C-Heads Magazine – Interview

A talk with Anton Renborg
By Sigrun Guggenberger

“Images where you don´t feel the presence of the photographer, instead you almost feel that the image is talking to you directly. ” is what a good image has to have for Swedish photographer Anton Renborg. Looking at his work I feel that he has achieved that – ” the natural and magic feeling of nothing in between”. So Anton told me more about what has inspired him most lately, about the development of his enchanting book Notices de la Corse and what his best life lesson has been so far. And moreover.

How would you describe your own work?

I don´t prepare my self too much and I try not to interact too much with my objects, I very much rely and believe in something pure at a first meeting.

I would like to describe it as unpretentious, maybe somewhere close to a photo album that you can find in people s home, taken by ” amateurs ” but with a twist and touch of something a little surreal and unpredictable and hopefully at the same time, honest. I don´t know if anything of this comes across, it´s hard for me to judge, looking at my own visuals. Hopefully people see or feel something and maybe something else, that I´m not able to put into words myself.

And how much of your own personality is in your work?

I believe that only me growing and understanding more about myself and my personality can help me progressing also within my work, – how to handle myself so that I don´t ruin what I want to capture or couldn´t predict. Also how to take a turn, convince, or sometimes let go. I think that it has very little to do with anything else ( in my case ). But of course you can find parts of my personality within my interest and within what objects I pick and how I “choose” to portray things.

What does a good picture have to have in your eyes?

Images where you don´t feel the presence of the photographer, instead you almost feel that the image is talking to you directly. Free from camera work. It can be anything by anyone, but it has that natural and magic feeling of nothing in between, and you just enjoy it and it effects you for some reason in one or another way.

The thing that has inspired you the most lately – workwise and also in your private life?

Working in France on and off for the past five months on a project related to rugby ( Campaign for Société Général, an ongoing project as we speak, together with great and inspiring people from Fred Farid and 5 Etoiles – Paris ) A sport that I knew very little about from the start, but who´s people and culture I have learned to love and respect almost instantly. There´s a lot of beauty and also everyday´s life to learn and be inspired from, – things that you are passionate about.

Well I´ve spent almost more time in France than in Sweden lately, so it´s got to be the cliché, great, great food and the fact that I have made some new, good and interesting friends.

Tell us a little bit more about your book Notices de la Corse, which is a personal project that you did together with graphic designer Jesper Örtegren and shows images of Corsica that you took with your analogue camera over a time period of 5 years. When you started taking the images did you already think of making that book or the idea just developed over the years? And are you planning on doing more such things in the future?

I could feel just by looking through the car window, driving from the airport the first time I landed on the island, that there was something special about this place that attracted me. After doing some small studies, reading about the history of Corsica and its people and there own way of dealing with things up until today, I knew that this was a place for me.

I went to Corsica several years in a row shooting for one specific client and I always made sure to have my camera close, driving from one location to another. The more I discovered of the island, the more time I spent on my own, just driving randomly, meeting people and discovering places always taking notes with my camera. I started analogue in 2005 but the second half of the project is with a digital camera, with a post very similar to the analogue film Kodak NC that I used to work on.

It was many years later that I really had the time to sit down and realised that I had to do something with all this material. I presented the work to Jesper who liked the idea. He helped me taking 600 images down to a hundred and with his design he really helped me make the notes / diary come alive.

Yea, me and the Art Director Romain Lehur from Fred Farid, are working ( beside the SG Campaign ) on material captured along the road among the society of rugby, hopefully it will also develop into a book in the near future.

Where do you wanna go with your life?

Working as a photographer, my life has been very much about “fragments “, very intense, interesting people and crazy places, but short, most of the time it´s been ” in and out “.

Today, and the last years, I really started to appreciate some stability. ( besides the fact that I´m a father of three wonderful kids, still living with and loving their mother – Yea believe it or not haha ) Before that, I have always challenged faith and my aims were most of the time ahead of the game, around the next corner, never really satisfied. When all goes well, I would like to keep and build something that could be a part of me and my family and why not for the rest of my life.

5 things you cannot live without?

Of course my family, we´re seven including cat and dog. But about other things, I´m really not attached to stuff, it might sound odd these days, but not even my camera. Most things I hope I could live without.

The best life lesson…

My mum always used to say – make sure you take good care of small wounds and poor friends. But I don´t know, I guess I´ve done too many stupid things in my life and l have learned very much the ” hard or not very clever ” way. Hard to pick one specific lesson, it´s the result of many small mistakes and a few big ones.