There are some photographs that seem to capture not only an image but also an idea. And Fredrik Brodén gets concepts, such as the rivalry between sportswriters Gary Cartwright and Dan Jenkins (just take a look at the image he shot of two men sitting on bleachers typing on laptops). Here, Brodén talks about how he got interested in photography and why he decided to shoot bleachers.
texasmonthly.com: What got you interested in photography?
Fredrik Brodén: Probably hanging around my dad’s office in Sweden, where there was an in-house photo studio at the mail-order company where he worked.
texasmonthly.com: What inspires your work?
FB: Art, real life, and everything in-between.
texasmonthly.com: How do you first start out visualizing a concept?
FB: It is different every time depending on the assignment. Sometimes I know immediately, sometimes it involves some agonizing.
texasmonthly.com: Did Texas Monthly creative director Scott Dadich give you any guidelines for this assignment?
FB: Scott told me what the article was all about, and then I came up with the idea pretty quickly. He immediately liked it, and we went with it, along the way discussing format and styling and so forth. Scott wanted me to shoot it as a horizontal, which I think added to the shot.
texasmonthly.com: What made you decide to photograph bleachers? Are the subjects in the photograph really Gary Cartwright and Dan Jenkins?
FB: I thought the setting was fitting for the shot, and it’s also a great graphic element. That is not Cartwright and Jenkins in the shot.
texasmonthly.com: Is there any significance to the red and blue shirts?
FB: No. I just wanted them to look like two distinctly different men.
texasmonthly.com: How did you adjust the lighting for this picture?
FB: It was all stadium lighting except for hitting both guys with strobe as if the screen was glowing on them.
texasmonthly.com: What do you like most about the way this particular photograph turned out?
FB: Probably the lighting, but also the symmetry interrupted by the men. The A and the B also add to the shot, purely by chance.
texasmonthly.com: What would you say is your particular style of photography?
FB: I guess I am a conceptual photographer—for now.