jakob sohm

docu magazine

docu magazine

2 photographs and an interview published in vol. 35 of docu books. docu magazine is a non-profit organization for documentary and street photography.

Tell about yourself a little bit… How did you become a photographer?

it all started with graphic design for me, which i still practice and is currently my main job. in graphic design school we had introductory classes on photography to help us learn what makes a great photo, from a graphic design standpoint. taking pictures for this class and inspirations such as richard mosse and martin parr got me into taking pictures more and more.

What has been the biggest lesson you have learned as a photographer?

how people react to your presence. i think that others mainly judge if getting their picture taken by you is okay for them on how you behave. we all can somewhat feel what another person is thinking and how they are feeling, so if you are convinced and really feel like what you are doing is okay, they will feel like that as well.

What advice would you give to a young amateur photographer, who wants to take their photography to the next level?

maybe a bit cliché by now, but to go out of their comfort zone. many of my favourite pictures of mine happened when i did what i wasn’t 100 percent comfortable with. the pictures you will be most happy with are not the easy ones to make.

In your opinion… What is a good photograph?

the best are ones that show you something new, maybe inform you of something, or put a subject into a new light, and do that through beauty and intrigue. but a good picture can be anything, not just what does well on instagram. the beautiful thing is there are many definitions of a good picture, and they can and do all coexist. that’s one nice thing about today’s stunningly diverse art landscape.

How do you feel about social media today? Is it good for photographers, bad for photographers…?

hard to say, there are people that have greatly benefited from social media, and some that are criminally underrated. i would say that the goals of social media and photographers are generally not aligned. the goal of the photographer generally being to get seen by more people and get work / money, and that of social media being to show ads to users that should spend as much time as possible on their platform. when these goals align and the platform can make a user look at more ads, that’s when both parties can profit. i think this is hard to do and requires many concessions and maybe creative compromises from the photographer. but i also think that is true for any artist under capitalism.