O&A London celebrates its 20th anniversary this year! With a growing number of international projects, and to create distinctive collections of furniture, lighting, textiles, wallpaper and rugs under its unique brand, the company develops collaborative projects with amazing and talented people. We are fortunate to work with leaders in their field: people who do not see boundaries and make the impossible possible. We proudly name these creators, not just as partners but as co-designers and friends.
We are now delighted to announce the anniversary project «20 // 20». The project will present a series of exclusive interviews. We are happy to present to you the interview with Anders Gramer, a person through whose eyes we see the most beautiful homes, interior photographer from UK and co-founder of the Creative Co-op.
O&A: Anders, what did you dream about when you were a child?
AG: I grew up in the countryside of northern Sweden, so my dream was to work in nature, like a zoologist. I also did a lot of sport when I was young so my other dream was to become a footballer.
O&A: You were born in Sweden. Tell us about your professional path?
AG: A lot of things in life are based on coincidences and my choice of career was as well. I did compulsory military service in the Air Force as a photographer’s assistant and a printer in the darkroom. It was then that I became interested in photography.
After completing the service, I moved to Stockholm to pursue a career in photography and started to work as an assistant for a few years, both in a commercial studio and for a freelance photographer. I wanted to learn more so I studied a Bachelor of Fine Art Photography at Gothenburg University. Love brought me to London and I started to work in fashion and portrait photography before moving across to shooting interiors.
O&A: Do you remember your first interior shooting?
AG: One of my first shoots was in London for Elle Decoration Sweden. It was with a stylist who used to work for one of the photographers I had assisted, so I was a bit nervous!
O&A: What else is interesting for you to photograph?
AG: I work a lot with my own still life art projects. I love to create and experiment so I grow plants and microbes and then photograph them.
I am also a practicing Zen Buddhist, so I am interested in the interconnection and impermanence of life.
O&A: What is your source of inspiration?
AG: I have so many! I am a very curious person and love to read about many topics from art to design to science so I am lucky in that inspiration just flows most of the time for me. I also love to collaborate with other creative people and that inspires me.
O&A: What interior style do you prefer?
AG: As a Swede, I do love the 1950’s-60’s Scandinavian design.
O&A: If you don’t like the design can it become a problem for your work?
AG: No, I see the picture as a whole. There are so many other components, like composition, colour and lighting. That is where I focus.
O&A: What helps you during the shooting? What hinders?
AG: A calm mind and nice people to work with always helps. Too many distractions and too many biscuits, hinders!
O&A: How did you meet Anna Agapova? Tell me about your cooperation?
AG: I met Anna two years ago when I shot her furniture collection. That was very enjoyable, as there was a good collaboration and we were all focused on making good pictures!
O&A: What are the latest trends in interior photos?
AG: From a photographer’s point of view, I think the lighting has become sharper and lighter shadows, a more graphic approach. I think it is based on the fact that the picture we see in the media today are mainly on a screen and we see so many, so the brain doesn’t have the time to digest images that are too complicated.
O&A: What is your advice to a young man/lady who dreams of being a photographer?
AG: Learn the trade properly, don’t rush as it’s not a race, spend time assisting, and enjoy it. If you don’t like the area you are working in, change direction as photography has so many different applications.
O&A: What is your most successful photo?
AG: Probably my second shoot for The World of Interiors. We shot it in my old flat. When the issue came out they had made one of my pictures into the cover. That was a surreal and amazing feeling to walk into the newsagent and see my picture on the cover, especially as I just started to shoot interiors.
O&A: What are you dreaming about today?
AG: Well, I haven’t been back home to Sweden for a long time because of Covid, so I am actually dreaming of having a swim in the lake in the forest where I come from. I know it is a bit cold now but it would be lovely to swim and be enveloped by the trees.