Tenba Translator: Photo Etiquette in Sweden
/ Published by TenbaPacking your Tenba bag for a trip to Sweden? We asked Swedish photographer Claudia Fried how to ask nicely when you want to take someone’s picture there.Photograph © Kat Miller.
How do you ask people if you can photograph them in Swedish?
Claudia Fried: Hej! Ursäkta mig, skulle jag kunna få ta en bild av dig? (Hello! Excuse me, is it okay for me to take a picture of you?)
Is there an equivalent to saying “Cheese!” in Sweden?
Claudia Fried: A lot of people say "Say cheese!" in English, just because it's a funny classic and it makes people laugh. Otherwise we say, "Ge mig ett stort leende nu," which means "Give me a big smile now."
Are people comfortable with being photographed on the street in Sweden?
Claudia Fried: In
the United States, you can sometimes just take a picture of someone in a public
space without asking for permission, but in Sweden you should definitely
ask for permission. Tell them who you are and ask if it’s ok to take
their picture. Tell them if the picture will be used in a publication.
Swedes are pretty open minded, so it would be unusual for someone to say
no. People are flattered if a photographer wants to take their picture in Sweden. But asking is a nice thing to do,
and as a photographer, you’ll probably want to involve your subject a
little bit. If you don't approach Swedish people, they’re pretty closed
off. If you just tried to take a picture without asking, they’d probably look the other way or pretend you’re not there.
They wouldn’t confront you, because Swedish people aren’t very
confrontational. But they would turn away or walk away and try not to be in the picture.
Claudia Fried was born in Munich, Germany and grew up in Stockholm, Sweden in an artistic family where photography played a large role. She was given her first camera at the tender age of seven, but not until she started modeling in the late eighties did she realize taking pictures was actually a job. Claudia began her career with photography classes and assisting various photographers throughout Europe. In the early nineties she came to New York to study photography at ICP, and spent four years assisting various photographers before becoming the manager at Sun Studios. In 1999, she ventured forth with her career as a photographer and landed major advertising and editorial clients, including IKEA, Volkswagen, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan. Since 2004 Claudia has expanded her professional experience to include creative direction, art direction, and production. Claudia is currently working as a photographer, managing Tribeca Skyline Studios, and publishing her own online magazine, Claph Magazine.
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