Greetings From Jonas Fredwall Karlsson at Sun Valley
Vanity Fair's "visual mastermind" Jonas Fredwall Karlsson photographed a number of participants in Allen & Co.'s Sun Valley conference for the mag's November issue. "To sum it up: We went to the location and thought, 'We might have three people to shoot or we might have 30,' and I think we made 36 different shoots in two and a half days," remarked Fredwall Karlsson.
The portable studio was close to but not on the Idaho premises – "of course with permission from Allen & Co." – and subjects included Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Bob Iger of the Walt Disney Company, Twitter's Jack Dorsey, designer Diane Von Furstenberg, Google's Eric Schmidt, and Brian Chesky of Airbnb. "We had a great team from Vanity Fair to help: main producer Ron Beinner, plus Andrea Cuttler and Matt Ullian, and also editor Betsy Kenny Lack to help keep track of the schedule ... 'If Melinda Gates comes in at 11:30, then we can do Harvey Weinstein at 11:45.' It was somewhat like a factory or a doctor's office." Fredwall Karlsson took all of the portraits against a white backdrop. "It's interesting because it becomes only them and nothing else, yet everybody seems kind of the same in a way ... they have different mindsets, naturally; however it wasn't anyone's home turf. It wasn't mine, it wasn't theirs, so everyone was relaxed."
Asked about the challenge of capturing three dozen personalities back-to-back-to-back, Fredwall Karlsson drew a comparison to his first photo gig: "When I was seventeen or eighteen, I started taking photographs for newspapers. I had to be quick for the shoots because I was documenting what you see in the news – politicians, accidents – and I did four to five shoots per day ... it was good preparation for working under circumstances like [those of the Sun Valley portfolio]."
"It's entirely different to have a couple of hours, as opposed to five minutes," he added. "This was so fast and that brought out a specific energy. I hope it's visible in the pictures."