Photography is the art, science & practice of creating durable images by recording light. Typically, a lens is used to focus the light reflected or emitted from objects into a real image on the light-sensitive surface inside a camera during a timed exposure.
Mikael Jansson, born 1958, Sweden is a fashion and celebrity photographer. He has shot campaigns for clients as DKNY, Dior and Calvin Klein. He also shoots fashion editorials for Vogue and Interview magazine. Celebrities as Rihanna, Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes have appeared in front of his camera. Next to his photographic work Mikael also made several commercial video’s.
Thirty years later, Jansson is still based in New York, though he frequently shoots in exotic locales for an international roster of big-name publications and brands like Louis Vuitton, Chloé, Calvin Klein, and Diane von Furstenberg. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he’s not a star on social media and doesn’t relish giving interviews, making him a photographer whose work everyone has seen, yet one whom few know by name.
Werbowy: Why do you think you liked Bowie so much?
Jannson: I thought he was brilliant. I never photographed him and I always wanted to. I did this series of portraits of Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and others, and we tried to get Bowie but he wasn’t available. Iggy was superb and easygoing. He gave so much, like an entire concert. He said to his assistant, “Why don’t you run out to the car and get the album Raw Power?” We put it on in the studio and he was just bouncing off the walls in there.
Mikael Jansson regularly contributes to Interview Magazine, shooting celebrity cover features as well as influential actors, musicians and designers. He also contributes to Love and i-D and has created memorable campaigns for Calvin Klein, Armani Cosmetics, Hugo Boss, H&M, Salvatore Ferragamo and Christian Dior.
In July, Jansson returned to Sweden, to his summer cottage on an archipelago near Stockholm, and to Werbowy, whom he photographed outdoors, in various states of undress. The final photo shows Werbowy posing with a poster for I Am Curious (1967), the controversial Swedish film that was banned for its portrayal of nudity and sexuality—and is still a good starting point, Jansson says, for a discussion today.