PHLEARN MagazineInterview With Erik Almas Pt.1

Interview With Erik Almas Pt.1

Join Phlearn and Erik Almas for this extended interview and get a glimpse into the mind of one of the top commercial photographers in the world.

This is part one of a multiple hour interview in which Erik and I discuss what we feel are some of the most important things a photographer should focus on and how to get to where he is today. Erik discusses his revelation with photography that helped to Guide him to where he is today.

Throughout Erik’s career he has always stayed true to who he is as a person and brought his unique vision to his work. That is one of the most important lessons I learned in speaking with him. Everyone is unique and interesting in their own way, and brining that to your art is what separates you from everyone else. Don’t try to be anyone but yourself, or you will find yourself failing.


Erik Almas Bio

Photography sort of fell in my lap. When looking back at how I became a photographer it is almost like it rained on me. I didn’t have a great interest in pictures. Or art. And a relative didn’t give me a camera when I was 12. It was small random sources hitting me different places and when faced with the crossroad and question of; “What do I do now?” I was soaked up in the idea of becoming a photographer. Since then small encounters have led me halfway across the world and then around it a few extra times. I grew up in Trondheim, Norway. A big city by Norwegian standards but barely a blip on the map with its population of 150,000 people.

I remember vividly the day I moved to the US to study photography flying in over the Bay Area at night. The Lights went on forever. I was 22 and felt really small, intimidated by the number of Lights and what they illuminated. I attended the Academy of Art University for 4 years. Had some truly inspiring teachers that changed my goals from shooting sporting events for my hometown newspaper to wanting to create great images. I graduated in 99 with Best portfolio in the Spring Show. In 2004 they gave me an Honorary Degree of Outstanding Alumnus. I assisted for almost 3 years. I got inspired, encouraged and nurtured in my own image making and got a set of working habits that have helped me succeed on my own. I’m glad I can say I have.

The idea of becoming a photographer is now my reality and I’m truly grateful. I ended up staying in San Francisco and have now lived here for 15 Years and split my time between San Francisco and recently Brooklyn. A great place to call home, though I frequently go back to Norway, which I also call home. I shoot pictures and I’m too happy doing it, trying to make the ones today better than yesterday.

Portfolio Images

These are a few of the images that we discuss during this extended interview with Erik Almas. We discuss Erik’s process on how he goes about creating these images as well as his Inspiration and philosophy behind them.

Land Surveyors
Dane Johnson

Dane Johnson was the former Editor of PHLEARN Magazine, where he helped creatives share their stories. Dane currently is the co-founder of Clementine Coffee Roasters and he accepts most assertions of his hipster-ness and millennialism without flinching.


Darth Vader Takes the Family out for Pizza by Jax Navarro

Jax Navarro has figured out a fun and creative way to merge his hobbies – photography and Star Wars – and share his stories with the world. The LA-based toy photographer recreates the lives of some of our favorite, and some of our most loathed, Star Wars characters. Here, Jax explains how he captured one particular shot of Darth Vader on a night out with his family.


Using Magician’s Tricks to Create Surreal, Mind-Bending Photos

Conceptual photographer Ronen Goldman has spent a decade creating his “Surrealistic Pillow Project,” dream-inspired images brought to life using magician’s tricks to fool the eye and create a twisted reality. In our interview, we talk to Ronen about the ongoing project and what it means to him; plus, he reveals some secrets behind his creative process and offers some helpful tips.