The Den in Soho is currently showcasing fashion photographer Erica Bergsmeds’ latest exhibition, ‘Emotion in Motion’, featuring a number of Bergsmeds’ friends such as Laura Whitmore and Tom Payne. The images themselves explore the purity of the candid picture and challenges our current generation’s fixation on staged photography.
Bergsmeds’ technique requires first taking abstract city pictures using slow shutter speeds to get the drawn look of the lights, and then matching the feeling that she takes from that particular image with another image from one of her models: “I want the movement of the abstract image to enhance the emotion (of the model).”
When asked what her inspiration was while creating the exhibition, Bergsmeds explained: “I wanted to combine my abstract art with my fashion and portrait imagery… I wanted to do it in a way that meant I could make images more candid and in the moment.”
“I love images that surprise me, so the inspiration was to take the images as far away as possible from a staged selfie.”
Bergsmeds continues on to talk about her thoughts on the photography of today: “I’m feeling a bit scared about social media at the moment, the impact it has on the younger generation… There’s a lot of staged and fake images, it births a lot of insecurity.”
Already having an established career in fashion photography (spanning over 10 years), creating ‘Emotion in Motion’ gave Erica some freedoms that set this project apart from most of her previous work. “There was no editor or client telling me how they (the pictures) should look. In the fashion industry where I work, I follow briefs and a lot of the time I get to work on very creative briefs, but they’re not completely “me.”
“I don’t want to be put into a box,” Erica says in regards as to whether she feels more connected to her personal artistry or fashion photography. “I would describe myself as a fashion photographer that has always been an artist… This is a passion project that I wanted to do for a very long time, to go as crazy as I want and push my feelings as far as I want.”
So what are some of the things that we don’t get to see behind the scenes of a shoot?
“Sometimes it really is glamorous and sometimes it’s very unglamorous, like when you wake up at 5 am and you’re carrying cameras and equipment for miles while freezing, and feeling like a travelling circus, being a photographer is a very physical job as well. But it’s rewarding, seeing my images afterwards is very rewarding for me.”
Having risen to fame in her late teens as an actress, Erica embarked on a mixed path of moving and still images. Naturally, she connects with actors and models with ease and there are plans to direct feature films. One of her film dreams is to portray her Great Grandfather (ancestor), Harald “Bluetooth”, Gormsson, who ruled as king of Denmark but is today most famous for having our modern Bluetooth named after him. Erica’s relationship with drama with intense true moments and tangible rawness is where the passion lies for both still images and film.
Anna K – founder
Erin Iredale – contributor