Originally from Stavanger, Kristian Dale has been passionate about photography since he was in high school when he made pictures of his skate-boarding palls. What has been born as a hobby, during the years became his professional fulfillment. “I always knew that I would like to go to study visual arts and in London. But after it rained continuously for 94 days on the Norwegian west coast in Stavanger, I decided to go to California instead to attend one of the most prestigious institutes for media and visual arts; London weather would have been too much the same as home” says Kristian with an amused tone.
He met his dream projects halfway into the program at Brooks Institute in California. After 2 years of fast-paced and compact studies in visual arts he went back to Norway to become the assistant for a well-established Norwegian photographer. Entrepreneurial skills are a must for success and Kristian knew how to get his first important assignment once he decided to become an independent professional. “When I stopped the full time job as assistant I got a really great project for making a tutorial for Maybelline. This was the kind of a dream project where you could really express yourself. Instead of meeting with their people and tell them what we can do, together with a group of friends we prepared an advertorial upfront. Maybelline liked it very much and a decision was made in our favor. It was a good way to start but I wouldn’t have got it if not preparing very well in advance. The cosmetics company became one of my consistent clients,” he adds.
Kristian is getting more and more interested in fashion photography after working together with ULV and other fashion brands, although not being a fashion nerd. But in this domain pictures deliver really visually strong expressions and that is really fascinating. “Everybody has a camera today and you see a lot of bloggers and influencers that are decent photographers. The job is half done when you have beautiful products and models but higher-level of work and skills are required for shooting in a studio and you must have the production mindset and the creative artistic vision” he says.
Kristian Dale's favorite picture from ULV AW17 look-book.
Kristian makes a remarkable high-quality work when shooting the look-books for ULV shirts in his co-owned studio. He has a beautiful product and a gorgeous model to work with but still he succeeds to get beyond, by making the model to be in harmony with the setting, taking control and playing with light for enhancing the beauty of the overall. For him it is also important with the chemistry between collaborators. A good mood and a great team spirit that one builds during a photo session are important conditions for creating the very best results.
One project leads to another and from one fashion job he got into an opposite environment, to photo-document a Norwegian project in Lebanon’s refugee camps. This experience had a deep impact on Kristian as he describes: “ We were there for seeing the kindergartens and elementary schools, the good work that was done with the kids. In these schools the children can have a sense of normality for half a day, if I can say so. Although nothing is normal when living in confinement. It is hard to relate to their situation. One week later I get on a flight and I am back home but these children and people are not going anywhere, they remain in a camp that is not their home.”
"The difference between downtown Beirut, Lebanon and the refugee camps just a few minutes away still blows my mind". (Kristian Dale)
He got to see not only the Syrian refugees but also the Palestinian camps that are established since tens of years in Lebanon. “There you find kids wearing a necklace with a pendant with the Palestinian map on one side and the symbol of a key on the other side. They learn from an early age that, someday, they are going to go back to the old house in their country. These people could not choose, because if they could choose where to live, they would be back at their home - and this is the grim reality” says Kristian.
Kristian Dale has many plans for the future and more documentary photos are on his professional agenda. Telling stories like he has done with the Lebanon project, telling the truth to the outside world, it is something he would absolutely like to do more of it in the future. “You can tell these stories and make a difference, these people need to be heard and they also need to know that someone is listening to them,” adds Kristian.
Nowadays media and social media are consumed in fast pace and information passes quickly to audience. Kristian believes that brands must get engaged in a good cause and communicate this to their customers. “The people who care, brands that care and do more than selling you their product, they are going to be important and make a difference. And this is why I like working with ULV, because it is something more than just creating beautiful products, it stands for a good cause with its bio-cotton fabrics” concludes Kristian.
Getting to know that ULV shirts collaborators are engaged professionals that care as much as I do about people and environment, makes ULV project to be even more meaningful. Because in the end of the day, what is important is to try changing the world for the better. And this is the dream of each entrepreneur as me and Kristian alike.