Episode: Authentic – with Viktor Andersson.
Hello, I’m Craig Constantine, welcome to the movers mindset podcast where I talk with movement enthusiast to learn who they are, what they do, and why they do it. My guest today is Victor Anderson. Welcome, Victor.
Thank you Good to be here.
I, we have little chance to talk beforehand, as everybody knows by now. And the place that I wanted to start today was to ask you about how do I cutaway cast the language here? So imagine that I asked you to take my picture, take my portrait, and I’m curious how the subjects of those portraits are changed. I’m wondering, are they changed by having your picture taken and maybe what your process of taking your picture does to them? Because I think it’s one thing, a lot of people take pictures of movement, including you. And I think we all think a lot about how, when we take a picture or video, we’re capturing what’s happening, or we’re trying to capture what’s happening. And I’m curious about how having my portrait taken affects me and maybe how that changes me or how it might change me. So it makes sense.
Yeah, okay, so you started out with a hard question, which is awesome. I mean, to begin, it’s a tricky question as well, because no one can tell you how you changed during process other than yourself. I can do my observation of what happens when I take a picture or like having a portrait session or even like an like a Parkour photo session. But the only person that has like the, the what’s in Swedish will have a word called the postings for each other, which means the right to make your own interpretation about his situation first, like you’ll have right away with your interpretation. And so how you get to think of a portrait and how like, we’re in the negative think about your portrait, you are the one that decides first, like how you are changed. However I do, I mean, I always do see change happening in people and when I do with pork that I’m required, by the way, stop me from getting if I’m rambling know when I’m what I’m doing a photo session, especially like a portrait that is less commercial and more like portrait in the way that I want to map to your persona and I want to capture your character, rather than like bashing out 24 In an hour, which I also do, but like if I’m doing doing a proper portrait session, my number one criteria is to make you comfortable. Because there’s a lot of people thinking it’s uncomfortable having their photo taken it’s it’s weird, they don’t feel a place and I have numerous theories as to why a lot of people think it’s hard getting or like uncomfortable having a photo taken. But that’s also something that I credit myself being quite good at is making people comfortable being around me and being around the photo set and the camera and all the gear I even had a client just the other day humblebrag that at the end of the session said that she wants to pricing be comfortable having your photo taken with me we’re just like one of the bit which is one of the best reviews I can get because photos can be good photos can be bad but if you’re having a bad experience no matter how good they are, they will turn out that because the photo isn’t better than how you interpreted like us the portrait the portrait Yeah,
I had the same problem when I was like how do I cast this question is like too many months, but you mentioned that you see you do sometimes you often see changes in the I think the word in English is the person sitting is called the subject. So you What changes have you seen in the subject or have you seen changes or do they you know, say afterwards, you know, oh, I found it to be very much you know, dot dot
Yeah, people people have different different reactions. Of course some people sometimes that can be people have be like, Oh my god, I’m so beautiful. I am the most beautiful person alive. They can be like super excited. I’m almost to the point where I’m like, Oh, okay. But I mean, they can have this very empowering feeling of being able to be seen in someone else’s eyes. Because even though like to begin with a portrait is never just me taking a photo. It’s never just one person. It’s always at least two people taking a photo of me and one with us. And they have we sit like if I’m taking a portrait, you’re probably had a wish some kind of waist like I want to be portrayed as burnable or powerful or Beautiful like you. There’s criteria for all portraits. While I see you in a certain way, that the idea there, I think that there is to get our western vision of a portrait to interlocked. So how to get a portrait that both you think it’s like, Hey, this is how I look. And of course I say yeah, I agree, this is the best view. And what I can see people having a very fixed way of this is how I look, I have this side that it’s better. I want to sound like this. And then I’m like, Yeah, but why don’t you try this and what if we try this light and this setting. And sometimes like this example where it is over excited guy, lovely person, by the way, can put my, the love of my life. remember his name? Name is Madame Heinz. He was super excited because I hadn’t posted really weirdly, like in a very specific light that made him look like a superstar. And he loved that. And he went from this like kind of profession where he, I mean, he was very, very used to having his photo taken, but he wasn’t prepared on getting the feeling of it’s this overwhelming feeling of feeling so beautiful. So that change happened through the photo session, but he realized that he had what’s the word? Basically, his perception of himself changing throughout the photo session, maybe that’s that’s what I’m looking to say that I’m I can say what people how people feel or how they change. But I can tell that the the, the perception of themselves might change, whether it’s how they see themselves, or how, like how comfortable they are on the on the set. I can see I’m changing people’s lives. I’m not, but that’s the only the only change I can perceive as like a second person. It’s only you find people.
Sorry, do you find that when you I don’t know what the balance is of how much portraiture versus how much movement photography you do, but based on what I’ve seen, you do a lot of both. So it’s not like you’re dabbling in one and your mastery looks like you’re, you really do both of them. And, um, it it feels to me like if people are trying to perform in, in the movement space, if they’re really trying to be performative about it, then it can feel a little stilted or artificial. And I’m wondering, do people do that in portraiture, like, it feels like there’s something about human nature about if they’re comfortable. And in movements face yeah, you’re literally performing for the camera, I mean, but in portraiture space, if you try to perform for the camera that it feels to me like, there’s a deeper wisdom about, if one is forcing performance, then it’s going to come across a certain way versus if one is just naturally moving. And naturally being when you’re sitting for the portraiture. You and I had been talking about how movement is so fundamentally important to people for all aspects. And it seems to me like it would be easier to get that natural human when they’re moving. And then when you you know portraiture is kind of still by definition, I mean, maybe you snap the photo while they’re moving, but it’s a fixed image. And I’m just wondering how bringing movement in for the subject makes capturing the real them easier when they’re moving and maybe harder when you’re doing portraiture or if I’m way off base about reading into how easy it is to capture the real creg
tricky question, but really great question.
Part of thinking, yeah,
I get it. I find that like as you say, people have specific especially important people have very predefined way of how they look and how they want to be some some people are like, I only want to be shot from the side. So they had this like this. I used to say they have a mask like a costume or who they want to be or who they want to be perceived as. And everyone can do this and official especially for portraiture because everyone is important photographer with their selfie selfie camera. Everyone has a very refined way of how they look because they look at themselves every day, selfie cameras in your mirror. Everyone has a very refined picture of how you look in your head, which is also why a lot of people in Very good at like they have this like this mask of how they should look at it in a photo that takes a lot more from a mover to perfect in in a movie. They’re moving, they’re moving like a perfect Parkour photo. You have to be a master tracer to be able to fake a movement. So it looks good. Do you see what I’m saying? A lot of people going going to like Kung Pecos. Like, it makes it weird. I have so many great pictures. Like a perfect example. It’s a great picture of Georgia Monroe in London, where she does these like technically perfect calls to precision. And like that’s her form is flawless. But her face he looks scared. And I’m scared. But she was surprised that her face not natural in that way. But then again, it is natural, because it’s actually how she looks authentic. Its authentic. Yeah, exactly. And that kind of authentic pneus is harder to get at in a deported because like, they only think about how you look while in the in the in the Parkour photo. You only think about it, but don’t don’t hurt yourself. So so I don’t know if that answers your question. But but like the idea of a portrait, like what I want to do is crack this, crack this mask and get into the persona. So I actually have a genuine persona, like the general person coming out into the photo other than their pre defined version of how they think they should look, because they are usually wrong. They usually have an idea of how I should look. But in my experience, a lot of people have a layer beneath that that is more genuine and more beautiful than how they think they should look. Because that’s now unraveling. How they should look at a lot of things.
Which means mean. And there’s actually nothing wrong with rambling because when people I ramble you it when people ramble, it helps us understand the people who are listening, it helps us understand, well, what is the thing that you know, Craig is passionate about? So if I ramble about how you know how to get the authentic view, or get the authentic view of someone, then that shows that I’m interested in that. So it doesn’t just because we’re rambley doesn’t mean the topic isn’t interesting. Way back, you mentioned, I’m always torn when I’m when I’m talking to people, and I know we’re recording, it’s like, oh, I only have so much time and I have so many things you mentioned about making the portrait subject comfortable. And, and yeah, you and I could probably talk shop about like how to make people comfortable in different mediums and tricks and tips. And I’m wondering if there is something that I like, try and make I always say weaponized, like, Are there any things that you can think of that you use that helped make people comfortable? That will maybe be useful for people, for people also in a coaching context? Because first of all, we haven’t mentioned the name of the portrait and the photography work that you do, we should probably do that. So first question is, what’s the name of your photography work the company and the URL? So that that’s in the show?
All right. So it’s a Swedish word. It’s actually Swedish parliament name. We’ve got to have to write that down. Sometimes national listeners. And your only URL is ftd.fe. Got my instagram handle? I like it. What I use everywhere for my for my workers. Yeah.
Cool. And then the next question is, is there a you also teach? I’m assuming you teach but you’re also part of quality movement? Yeah, the Parkour are the so what do you what do you refer to the movement itself? Do you teach Parkour? Do you teach Art du Déplacement? Do you teach a Swedish word?
I say I teach Parkour. I find Parkour could be a, like, this is like how you define it, but I think Parkour is all the things. It’s part of the Art du Déplacement. It’s Freerunning. It’s Parkour. It’s, but I use Parkour as a collection word for all things. While my and our practice is a little bit leaned into the more Art du Déplacement, to be strong to be useful kind of teaching. We have a lot of we take a lot of inspiration from the from the founders, and the history of the Parkour while they, like not not be test, but like, Don’t stray too much towards the tricky flippy competing part of the community. So where
I was going with my train of thought was, you mentioned way back like 10 minutes ago about making subjects of portraits comfortable, and then I was thinking I remember seeing In quality movement had a post that was before you can coach, you first have to capture attention. And I think I saw that on Instagram. And I’m wondering how intentional you are when you’re coaching with the process of making people feel comfortable so that maybe they know they can be authentic, and maybe they can open up. Because I’m thinking you have a lot of experience, both in portraiture and in photography of movement and in coaching, about making people feel comfortable. And I’m wondering what your thoughts are on how can coaches or people who are running small communities or big communities, what they can do to make people feel more comfortable and how that plays into how those people succeed at movement?
Yeah, so that’s, I think, having making a portrait is actually in many ways a lot similar to, to Parkour because you are helping a person overcome an obstacle, which is the Parkour it is like a physical obstacle, maybe a circle, like a fear, a feeling of obstacles, while important institutionally. Like the fear of the situation that they maybe don’t want or don’t feel comfortable with having a portrait taken. And what I’m saying is, like, my trick towards it is being relatable in everything being like, whatever someone says, like, I am super uncomfortable with having my parents like, I’m like, Yeah, I know. Totally understand. That’s why I’m behind the camera, you know, that you’re doing the hard, you’re doing the hard work here, you’re taking you’re having your portrait taken, um, you’re pushing a button, I am being relatable in the way that I understand how they feel. And they’re saying, but that’s okay. Like, we’re gonna make this work exactly. Like, like you did in the beginning. Before we talked, like, we have, like, if this doesn’t work, if we’re not happy with the Patriots, that’s fine. We’ll take pictures until until they’re happy. Same thing with with, with moving like, it’s fine it of course, we don’t want you to fail. But if there’s a what’s the word? Like? If there’s a risk, like, if the risk of failing is too big, then we go down and make it smaller and be like, yeah, it’s going to be fine. I’m here, I’m helping. I’m going to stand here and help you if it’s scary. I’m gonna, here here’s my hand, I’m being relatable. And I’m being there for them. Saying that I’d like I’ve been through this many times, both like, I’ve done this before. I’ve done with these people with people before I know what you’re feeling because I felt it as well. Yeah,
sorry. He’s looking at me while I scribble notes. I’m, I’m so glad that you brought up the point about being relatable. And I’m happy that that also works in photography, because I know that that definitely works when you’re trying to coach or when you’re trying to share something with someone. And I think that’s, I also in my head, I try not to be negative. Sometimes my internal dialogue can be negative, I try not to be negative on the podcast. And I know that sometimes I see situations where there are people who are America quoting their coaching, and when I’m watching is a self display. You know, I’m watching a rooster, you know, and I’m just like, yeah, no, that’s, that’s not coaching and the idea of, like, as a coach, go be relatable. It’s like that’s, that might be the single most effective thread for someone to pull on. So if I say, I’m gonna go be a coach. Okay, I have to be relatable, because it’s really hard to fake that. Like, it’s almost impossible to fake being relatable. Because first you have to know you have to even have had the experience to know what to say. Like, if somebody is nervous about having their picture taken, you have to have actually have been nervous at some point to go. Yeah, that’s, you know, even to make the joke about Yeah, that’s why I’m behind the camera, because that’s not really wandered by the camera. You’re behind the camera, because you’re damn good at it. Right. And but they know that too, but somehow that relatability is something that people pick up on. I’m just watching our time tick away. So I’m just so happy that we got a chance to talk but I’ll just say 19 minutes, I’ll just say and of course the final question. Three words to describe your practice,
movement or portraiture.
And I just because it’s a zoom call, I want to make sure I got that right. You said movement of,
or portraiture, are you? Are you referring to my movement practice or my bias, portraiture practice?
Movement? Oh, I see what you’re saying. I thought that was your answer. Oh, I don’t know. I’m not gonna answer that. You tell me. I mean, you don’t even have to tell them you decide what you think. portraiture means. I mean, practice means so when I say three words to describe your practice that’s on you to do whatever you want with the word practice, sorry.
Okay. If I were to say movement, it would be strong and useful. If I would say And I want us, I want to say say that that actually moves into my photography work as well, because I want my imagery to be strong. And I want it to be useful. Because I am fortunate thing people post a photo of a person, I don’t think is necessarily good, good portrait if it isn’t useful for them, whether it is to portray who they are or who they are, or their business, or even being like, in the gallery, it has to have a use. And that I think that comes a lot from like, I’ve been doing Parkour for the better part of my life now. And it hit me very hard with this idea of being used for being helping hands for people. And as I moved into photography, that was what I took my my movement practice of being trying to get a fit body to be able to help people and took that idea into the photos that I want my photography to help people in whatever I can help them if it’s to portray a message or just have them feel good about themselves or whatever it might be. So I think brawling useful goes into both with a stretch.
Terrific. I think that’s a great. I was really curious when you was wanting me to nail down practice. I’m like, I betcha. You have three words that work in either case, which is brilliant, Victor, it was a pleasure, get a chance to talk to you. We’ve talked very briefly once before in person. And when you dropped into the calendar, I’m like, Oh, yes. Awesome. So thank you so much for taking the time. It was a distinct pleasure.
It was totally mine. And I’m looking forward to meet you again this summer when I’m coming to rendezvous again.
Outstanding. Oh, and I’ll see you in a few short weeks. Terrific. Yeah, cool.