Flash as Spice
By: Mats Alfredsson | September, 2022
When street photographer Johan Jehlbo goes out with his camera in one hand his flash is in the other and the images are most often close-ups.
Full Frontal Flash!
I catch Johan online between two morning meetings. He’s in his car that he has just parked. I myself am at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee at hand.
Out of this grows a really interesting conversation.
– It’s a rather extreme way to photograph, street that is, Johan declares. You can’t escape!
– But… it’s also a more honest way to photograph. You are noticed.
’I thought one needed a tougher attitude’
When Johan started this eye catching style of photography he was certain that one needed a tougher attitude. He had seen the world renowned and mythical New York photographer Bruce Gilden and his rather brutal style.
– First I thought that that was only doable in New York. That you needed that kind of environment. Now I have realized that it’s not needed.
– The flash per se doesn’t raise alarm. A camera and a flash have a natural relationship.
Johan maintains that most of the reactions he gets come from other photographers. The code is to not be noticed, to be the fly on the wall at the moment of exposure.
– It’s the way you photograph, how the photographer behaves when the image is captured that creates a reaction. I experience myself as a humble person.