Niklas standing in front of a wall.

Niklas winner in major international photography competition

Niklas runs his own business specialising in product photography. In March, he travelled to London to participate in The Societies of Photographers' photography competition, an international competition where photographers are required to submit their printed photos. This is one of the largest photo competitions in the world within the genre, and Niklas won first prize in the "advertising and commercial" category.

Photo: Martina Wärenfeldt.

"Winning the competition felt a bit surreal. I went up on stage with two other famous international photographers, which was incredible. When they announced me as the winner, I could hardly believe it," Niklas explains.

A brown watch in a pile of coffee beans
Niklas' winning picture.

His photo shows a brown watch lying in a pile of coffee beans. The photo is printed and mounted in a mat board, then judged by a jury of five well-established international photographers. The jury assesses the photos based on ten criteria, and the photos that reach a certain level are hung in a gallery. The award ceremony takes place during a formal dinner.

"This win helps build both my self-confidence and my market value. Sometimes, I can have low self-confidence and wonder why companies should hire me. But with an award like this, it becomes clearer," says Niklas.

Niklas graduated from the creative media programme in 2019, but he got the idea to start his own business almost ten years ago. He thinks that the best thing about running a business is that you develop a lot and it is so exciting.

"As a product photographer, the best part is going from a vision to a finished photo. The whole process is interesting, and sometimes it turns out just as I envisioned. I enjoy the whole process, from planning the idea, preparing and troubleshooting during the actual shoot, to giving the final touch in Photoshop and seeing the finished photo emerge. Each photo can easily take many hours, but it's usually so worth it. Being able to help companies solely through my own effort is very cool," says Niklas.

Niklas is 38 years old and previously worked in the restaurant industry. He now works part-time in industry and warehousing while running his own photo business.

"When I first started thinking about studying at university, I felt that I wanted to broaden my horizons and gain new knowledge in media. After several years of being self-taught, I felt it was time to find an education that suited me. The creative media programme gave me an insight into related professions and where and how the photos can be used. This has helped me deliver suitable photos that are adapted to the needs of my clients. My goal is to be able to make a living solely from my photography in the near future," says Niklas.

Another thing he has brought with him from his studies is the ability to work together in a group towards a common goal.

"Even though I work alone right now, I have to be able to work together with companies to achieve their vision. During my time at Linnaeus University, I also gained knowledge of how I can use objects, shapes, and colours in a photo to highlight something and tell a story. What I want to say to someone considering following in my footsteps starting their own business, is to study something that can strengthen their weaker sides," Niklas concludes.