I was only in my early twenties when my daughter Marie came quite un-expectedly into my life. The timing did not feel too good as I was then in the very early stage of my career. It did not take very long though before I fell under her charm and fascinated by her newly opened eyes onto the world, she became a new source of inspiration. I had never taken a picture of a child until then, never thought of it really. This picture turned-out to be my first, as I was approached by Lars Hall at Hall & Cederquist in 1974 for illustrating a rejuvenating product for Johnson & Johnson advertising in Sweden. Yes, in those days the photographer was part of the visual idea and concept, which is totally inconceivable today. A talented art director was more ”steering” than “dictating” the artwork, so whenever a photographer was chosen, there was not always a definite idea or a dummy, which allowed more freedom for creativity as the whole idea was a true collaboration.
This picture was later printed as a poster and sold all over the world in over 2 million ex by Scandecor, a Swedish company based in Uppsala. Following the success of this picture, I was to become a specialist at children pictures, which was not to please me after a while when this was no longer feeling right. To the opposite of what is common today among artists, I did not wish at any price falling into a specialized category and remaining there the rest of my life..
"Le Petit Théatre"
...so in1980, tired of too many children pictures commissions, I started working on a new project, a children book, a theater played by children but this time aiming at a children public. My ambition was high as I found the existing children-book industry essentially based on ”childish” illustration which I found rather obsolete a media compared to television and film. The precision of photography would bring fantasy to a new level of credibility. We spent a year Kina and me, we worked with friends, Pia Verner-Carlsson made the costumes, Emilio Moliner painted most of the backgrounds, Christian Lefèvre painted 2 of them. My daughter living in France then and spending summer with us is well represented, as well as her friends Hedvig and Dudde living nearby. The kids had a great time, they loved it ! When it finally came out, it was totally misunderstood and never really found a publisher. It is hard to change a tradition, but I am pleased I did it... but really, it was only an introduction to what I thought could be done. Only on two more occasions was I to photograph children again, once for L´Ecole de la Classe”, a campaign for DD which Bruno Lemoult and Patrick Mikanovsky from JW Thompson Paris and later for Parry Merkley from Ogilvy NY for Nationwide Insurance