KT: How did you get into photography?
EH: After studying anthropology, I travelled in Central-America in 1989-90 for almost a year and worked as a volunteer in Nicaragua on a shipyard where I picked coffee on a farm and travelled extensively around the country. These were very exiting times with the elections in the country and everything happening around that. Even if I had brought quite a simple camera on this trip, I found that taking photographs was a good approach to meet people and document what was happening/taking place in and around the country.
After returning to Norway, I realized that for me the camera was a excellent way to convey what I had seen and experienced. So I decided to learn more about photography and started studying photography. I have worked as a photographer ever since.
KT: Your photography is based on this intimate connection about human relationships. How did you build this special interest?
EH: I like to investigate and illustrate the different sides of the people. I am fascinated by relationships between people and I like to scratch beneath the surface. I like to challenge myself and the people I photograph. What are they willing to show me of their lives and themselves? Perhaps they might even find, reveal and acknowledge new sides of themselves in the meeting with me and the camera.
KT: You have published two beautiful books ‘Brothers‘ and ‘Brother I Sister’. What do you like about photography in a book-format?
EH: To have your project between two covers is very satisfying and rewarding and there are many positive aspects about producing a book. A book remains as opposed to e.g. an exhibition. It´s something concrete you can hold, go back to and refer to both as a product and a process. In addition a book can reach wider audience than single event or exhibitions. Indeed, a book can reach everyone in the world!
A book can also be very personal and intimate at the same time. You can enter a special secret world through a book. Finally a book can be a piece of art in itself. And to reach that level it`s obviously important how the book is made. Obviously the content is very key, but also how you lay out the book, the sequencing, the design, the material etc.
KT: Your photography projects are about long-term special human bond and fascinating stories within. How do you select your subject for your projects?
EH: I am interested in finding a narrative, a story in my projects. I am looking for people who don´t live an A-4, modern styled life. I find it important to document and preserve their lifestyle because it is about to disappear in modern Norway.
Both of my two books are “slow projects” where I have portrayed people who didn’t´t ask for any public attention. They tread lightly on earth and don´t make many demands. I`m very depending on a cooperation between me and the people I photograph. I have to be very careful working together with them, not overstepping their lines of integrity but show the strength and true faces of this kind of life.
KT: What do you want to achieve with your photography projects in the end?
EH: I want to show a way of living and details of lives of the people I photograph which the ordinary viewer might not be aware of existing. I want to bring their “invisible” lives to our attention, to treasure the underexposed.
For many of us today, our time is often filled with tasks, things and rapid changes. My intention is to show another way of life where stillness, predictability, everyday routine, roots, belonging to people and places, play an important role. Even deeper I might even want to seek answers to big questions like: What is it to be a human? What is necessary in life? What brings happiness and peace of mind?