The shot I used for “Stuck”.

Final edit of “Stuck”. What I mainly did in the edit of the two photos was crop them into a square frame, make the blacks brighter and the contrast and tones more soft. I also added some gradients in different pastel colors. I was very happy with the result, as I felt that I took a step in a direction that I really like!

An image that I did recently, that deals with the same theme. The title is “How to cope with reality”. But I´m not sure that this is the best way to cope with reality 🙂

The paradox of longing

Personal Posted on Tue, January 08, 2013 16:28:08

“We used to play”

A photo that I shot at the London workshop with Brooke Shaden in august 2012. Model: Olivia Clemens.

Last year I felt a longing to get away. Move to another place where I could stroll around at new streets, meet new friends, meet a new city. I also longed for a context, a place where I could belong, a place where people would value what I value, and love as much as I do: photography.

For two years I have applied to a School of Photography here in Gothenburg. It´s a university course that runs for three years, and then two more years if you want to study more. For two years I´ve been disappointed because I didn´t make it. Last year I felt so strongly that I wanted to belong somewhere. To learn things that I have only learned by myself so far. To meet people who share my passion. To meet teachers who´s working in the field. And also to get more confidence by having the experience that an education gives you. I started to look up schools on the internet, and found this one- year course that I´m taking now. I thought that it would be such a luxury to be able to focus on photography and nothing else for a whole year! I was very happy when I got accepted.

The school started in the end of August of 2012. The first months where quite stressful for me. We had to produce a lot of work, with almost no time to think about what we did or why we did it. We got assignments and deadlines. We got criticism, but no time to rethink our concept and do it over again. Less talk, more action. And I´m a person of thought! I´m a slow person that begins the day by looking out the window, thinking about what I will do with the day. I´m a person who makes a lot of coffee, strolls around the apartment and listens to my ideas and thoughts. I´m a person who constantly carries a notebook, who writes down her ideas and thoughts, and maybe processes them for a long time before even considering going out to actually shoot. I´m a person who sometime waits a couple of months before starting to edit my pictures, because I need the time to think about in what direction I want to take my photographs, and not doing anything stupid or of less quality only because I want it to be finished as soon as possible.

Of course this isn´t the case for me every day. A lot of days I have to get to certain appointments or go to work. A lot of days I can´t just stroll around at home as if there is no tomorrow. But when I get the chance, that´s what I often find myself to do. Take a walk, think and be creative. My goal in the end is to be able to be a full time artist, because that´s what´s in my nature. But to get there, I feel that I really need the education.

Having coffee with my mom is something that I love very much.

My mom <3

Tomorrow the last semester of my school begins. The spring will consist of more time to work on our own projects, and more time of processing our thoughts, which is something I am very excited about. Though it feels like this spring will be awesome, I still don´t feel like going back to school. The reason for that is because my school is in another city, a two hours car drive away from my home. And the last thing I feel like right now is leaving my home where I live together with my boyfriend. My home where everything has a place. Where I´m surrounded by inspirational things that I love. Where I have my routines. Where I have my cafées and family and friends. I know that a two hours car drive isn´t very much. I can take the train home in the evening if I want to. It´s just that I´m starting to find a way to live at home that I really enjoy. And to split my time up between two cities takes away a lot of energy and focus from what I really want to do.

A happy me where I love to be, in the countryside.

The funny thing is that last year I wanted to get away. I wanted to leave this city. I needed change. And I got change. I now have a new city to walk in, with new friends and new places to go to. I think that I just needed to feel the change to understand what I actually have at home: a wonderful life. I think that I needed to change my environment and habits in order to feel grateful for everything that I have in my life. Therefore I am happy that I decided to attend this school and move away from home. It made me long home instead of longing away 🙂

One year: 2012

Personal Posted on Sun, January 06, 2013 19:20:20

I´ve been thinking about writing a blogpost about the year of 2012 for several days. But it seemed like a difficult thing to do because I felt that I wanted to write about everything that had happened in 2012, and that felt quite impossible. So I thought that it´s better to write about parts of the year, than not write anything at all!

This collage is made out of a collection of my photographs that I´ve created in 2012. When I look back at my work I feel proud, and I like it, but I feel like I want to challenge myself more this year. I want to find an even more unique style, strive to develop my own voice in photography. Keep being inspired by other artists, but also be better to listen to myself, listen to my inner creativity and my heart that tells me what to do. There are always some pictures that are more important to create than others, and sometimes I need to choose what I want to put my time and effort into creating, and I want to be able to choose what is the most important to me.

A little summary of 2012:

I started the year with a trip to Bali, Indonesia.

At home Tomas was my assistant during a couple of photoshoots. This is from a cold day in early spring when we took the car an early morning to shoot “The Guardian”.

I tried on a lot of different dresses to find good ones to shoot in. This one I didn´t buy but it was close 🙂

I tried to get better with working ergonomically by using a wacom-tablet. This is an old one that I borrowed from my boyfriend but now I have a new one. I still can´t be in front of the computer for too long, but I guess that it will always be like that. I´m trying to learn more disciplin, learning for how long I can work, taking breaks, doing training and more. This is really hard I think. I hear a lot of creative people telling me that they wish they could be more disciplined when it comes to creating, really taking the time they need to do whatever they´re doing. My problem is the opposite. I need to constantly force myself not to sit down and work every hour of every day. At least I´m learning patience!

During summer I went to the countryside, put on my old swimsuit and walked into the forest with a mini-batthub that I filled with water. I don´t think I will ever finish the photo, because it didn´t turn out as I pictured it, but it was fun anyway! I´ve done several shoots this year that didn´t work the whole way, but I hope that I learned something from them!

As usual I had a lot of tea and coffee at different places, with a dear friend or family member across the table. I love to talk about life and the meaning of everything. I never get tired of the deep conversations! I also really enjoy sitting by myself, reading a magazine and silently watching other people in the cafée 🙂

I took several new pictures for my series Finding Peace. This photo involved my new dress that I was very happy to find in a second-hand store.

One of the best moments for me this year was traveling to London to attend a workshop hosted by my big inspiration Brooke Shaden (to the left). It was wonderful to meet everyone that attended the workshop and feel so inspired together. A memory for life! I hope to attend more workshops, both with Brooke and with other photographers, in the future.

After the summer I moved to another town to start a school of photography for one year. I had a small crisis at first because I didn´t know if this was right for me. I already know in what direction I want to take my photography and I felt that it may be unnecessary for me to put time and effort into an education. But I decided to finish it and next week the last semester begins. Now we will get the chance to work with our own projects, and that feels great. We will start by putting together a photo-book. This is something I´ve been thinking that I want to do so it couldn´t be more perfect!

One of the best things with my new school is that I´ve gotten to know Victoria. We dragged this bed out together to do a shoot. This is also one of those pictures that I don´t think will be good enough, but me and Victoria had a great day!

In december I painted planets and stars to make a new picture. I´m trying to get better at creating the full scene before I take the shot, so I won´t be spending too much time in post-processing. But I still find it hard to spend less time in front of the computer.

I also tried to record my first behind-the-scenes video, but I don´t know if it will ever be released 😉

In december I also shot two more bubble-pictures, “Stuck” and “Own atmosphere”, for my series Finding Peace. I was very happy with the result. This is a test-shot.

To the left: “Own atmosphere”

To the right: “Stuck”

Another great thing that happened this year was that my class got the chance to exhibit at the Stockholm Photo Fair, the Nordic Regions largest photo fair.

If I learned something this year I think it´s to be patient. Be patient when you create and understand that not everything will be perfect. Be patient with your career and understand that you will get a lot of No´s, but if you´re persistence, there will come a “Yes” at last.

I have many hopes for the new year. I want to be disciplined enough to take care of my body and health. I want to be patience and never give up on my dream. You never know how the road will turn or where it will lead you, but I promise you that when you´re on the right track, you will know!

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