Gísli’s interest in photography started around 1980 and he got his first real camera, which was Ricoh KR10, 35mm, in 1982. He learned the basics in photographing from a photographer who had a studio in Isafjordur, his hometown, at that time.
In the beginnig he shot mainly landscape picture of the beautiful and harsh nature where he lived. He also took picture of people he met on my daily basis, but nothing professional.
Gísli studied law at the University of Iceland after graduating from High school in Reykjavík. After three years studying law, in the autumn 2011 he started at “The School of Photography” in Reykjavík, Iceland (http://www.ljosmyndaskolinn.is); and graduated in the beginning of the year 2014 as a professional Photographer.
During his studies Gísli was under guidance of some of the best photographers in Iceland: Saga Sig (http://www.sagasig.com) and Einar Falur (http://www.efi.is); Gunnar Svanberg (http://www.gunnarsvanberg.com); Spessi (http://www.spessi.com) and also of Jónatan Grétarsson (http://www.jonatan.is), who was his personal Mentor during his study.
Gísli’s main focus is in documentaries, and his interest lies in that area. Regarding his interest in documentary, he went to a special Workshop in Israel “The Other Side of the Conflict”, held by the group Punctum, (http://www.punc-tum.com/workshop_israel.html), in November 2013, under guidance of the documentary photographer, Jan Grarup (http://jangrarup.photoshelter.com).
In Mars 2014 he went to a wokshop in Asia, with emphasis on people’s live in Cambodia and Vietnam, under guidance from Thorkell Thorkellson, documentary phoptographer (http://www.thorkell.com). And in November same year he also went to workshop in Bangkok, Thailand, under guidance from “Workshopx” http://www.workshopx.org/. where he started a new project (body of Work) regarding “Ladyboys” in Asia.
Gísli has shown his photographs at an exhibition and participated in three group exhibitions in Iceland. He has published one book “Óminni Hversdagsleikans” with photographs of homeless people in Reykjavik, which he documented over several years, and more books is in the making about his travel to Asia.
Some of his work, regarding Ladboys, has been published this year (2017) in the digital-media, Gayiceland; https://gayiceland.is/2017/ladyboys-just-bewildered-lovely-girls/ and the national radio in Iceland, RUV; http://www.ruv.is/frett/myndar-ladyboys-i-tailandi where Gísli discussed this project.
Some things worth mentioning is that Gísli was asked to document an event of global warming, which was commissioned by the company VOX naturae and Skype.com in December 2013. He has also sold one of his photo of the artist Erró to the art-gallery GALERIE LOUIS CARRÉ & CIE in France. And he have a photo in “List í 365 daga 2015” (http://www.art365.is). Gísli has ,among the above, pursued traditional photographing for businesses and individuals, and today his occupation is freelance Photographer.
Gísli has been a professional NPPA membe since 2014: https://nppa.org/profile/gislihjalmar
Gísli Hjálmar Svendsen
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- Reykjavík, Iceland
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