Honest Al’s Barbershop

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Kontinent welcomes interns a couple of times a year to come and experience the ins and outs of running a photo agency while having the opportunity to assist a few of our photographers. Our agency is a place where photographers believe strongly in sharing ideas and helping others evolve in their work.  Interns are encouraged to show and share their work for feedback. We are really pleased to have had Oscar Eriksson work alongside us recently. During his internship Oscar began a beautiful series on an iconic place in Södermalm: ‘Honest Al’s Barbershop’.  We decided to catch up with Oscar to hear more about his time with us.   

Please tell us a little about yourself?

I was born and raised in the small town of Härnösand. During secondary school I discovered my interest in photography and chose to study media focusing on photography. Gradually I began to freelance a little for some local newspapers.  My personal photography has always been strongly combined with my interest in nature. Currently I am studying the second term of the photojournalism program at Mittuniversitetet.

When did you first discover your love of, and interest, in photography?

While at secondary school I had started to become more and more interested in the environment that surrounds us. I realised that photography would be a good way for me to explore it. I love having the ability to tell stories in a visual and creative way.

Do you have any heroes— dead or alive?

I don’t have any specific heroes, but I do follow Paolo Pellegrins work.

We love the photo series you made of the old school barbershop. What made you choose Honest Al’s as your subject?

Kontinent’s founder, Magnus Laupa, gave me some great advice and we arranged when I could go by and talk with some people at Honest Al’s. I was really drawn to the original decor and the way in which they worked. I photographed everyone at work for a few days and then returned to see customers come and go.

There is a lovely subtle sense of humor in the series. Is that common to your work?

No, I don’t think so. The pictures are probably quite coloured by the general atmosphere at Honest Al’s. Humour is as much a part of the place as cutting hair is.

Why did you choose to work with Kontinent? What was the highlight of your time at Kontinent?

I was curious about the day to day life of a photojournalist. There are many Kontinent photographers who work with the kind of projects that I’d like to do in the future.

The highlight of working with Kontinent was the nice atmosphere in the meeting room. There was a feeling that everyone helped each other even though most of them were working on their individual projects.

What are your future plans?

I hope to work as a freelance photographer / filmmaker. Preferably on longer documentary projects.