Interview with Tobias Hägg (@airpixels)
Tobias Hägg, also known as @airpixels on Instagram, is a 30-year-old photographer from the Swedish town of Eskilstuna. Tobias will be going with us to Patagonien in April 2018 and we wanted you to get the chance to get to know him a little better so here is a full interview with Tobias, that covers pretty much everything you want to know.
How has your journey to becoming photographer been like?
My journey to becoming a photographer and filmmaker has been very long and undulating. I have always been interested in film and photography, graphic design and writing. Since age 15, I have always tried to develop in all fields, and when I was younger I put almost all my free time to becoming a better photographer and video editor. Over time, I learned a lot and I felt that my work got better and better even though it looked very different from what it does today. When I was younger I experimented a lot with both film and photography, and did what I thought was fun at the time. After a few years, I got in to Digital Arts at the Blekinge Institute of Technology and began experimenting even more to try to find what it was I would really go for. It ended up with me leaving school after a year when I did not think the school could offer the challenge I was looking for. When I finished school I even quit Film & Photo and thought I wouldn’t come back. Then came the drone to the world, which meant that I could take pictures and film in a way that I could only dream about before. So when it became possible to get drones I did it, and the dream of a life as a photographer and filmmaker was re-born. Started an Instagram account mostly for fun and started using hashtags for the first time about two years ago and that’s where we are.
When did you realize you wanted to become a photographer?
That it was only a photographer I was going to be, I never understood and I don’t know if I did it again today when I was just as happy to see me as a filmmaker, even if the largest gunpowder is put the photos at the moment. I’ve always known I wanted to work with something in film and photography that I like to do just about everything in the area.Tell me about a career defining moment for you as a photographer?
There are quite a number of career defining moment for me in the last year but one of the biggest was when my work had articles published over virtually the entire world. Newspapers such as the Daily Mail and the National Geographic had their eyes on me and my work began to spread like wildfire on the Internet. After that I was asked to keep up with Planet Earth team and shoot well above the Arctic Circle, and it was probably there somewhere, I actually realized that my work was actually good. But really a career defining moment was probably the day I actually chose to invest wholeheartedly in the profession. The day that I left all security behind me and took the step to try to do what I do full time.
What equipment do you use when you take your photos?
Today I use two pieces DJI Phantom 4 Pro, 1 Phantom 3 Pro, 1 DJI Mavic Pro and also waiting on an upgrade to a DJI Inspire 2. In addition, I have a DJI Ronin and my Sony A7rII I use.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot but I have to say that nature is the main source of inspiration. After that I get inspiration from movies and music.
What other photographers do you admire?
There are so many photographers that I think are doing a fantastic job so I can not say I have, or someone I actually see as a role model. But I’ll mention that I admire a guy named Brandon Li. Here is a link so you can see a fantastic movie made by him. https://vimeo.com/150531350
How to succeed on Instagram like you have done?
In my case, it was all about extremely hard work. It’s about being yourself and believe in what you do while your work should be able to stand out a bit from the crowd. I came into a very good period of Instagram also with my aerial perspective, and in that way, I was able to get in early when it was new for almost everybody.
What three other photographers should everyone follow on Instagram?
Three photographers that I like to follow are: @donalboyd @rawmeyn @matthewhahnel
Do you feel that you have found your own style and who you are as a photographer?
Yes I think so. I know what I want to do right now and I think I’ve found my own style. It took a while but now I’m happy with what I achieve even if I’m always looking for improvement.
What is the coolest place you visited and what place you dream mostly about getting to visit?
Just got back from the Faroe Islands, which is a place that really impressed me because I love to take pictures of scenery. Seeing how nature went from bright sunshine and spring weather in catastrophic conditions, Winter landscape in 15 minutes was something that really made me go on. When it comes to places I dream of visiting, there are no bounds or something that knocks out the second moment. There are so many places I’m about to check off at the moment and all places have their charm. But I’ll choose something at the moment so I look forward to exploring the northern parts of Sweden, and to go to Africa and photograph wildlife.
Tell us about your favorite job!
Really do not know what to answer, because I think all the jobs I take on at the moment is as inspiring and fun. But photographing and filming wildlife anywhere in Africa would clearly be something.Is there any project or task that you dream of?
Would love to participate in the next edition of Planet Earth =)
What are your best tips for someone who dreams of becoming a photographer?
Be yourself and believe in yourself all the way.
You can see more from Tobias here: