Inside the Instagram features artists and creators who inspire us to keep striving. Olav Stubberud is a photographer and filmmaker who works with some of the biggest names in the music industry. He shared with us why it’s so important to connect with a subject and how he spends his time when not on tour — a rare luxury for a traveling photographer.
Olav has photographed artists like Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber, and G-Eazy, to name a few. He recently showed he could do more than just photography in the A-Z short documentary Mental Muscle: a video featuring Kenneth Bergh and you can find his photos on Instagram, here.
What is your passion? How long have you been pursuing it?
My passion is to create and experience. I am a creator. But the moment itself and what I can feel or learn is a huge part of it.
To shoot that moment is a kind of reward and closure. I think I have been doing it way longer than I have been aware. As you get older, wiser, and more self-conscious, you understand your passion more. Before that, you are just operating based off a drive that you don’t question.
What is your favorite piece of equipment?
My gear game is insanely strong these days since I am a Sony Ambassador. So I could probably name all of it if I started. But the one piece I always have with me is a disposable camera. I don’t walk out of the door without it.
What was your favorite experience working with an artist?
I am not that good at talking about a specific moment or event; things are moving so fast, and I am not always good at remembering it off the top of my head. I am working with a VERY wide selection of artists at this moment, all very strong personalities, that create their own vibe and world around them. When I was on tour with Justin Bieber — something that had been a goal for a long time — I got to experience the moment that I had been building up in my head.
What do you do to relax on tour?
YouTube is a go-to. And, to state the obvious, I sleep. As long as I possibly can.
What has been your favorite event to photograph?
I shoot the Nobel Peace Prize event every year, something that I always look forward to. Just the fact that I can combine a lot of the different genres of shooting, portraits, music, docu, and so on. And because it is such a prestigious event. It always makes it more interesting when there is more at stake.
What is something you haven’t done that you want to do next year?
I want to shoot and document something I didn’t feel in 2017.
How do you think your photos bring your subject to life?
I rarely shoot anyone I don’t have some connection to. If I take a picture of someone that I don’t know yet, I don’t feel anything for the photo. It could be a memory from my side, but it won’t translate the subject. The experience and the feel are playing a huge part. When I can feel and experience an artist, I will also be able to translate that. I would say that my photos are translating a piece of the subject.
What advice would you give to a filmmaker looking to discover their passion?
Don’t get caught up in one thing. If you feel like creating, don’t limit yourself to filming, editing, or photography. Try to challenge yourself to expand and fail. And the best inspiration could come from anything. If you want to film or shoot photos, you don’t have to follow 20 filmmakers and photographers to get inspired. To be honest, that is maybe the most misleading thing you can do. Put down your phone and let things come to you. If you suddenly stand there with your camera, or a canvas and a pencil, without you knowing how you got there, your mind is up to something.
Who is a filmmaker/creator that is inspiring you the most lately?
Jaden Smith is a progressive soul that inspires me. But the people that inspire me the most are the people I keep the closest. I don’t keep track of that many people, I get too competitive.
What’s your goal for 2018?
To not become an asshole.