Olle Carlsson is a Swedish photographer and musician based in Stockholm and is known for his quirky fashion photos and band photos.
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Born in 1982 Olle grew up in Storvreta outside Uppsala and displayed a strong interest in creativity at an early age mostly drawing and building things, showing little interest in school.
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His older siblings Klas and Cecilia played an important role introducing him to music like Imperiet, Depeche Mode, Nirvana, The Prodigy, Cypress Hill, Front 242, Skinny Puppy, Pantera, Meshuggah, Morbid Angel etc.
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At the age of ten he was introduced to guitar by his childhood friend Alex and bought his first acoustic guitar. They called their jam sessions Hospital, pretending to be mentally disabled patients in a hospital playing weird chords. During the eurodisco era he started going to discos winning many dancing competitions.
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Turning thirteen he bought his first electric guitar, an Ibanez Roadstar II and started a grunge duo called Scarecrow with new friend Josef on the drums and rehearsed in a practice room at the church of Storvreta. The same year Olle bought his first computer, an Atari ST of which he used to hammer down sex novels from his wildest imaginations about his teachers.
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Fifteen years old he moved to his cousins in Täby, Stockholm where he joined the metal band Brazen on guitar, later known as Mistweaver. He wrote the song which they won the talent show Rockbucklan with, inspired by bands like Dimmu Borgir, In Flames, Hammerfall. They did a studio recording at Sunlight Studios, a studio that defined the sound of Scandinavian metal. Olle left ninth grade with the scholarship in music.
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Olle started high school in Natural Science at Åva Gymnasium but felt lost, unmotivated and started over at Täby Media Gymnasium. He was an active concert goer at the peak of the metal wave in Sweden at the end of the nineties and started to use the school’s camera equipment to film and take pictures of gigs which ended up on his first website in 1999.
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At the turn of the millennium he moved back to Uppsala and bought his first analogue Nikon FE camera kit and started to focus on visuals. He explored camera techniques and quickly started to apply creativity into his photos arranging disturbed scenes of violence, murders, suicides inspired by the lives of Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Marshall Applewhite etc. Nineteen years old he fell in love with a girl that became the first woman in front of his camera and he developed a taste to explore beauty in his creativity which eventually led him into fashion photos.
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In late high school he started his own death metal solo project called Cannibalism inspired by extreme bands like Hate Eternal and Origin which ended up with a single and a gory music video of a woman, at the time his girlfriend, going berserk on guys. The project was later praised by legendary black metal band Dark Funeral among others.
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The last year in high school when Olle saw photography as a way of making a living the ambition exploded into a frenzy of shootings. Some classmates even believed he was on drugs. His school Grafiskt Ubildningscenter were supplying him with equipment and film rolls. Olle left high school with the scholarship in photography.
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Right after high school he became one of the photography assistants in Studio Bingo Rimér at Bondegatan, Stockholm supporting their start up of both magazines Moore and Pause. Olle left the studio quickly to focus on his own work and Bingo was pissed for him having too much ambition.
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Olle was shooting a lots of bands like Korn, Meshuggah, Opeth, Soilwork, HIM, The Haunted, Dark Funeral, Katatonia, In This Moment on record labels like Roadrunner Records, Century Media Records, Nuclear Blast Records, Earache Records, Burning Heart Records, photos that got published all over the world. He also did music videos for artists like Shebang, Linda (ex Supernatural), In This Moment, Insision etc. aired on MTV and MTV2.
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He was foremost pushing for his fashion photography and did editorials in magazines like Italian BMM Magazine with supermodel Fernanda Lessa, Slitz, Slitz Man, British Dorian Magazine, British Refresh Magazine, Pause Magazine and many test shoots to improve the portfolio. He also hooked up with photographer agents Kim Wallin Photographers, Stockholm and Valeria Elle Photographers, Milan. Many articles were written about him.
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In his early twenties when he started to hook up with chicks online he lost control of his sex life. As his friend recalled; “If he could put all this energy into business instead of women he would be rich by now”.
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Twenty-three years old Olle suddenly decides to drop the promising photography ambition to start up a new grunge band called Nothing and relocated from his photo studio at Kungsholmsstrand, Stockholm to Los Angeles with a bag, his Gibson guitar and $5000 on his card.
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His former makeup artist Daniella Midenge wanted to join as a photography assistant but little did she know Olle had already moved on to music. Today, Daniella has established herself as a talented fashion photographer.
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Olle basically locked himself up in closets with his home studio at girlfriend’s apartments for many years writing on song materials to develop his own sound while living the life in West Hollywood. After a couple of years he decided to relocate back to Stockholm to keep going with the music. The struggle with the song writing and finding the right musicians for the band ultimately made him drop the music ambition. The band ended with a final music video recorded in the ruins of Beckomberga psychiatric hospital with Henry Ranta from Soilwork on drums.
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After over ten years away from the photography ambition he has decided to stick to the photography and is currently rebuilding his portfolio inspired by photographers like Robert Nettarp, Steven Klein, Terry Richardson, Guy Bourdin, Steven Meisel, Mikael Jansson, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, David LaChapelle, Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, Mario Testino, Larry Clark, Robert Mapplethorpe, Franscesca Woodman, Ren Hang etc.

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“As I got older I started to realize that being a rock musician is not something I wanted to grow old with. Today I’m more of a Timberlake, Pharrell clean cut. I can totally see myself becoming an old man with a camera around my neck, under the condition that I stick to my vision rather than taking photos that other people wants me to do, that very thing that killed the inspiration in the first place. It’s a whole different story today as I have matured. I am more confident of who I am and what I want to do no matter if it’s normal or not, normal is boring. In creativity my eccentric personality is a strength, rather than a weakness in a social context I don’t belong to anyway. I understand the whole picture much better today and this is only going to be more interesting the longer into this creative journey I’m coming. For me this is fusion of different already known elements and from that something new and fresh comes out of it, like scientific research. I am perceptive and soak up things like a sponge. All my influences are important. Everything I know makes me unique and the less stereotypical and more open I am for input the more original it will be. When people say they love my stuff I feel; just wait, I haven’t started yet”.
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references;
valeria elle photographer agency
kim wallin group photographer agency
studio bingo rimér
prettypegs
awb pr agency
sailor vodka
grafiskt utbildningcenter
tikab structural mechanics
syscomworld
soul eye management
rastaelvis music management
soundpollution distribution
century media records usa
century media records germany
nuclear blast records usa
nuclear blast records germany
burning heart records
earache records
peaceville records
roadrunner records
regain records
plugged records
sanctuary records
dockyard records
pushplaymedia records
btm records
ninetone records
bmm magazine
pau.se magazine
slitz man magazine
sund magazine
dorian magazine
refresh magazine
close up magazine
slavestate magazine
fuzz magazine
guitar world magazine
metalhammer magazine
terrorizer magazine
samsung magazine
mdm tidsskrifter
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