We created the boxed card set 8 Moments of Oslo in collaboration with our good friend and photographer Vidar Hagen. In this art seires, we get to experience Oslo through his eyes. Here Vidar tells us about what inspires him, his favorite photographic subjects and styles, and his approach to shooting the photographs for this series.

Style – simple is not boring to me

My photos are often simple in subject, style or composition but this isn’t a bad thing. Seen alone they might seem underwhelmed, but I embrace this. I like to suggest how or where someone hangs my pictures, whether they appear on their own or together with something else. I think sometimes it’s good to create a sense of tension with a clash or contrast – it can give the image a life of its own.

Inspiration – I don’t deconstruct it

I don’t really search for inspiration, I seem to find it everywhere – or maybe it finds me. I don’t deconstruct what I like, I just go with it. There aren’t any rules. Some days I don’t use my camera at all, whilst others I’ll take hundreds of pictures. I like random moments – certain colours, contrasts or details will interest me, and I try to capture them. I can find inspiration in a city, in nature or at home – it can be in a detail or on a large scale, it just happens. Sometimes I might miss the moment, at others it feels like the image was waiting for me to arrive. I might look back at a photo I’ve taken and not remember where it’s from, but if I like it then it works – that’s the important thing. And in a crowd of people, I’ll always be the one pointing my camera in the opposite direction.

I don't really search for inspiration, I seem to find it everywhere – or maybe it finds me.

Water – I go with the flow (and trust in rust)

When travelling, I am drawn to water. I seem to always end up at docks where small boats are moored or being repaired. I love the weathered colours of the fishing nets and equipment – I never know the names of these pieces of machinery, but when I come across them, I get excited. Maybe that’s why I initially feel disappointed if the photos I take don’t exactly capture what I saw or felt, but afterwards I’ll zoom in and there, in a blurry moment, is a perfect little detail that I was too busy to notice before. Anyone who looks through my photos will see that old paint and rust have always been good friends of mine – I suppose there are worse friends to have.

Rules – I please myself

I like pictures where the colour, pattern or structure work together but I think it’s even better when there’s “grit” in there – something that messes it up a bit – because glossy isn’t real life. I have the same attraction to photos that are a bit out of focus. I don’t like things to be too polished or “perfect”, but again, it’s not a rule. I like what I like and I don’t want to limit my creativity to a certain style or approach. For example, I will never take a photo just because it’s easy to understand or will work commercially. It’s probably the same reason I post on an obscure Instagram account called @listentowhatyousee and why I don’t use hashtags much. I don’t follow anyone, and nor do I try to sell my images. But people do buy them, so I suppose something resonates.

Technology – I use what comes to hand

I have a good camera, but I usually shoot with my iPhone just because it’s easier (though I’ve never spent the time learning how to get the best out of all its features). I don’t have a huge interest in technology and in the eight Oslo moments it was this approach that worked best. These postcards work better for being a little rough. I’m pleased with them and happy that others share my vision and can see the beauty in casual, everyday moments.

Dream – big!

I’m a lifelong music fan and when I fall in love with a particular song, I lose myself in my imagination, dreaming up a detailed video for it. I design the whole experience – the setting, styling, camera angles, everything. I create a complete vision in every detail. Each video is a little universe of unexpected experiences made just to entertain myself. It would be fun to see it all come to life, but I’m not so good at dreaming on a budget!