on this week in Paris

Just back from a shoot in Paris. Also opened a new exhibition that will run for another week. Its titled Momentary Bliss and includes both old a new work. Run by won’t you. Its in Palais Royal, at 168-173 Galerie de Valois 75001 Paris.


on sleepless nights

Have been staying up late making collages lately. Need to figure out a way to keep doing that when I travel. The need to work in an analog way is growing equally fast as the speed at which we do productions these days. Never though I would miss the darkroom this much. Not necessarily the results, but the process. And the calm. That said, I love shooting digitally. Its great for the team to be able to see results instantly. And its great for the clients of course. I guess I want both words.

Violent coertion / Social contracts / Escaping nature

on a skyline

My last stay at the Maritime hotel in NY was somewhat colored by the fact that I was reading Bill Cleggs memoir Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man at the same time. It was great, scary, compelling and totally freaked me out. I guess what really got to me is the fact that a lot of the things that happened in his book, happened at places that are very familiar and safe for me.


on those days

Busy busy period right now. Stockholm Paris London in a haze. Lovely!
Found an old scan from, maybe 2005? Used to go past Palais de Tokyo almost every day. I miss skating so much it hurts.

Some guy skating, another one watching. 

on t

Did a shoot with The New York Times magazine T in New York a while ago.

T_1 T_2 T_3 T_4 T_5

Photographer: Martin Vallin / CameraLink
Prop Stylist: Noemi Bonazzi / Brydges Mackinney
NY Times Style Director / Kate Lanphear
Models: Julia Joseph / Next Models

Christina Ambers / Parts Models
Hair/Makeup: Miriam Robstad / Bryan Bantry
Manicure: Roseann Singleton / Art Department
NY Times Creative Director: Patrick Li
NY Times Senior Art Director: Aurelie Pellissier
NY Times Senior Photo Editor: Jamie Sims

on narcisse

Did a shoot for the new beauty magazine Narcisse with darling make up artist Ludovic Engrange in Paris last yearIt was one of those shoots where everything just came together really naturally. Ended up doing a ton of pictures. Here is a couple of them.

martin_vallin_narcisse_1 martin_vallin_narcisse_2 martin_vallin_narcisse_3 martin_vallin_narcisse_4 martin_vallin_narcisse_5 martin_vallin_narcisse_6

Photographer Martin Vallin c/o Mily Kadz.
Make-up Artist Ludovic Engrand c/o Shu Uemura Paris.
Model Jenna Earle c/o Next Models Paris.
Creative Direction Azadeh Zoraghi
Fashion Direction René Gloor
Hair Stylist Takayuki Nukui.
Calligraphist Sachiko Kano.
Make-up Assistant Margaux Jalouzot.
Production Assistant Adélaïde Goetz.
Post-Production B’pong.
All make-up by SHU UEMURA

on the mountains

We try to go hiking at least a couple of times a year up in the swedish mountains. At the top of one of them there is this big rock in the middle of nothing (or everything, depending on your philosophical view of things). And every time I see that piece of stone it has the same effect on me. I get really worked up, and focused, and inspired, and filled with stamina. The first couple of times I went and re-read books like Walden by Thoreau to sort of explain it to myself. Nature. Then I went on to the old philosophy books from the university. Not for an explanation per se. More to define things for myself. Now I just kind of embrace it without trying to explain it.

Growing up there was a couple of older guys who went out into the woods two times a year to get absolutely hammered and dance around a fire. To reload on energy I guess. Even though I suspect they had some other, more esoterically grounded, reasons for doing so. It seemed absurd at the time. And a bit dangerous as there could be as cold as -30° C when they went in the winter. However they always came back.

The rock

on ink, Nike and children of war

I can’t stop painting. I mean, I have always painted and made collages, thats how I got in to photography in the first place. As a way of remembering, and sketching I guess. Lately I can’t stop it. I mean I still shoot as much as always Its just that when I get home at night or if I have an hour unplanned in my studio, I paint. And its funny because photography for me is a bit detached. Even if I compose everything and direct all the models and all of that its still feels like the photographs will come out the way it has to come out (no, that doesn’t always go for advertising of course). Its the logical sum of research, mood, experience and the team you choose to work with.

The funny thing with painting is that even though the compositions feel that way, the subject matters doesn’t at all have that clarity to it. I keep researching and reading books and sketching and it still leaves me a little bit… undecided? Its a funny feeling. I have found myself going back to the political and philosophical literature I studied at the university. And often just to double-check things.

Anyway. On thursday one of my recent paintings (Ink on paper) goes on sale in Amsterdam. Its an auction made by NIKE where all the profit goes to Warchild

I suggest you go bid on something you like there, or simply donate some money anyway. The fact that there are children suffering from armed conflicts should be enough to leave every person alive ashamed for humanity until the day they die.


“The stipulation in (b) is lexically prior to that in (a). Fair equality of opportunity”
Martin Vallin
Ink on paper

on being back

Back from vacation. Beaches, citys and mountains, what more could one possibly ask for. Are going to be shooting in Stockholm for a couple of weeks now. My wordpress was somehow taken over though so now its back in a new shape. Hope you´ll like it.


on being proud

Erikas new book is finally out! Its the second part in the trilogy about the mirrors. Its so very impressive that she is an author, an editor at Elle, an amazing mother and a student of physics at the same time! Get your copy (in swedish) here. I cant wait for the final book to be done…

An old portrait of Erika (and me) from when we were both assistants.

on an old scan

Old picture of Ellinore Erichsen. I do miss my old Hasselblad 500 CM that was stolen a while ago. I will get a new one very soon. Its kind of funny what happens when you lose all your gear. At first I thought it would make working kind of hard. Turns out its the opposite. I was never as dependent as I thought on the right cameras and flashes. Instead it opened up ideas in a new way.

on death and meaning

Could it be that the idea, and even fear of, meaninglessness and death are both necessary for creative processes. And that meaning historically speaking has been to be seen by (a) god and that in the modern world that has been reduced to just seen, by anybody. And could that mean that the possible death of identity is a modern memento mori? Could explain things I guess.