” “Born with a camera in my hand”, is how my close friends and family describe me. I can’t remember my first camera, but I know that I have always had a longing to capture beautiful moments and views that I have around me.”
Deciding to make the art of photography her career, Swedish photographer Philippa Davin’s unique perspective has taken her to the “Horse Capitol Of The World” in Wellington, Florida to capture moments of the US Open Polo Finals with her camera.
Philippa decided after high school, she wanted to live and work as a photographer. She went to the Speos Photographic Institute in London to study postproduction and photography, taking on jobs as a photographer. Soon after she returned to Sweden and decided to do a photo documentary of her sister’s journey through cancer. They created a charity organization, ”Our fight against cancer” to raise money for cancer research. Their exhibit “You Can Borrow My Body, But Never Take My Soul” helped raise awareness and money for their organization.
Philippa had her art on display and was snapping photos just this past weekend at the US Open Polo Finals. You can see her work on her website, Facebook, or at her latest exhibit at the Tokyo International Art Fair in May.
2014 You can borrow my body, but never take my soul, Brew House
2015 Running Wild, Running Free, Gothenburg Summer Tour
2015 Running Wild, Running Free, Clarion Malmö Live
2015 Running Wild, Running Free, Tjoloholm Castle
2015 Running Wild, Running Free, FEI European Championship for ponies
2015 Running Wild, Running Free, Scandinavian Beach Polo World Cup, Denmark
2015 Running Wild, Running Free, Sweden International Horse Show, Stockholm
2016 Running Wild, Running Free, Brick Lane Gallery, London
Below is the Q&A with Philippa on #equinearthour this past Sunday! Be sure to join us every Sunday for a Q&A with a select equine artist.
TFS: Do you ride? Did you grow up with horses?
PD: I used to ride when I was younger. I started riding when I was 5 years old and moved to a horse farm with my family when I was 15.
TFS: Can you tell us more about how you got involved with photography?
PD: I’ve loved photography my whole life, it’s always been my biggest passion. When I was 20 I realized that this is what I wanted to work with for the rest of my life!
TFS: Can you tell us why you came to America from Sweden?
PD: Wellington is the place to be between Jan-April if you are an equestrian fan! You get everything here, dressage, jumping and a lot of polo!!
TFS: Do you set up a booth at different shows?
PD: I haven’t done that so far.
TFS: How did you get involved with polo?
PD: I think it’s a fascinating sport, I love the action and how the polo ponies are like small machines!
TFS: Do you follow the polo circuit? Have you ever gone to foreign countries to shoot the polo matches?
PD: I do! I’m right now at the US Open polo finals in Wellington!
TFS: Do you prefer to shoot in digital or 35mm film?
PD: I only work digital right now, but would love to do more 35mm film in the future! Also the sun here is amazing for photos!!
TFS: Do you have your own darkroom, or do you send out your photographs?
PD: I don’t, I work with professional photo labs to create my art!
TFS: Do you go to any other locations in America to shoot and exhibit?
PD: Not yet, but I am looking into it, taking one step at a time.
TFS: What size images do you print? Do you make any large prints?
PD: I mostly do large format, the normal sizes of my artworks are between 2×3’ up to 5×7’. But I print any size my client would like.
TFS: Do you prefer to work in B/W or color? Why?
PD: I work more in B/W. My work is a lot about capturing a feeling, to get my viewer to react, to feel something when they see my work and I think that B/W photos displays that better than color.
TFS: Any funny stories surrounding your photo shoots that you would like to share with us?
PD: Hmm, good question, I’m so clumsy, so I probably got too many!!
TFS: Do you have any merchandise with your images on it? Calendars/note cards?
PD: I have a yearly calendar, but it has only been for sale in Sweden so far, but my plan is to start selling it in the USA for next year’s calendar. I am also looking into creating more merchandise, but I haven’t found the right product with the quality I am looking for yet.
TFS: What is the hardest part of a photo shoot?
PD: I feel like a lot of times your model just wants to get the shoot done and to then take the time to get it right.
TFS: Have you ever photographed a snow polo event?
PD: Not yet, but I can’t wait until I can do it! Hopefully next year! I’m very excited about that!
TFS: Have you ever created a poster for a horse show/polo match?
TFS: Since so many people use social media, how do you stop people from stealing your work?
PD: I try to put my logo on the photo very clearly, but it is a big issues how people use your photos without permission.
TFS: Any upcoming art shows/exhibits?
PD: I am exhibiting at the Tokyo International Art Fair in May and I have a lot of exciting projects coming together for the summer. I am currently exhibiting at SCA Corporate in Sweden. Follow me on social media to keep posted about new shows.
TFS: Where can people go to see your art?
PD: You can currently find my art at Oli’s Fashion Cuisine in Wellington, Florida, and Malaren Horse Clinic in Stockholm, Sweden. Tokyo International Art Fair in May and at my studio in Gothenburg. You can also see my art on my website, my Facebook page, and my Instagram page.
TFS: Can you tell us more about your style?
PD: I love working in macro, I have always tried to find new angles and ways to look at things through my lens, it didn’t matter if it was fruit, accessories, portrait or horses I always wanted to get close and I think that has become the style I’m known for.
TFS: Are there any photographers/people that inspire you with your art, or that you admire for something?
PD: One of my biggest inspiration is Sebastiao Salgado, his dedication to his work is amazing. He has put in so many years behind every exhibition that he has made, he worked on his current show “Genesis” for eight years and it is breath taking.
TFS: Any wise words for other photographers?
PD: Never give up!
TFS: What are the ways you find most useful for promoting your photography?
PD: World of mouth, getting people to talk about you is definitely the best marketing but social media is amazing too!
TFS: Do you give any photography workshops/classes?
PD: I hold private lessons and I organize workshops for smaller groups.
TFS: Is there a medium that you have not worked in but would like to?
PD: I would love to try and work with large format photography. I have only tried it a couple of times when I was in photography school.
TFS: Is there something that you would like to photograph but haven’t?
PD: Snow polo!
TFS: Are you planning on making a coffee table book featuring your art?
PD: Yes, I am currently working on that, but it will take a while before it will get done. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my work and I take my time to get the result I am looking for.
TFS: Would you ever think of taking on an apprentice?
PD: Yes, it can be tricky with how much I move around, but if I can be at the same place for a longer amount of time I would absolutely take on an apprentice.
Thank you for your time, Philippa! I am looking forward to seeing more of your photography journey. Having merchandise and a coffee table book sounds exciting as well.