Behind the Lens - Mattias Fredriksson

Nov 30, 2011
by Ian Hylands  
BEHIND THE LENS
MATTIAS
FREDRIKSSON

Mattias Fredriksson portraited in re Sweden. Photographed in July 2011 during the scandinavian photo challengen 2011
  Tell us a bit about yourself...

I'm a photographer based in Åre, Sweden. I probably mostly known for my ski photography, but I have actually been shooting mountain biking longer. I started riding when I was 17 (now 37) and shortly after I got into photography. Basically I did my trial and error with friends riding bikes and figured out how the camera worked. Now-a-days I chase deep powder snow all over the world in the winter, and epic trails in the summer. Could not ask for anything else, I love it!

I travel a lot, but love to shred with my friends back home in Åre. In the winters I don't see them so often - I have to travel a lot to find that deep snow - but in the summers I'm here a lot. It's a great place to ride bikes and I shoot a lot here.

I'm a senior photographer at Bike and Powder Magazines, but my mountain bike work is also seen in Dirt Magazine (England), Spoke Magazine (NZ), FREERIDE (Germany), Bike Magazin (Germany), Big Bike (France) and some more.

  How long have you been shooting photos?

I took my very first photos when I was doing a heavy metal and punk fanzine at age 11-12, but they were crap. I took my first photos that got published in 1994. That was ski photos.

  How long have you been shooting mountain biking?

I started shooting biking around 1993, but it took a while before I figured it out and got anything good.

  Do you ride yourself? How does this effect your images?

I ride a lot, both cross country and downhill. I have been riding for a long time and it's my main summer activity. As soon as the snow is gone and the winter season comes to an end I get on the mountain bike program and ride until the snow comes late in the fall. I ride almost 100 days every season. In the same way as with skiing and ski photography, I'm sure it effects my images in a good way. I can put myself in the same position as the rider (well, as long as it´s not Martin Söderström or Matt Hunter...) and have an understanding for what's gonna happen in front of the lens. I hope this shows in the shots.

  Do you shoot anything else besides mountain biking?

As I already been into a lot, I shoot skiing. Also a bit of snowboarding, ski touring and a lot of travel stories. In the summers some running and hiking once in a while. I love to shoot portraits too. I think it's important to have a broad range in my photography - that way you always challenge yourself and don't get bored.

  Do you have another job as well or is it just photography?

Just photography. I used to work as an editor and photo editor, but for more than 10 years it's only been photography for me.

  What is your favorite thing to shoot?

Epic singletrack and powder skiing in great light. With motivated riders.

  What kind of cameras do you use?

Nikon D3s. Best camera I ever had. I try to bring a pretty light kit - mostly just one body and five lenses.

  Is there any other gear that you use frequently?

Nope.

  In a lot of your ski and bike images in the past you've shown a great ability to use flash, matching it beautifully with the ambient light. Most of your more recent photos don't have any flash however, and you don't mention it in your equipment. Do you still use flash, or is it something that you're getting away from?

I still take out the flashes once in a while, but I love natural light. And with the cameras of today, I actually have more chances to work with natural light. They are so good in the highes and the lows, I can shoot with my Nikon D3s on ISO 1000 in the trees and it still looks great. And for another reason; I prefer to be able to get the locations, both on skis and bikes, rather than walking or driving to the spot. That puts me in more unique locations and I rather take a shot in natural light in a sick location than standing with flashes on a less interesting location just so I can get that strobe light. I hope that make sense.

  Who are your main clients?

As far as mountain biking goes I do a lot of assignment work for Dirt Magazine, Magasin Åre and Pedal Magazine in Sweden. Commercial work for Red Bull, Hestra Gloves, Continental, Peak Performance and Salomon.

  Anything else we should know about you?

I just got the selected to be one of five main exhibitors at the biggest photo trade show in Sweden. In mid November my photos will be shown over 60 meters total during a full weekend. Super stoked on this because the whole industry will be there. This show also travels to Copenhagen, Denmark and Oslo, Norway. I'm the first one in skiing and/or biking that got selected for this so it's a huge deal for me.





  Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?

Work hard, ride you bike a lot and shoot all kinds of biking. In all weathers. Anybody - well, almost - can take a decent shot in great weather with perfect conditions. Not as many can produce great shots in bad weather and if you can capture that great ride in the mud and the feeling, well then you are getting shots that stands out. Sort of. What I mean is; be diversed and capture unique moments. Few bike magazines are interested in your shots from Crankworx Slopestyle finals even if you have a great shot. There are 30 more photographers that has that same shot. But a photograph from a epic ride, in a special moment and maybee not even the action shot itself, that could be a banger. That´s one step, to take unique shots. Then you gotta sell the photos too. Spread them around, be active on social media sites and get your name out there. Travel. Find a niche and if you have passion and patient it will happen for you. But don´t be too much - don´t call photo editors everyday and ask if they are gonna run your shots. That will not help you.




Earlier this year Mattias competed in the Scandanavian Photo Challenge, and while he didn't win he did put together a pretty amazing slideshow...

(Password protected)
Views: 8,407    Faves: 71    Comments: 0
This video is password protected.


You can find more of Mattias' work on his website - www.mattiasfredriksson.com




Past Photographer Interviews:

Behind the Lens - Marc Landry
Behind the Lens - Reuben Krabbe
Behind the Lens - Ale Di Lullo
Behind the Lens - Sebas Romero
Behind the Lens - Sven Martin
Through the Lens - Baxter Redfern
Through the Lens - Fraser Britton
Through the Lens - Margus Riga
Through the Lens - Justin Brantley
Through the Lens - Ian Hylands
Through the Lens - Keith Valentine
Behind the Lens - Thomas Gaffney
Through the lens - Jacob Gibbins
Through the Lens - Eric Palmer



56 Comments

  • + 42
 AMAZING SHOTS!!! and finally a photographer that's all about natural light. I'm a beginner mountain bike photographer and LOVE natural lighting.
  • + 7
 I agree completely - these photos are so fantastic. Variety in the style and feel of each shot, best set of photos Ive seen on here in awhile - honestly - good stuff.
  • + 9
 so where can i order Mattias' 2012 calendar?
  • + 3
 no to crazy about those bumperstickers!
  • + 1
 Awesome shots! This guy rocks!
  • + 5
 Haha those bumper stickers were totally boss! 'US Healthcare Makes me sick', lovin' it!
  • + 19
 personally, i think some of these shots are better than a few of the top 4 POY pics
  • - 5
flag downhiller101 (Nov 30, 2011 at 10:04) (Below Threshold)
 but thats so funny how canadians come down to america to get medical care.. just sayin!
  • + 13
 There is an incredible difference between American 'healthcare' and American medical care... America has some amazing doctors and medical care, but the healthcare system is one of the worst in the world. The last time the World Health Organization published a ranking of Healthcare by nation America was 37th...
  • + 10
 the WHOLE world's got problems stemming from finances..so..let's get back to enjoying Mattias' pics again.
  • + 3
 Um. No. Politics don't belong on here, even in a constructively shot photograph. NOT a fan that attitude, especially from this site...
  • + 7
 Damn it fullbug, you just killed my evenings entertainment...
  • + 4
 sorry, bunkey. not done on purpose... I just wanted to get back to the pics. carry on gentlemen
  • + 3
 I think almost any of these shots are more worthy for POY than the ones left...
  • + 2
 ian your right, i read the text wrong! And i agree that the health care is messed up! I say Get Obama out of office so we can reform the healthcare system..
  • + 12
 Not sure who Drew DeGeer is, but I think he has summed up what I want perfecctly in that one quote!
  • + 2
 Right?!
  • + 3
 It's like I have been searching for a quote that sums up my life . . . and bam, there it is
  • + 2
 replace "drink good coffee" with "eat good food" for me, but the 'vibe' is nice.
  • + 1
 @Dexter that's stuck to the espresso machine at our local coffee shop in Nelson. So funny I knew where that was the second I saw it. Best latte in BC, my brothers. Every time I read that quote I'm like 'yeah man, you said it'
  • + 8
 So sick, just amazing shots! Really like the mix of lifestyle in many of them too.
  • + 6
 Good luck Ian For finding tomorrows pod
  • + 1
 I met up with Mattias on a riding vacation to Whistler a few years back, he was there for the MSP premier. We ended up riding together all day and he stopped to shoot some photos on a couple sections just because he was so stoked on riding/photography. I have them in my gmail folder somewhere... One of those guys more interested in your story than his own rad life, super humble guy. To top it off he got us into the MSP premier. If you read this Mattias PM me, it's Aaron from Jackson Hole, WY.
  • + 1
 "I ride a lot, both cross country and downhill. I have been riding for a long time and it's my main summer activity. As soon as the snow is gone and the winter season comes to an end I get on the mountain bike program and ride until the snow comes late in the fall. I ride almost 100 days every season. In the same way as with skiing and ski photography, I'm sure it effects my images in a good way. I can put myself in the same position as the rider (well, as long as it´s not Martin Söderström or Matt Hunter...) and have an understanding for what's gonna happen in front of the lens. I hope this shows in the shots."


Same!!
  • + 0
 Support of Obama/Biden and peace? That trucks owner must be confused. They must not know about Syria, Egypt, Lybia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somilia, Iran, Iraq, and wherever else Obama is sending troops around the world. If they want peace and the troops to come home, they should have a Ron Paul Bumper Sticker instead.
  • + 1
 seriously great photography. Pure, without a use of a flash light. Showing lot of emotion and joy of riding, highlighting beautiful landscapes.
  • + 2
 amazing man! cant even choose which one is my favorite!
  • + 1
 I just googled the Nikon D3. It only runs about $5,500...without a lense. And I thought bikes were expensive.
  • + 2
 amazing photographer... PODS until 2012 in there.
  • + 3
 pod for allWink
  • + 1
 Really fantastic pictures!Hope his riding skill will be as good as Matt hunter someday.
  • + 1
 Awesome article!! one of the best photographers in the web.. and seems to be a well rider too!
  • + 2
 great pics!! wish i was in one of them!!!
  • + 1
 the scrub shot is the best! you can tell he's haulin' ass!!!
  • + 1
 Theres a lot of videos out there that aren't even close to this good
  • + 1
 Yes i like the lens and the behind. Must combine these two
  • + 1
 Not much else can be said but, excellent, thank you for sharing.
  • + 1
 The best photographer round Smile
  • + 1
 would it be called a PVOD?
  • + 1
 great colourful shots ! Smile
  • + 1
 Song two please please please!
  • + 1
 pretty much everyone of his pictures could of been POD!
  • + 1
 Awesome... Many PODs

What's the first song called?
  • + 2
 Adele - Rolling in the deep
  • + 1
 Mattias Rules!!! Every time i watch his pictures, i can say only WOW!
  • + 2
 Fredriksson*
  • + 2
 so many pods
  • + 2
 Mattias is the man. Ken
  • + 1
 cheak out the lockness monster at 1:27!
  • + 2
 Bangers galore!
  • + 1
 amazing photos!!
  • + 1
 Agreed^ wicked article!
  • + 1
 Dope article!
  • + 1
 I love it
  • + 1
 goot shot
  • + 1
 Amazing pictures!

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