JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you want to be growing up?
SIGRID BJORBEKKMO: When I was very little I wanted to be a gardener and an air hostess. Where I grew up we had a big garden and I used to spend a lot of time outside with my mother. I used to help her while she taught me the names of all the different flowers and plants. I dreamt of one day owning my own garden and look after plants for a living. Another thing that fascinated me was airplanes, and air hostesses in particular. They were always so friendly and happy, and I wanted to be like them. Traveling the world, looking elegant in a suit and heels. I outgrew those ambitions pretty quickly and have had lots of passing dreams and plans since then. Although I believe I am still trying to figure things out, photography is one thing that has been sticking with me for the longest.
JC: Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
SB: I always find music inspiring. Right now I am listening to King Krule, some tracks from The Busy Twist and Arctic Monkeys. Also traveling, the changing weather and my parents photo albums from the 70. I spend a lot of my time looking up other photographers and photographic series on the internet. I have a few I always go back to for inspiration, like Jody Rogac's portraits, Alana Paterson's images of farm life and the outdoors, Spencer Murphy's projects, my friend Ena Kreso's beautiful images.
JC: What are you up to right now?
SB: Right now I have just finished a portrait story for the british magazine Boys by Girls. I am also working on an ongoing personal project about the notion of home and how we feel about our home place when we grow older. I have been lucky to receive a grant to make it into an exhibition next year. Other things I am up to right now is preparing myself mentally for colder days, watching game of thrones, and planning new travels.
JC: Have you had mentors along the way?
SB: I had a couple of teacher in school that meant a great deal to me. One of them was a former photo editor for PDN. She made me feel that I had something to contribute with in a market already filled to the edge with new impressions and upandcoming photographers. I also have a few close friends that always give me support and advice if I need.
JC: Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
SB: Oslo has been my home for the past five years. I really love it. It is happening a lot of exciting things here now, new neighbourhoods being built and cool restaurants and bars popping up in the old ones. It is not the prettiest city at a first glance, but it has so many hidden gems that one discovers after living here for a while. Although Oslo is a lot bigger than the small town I grew up in, it can sometimes feel quite small. The photographic community feels very limited and there is not as much culture and opportunities as a would like.
JC: One piece of advice to photography graduates?
SB: Have patience, it usually takes some time to get where you want. Shoot own projects, don’t hang around waiting to get assignments. Shoot whatever you love to shoot, and set yourself goals for the future.
JC: If all else fails what is your plan B?
SB: No plan B at the moment. I haven’t quite ruled out getting more education in the future but at the moment I just want to give myself some time to focus on photography and see where it gets me.
JC: Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
SB: I am happy working alone and most of my ideas comes from me just working by myself, but I believe it is important to have someone you can share your work with and that will give you feedback on projects and new ideas. I have a couple of friends from school that are in the same situation as me, who can always understand my thoughts and struggles. I also think it is important to keep yourself updated on other photographers and the market.