Interview Ola Billmont

Photography has become a big part of my everyday life. When I started shooting in 2012 I was dedicated to street photography but as time passed I have broaden my photography perspective a lot. 98.8% of all photos I take are with analog cameras of all kinds. I do prefer slide film when it comes to color but there are no limitations. These (sometimes) outdated cameras has such a personality and they produce great images. And today I don’t care if the camera is big, actually the bigger the better. I even shoot 8×10″ large format cameras.

About « Volksfest »:
Octoberfest (Volksfest) is the worlds largest event with million visitors. It’s celebrating the local brewery traditions and people are there to enjoy themselves. It’s all about having a good time.



« I just participate, mingle with the people, had a beer, a laugh. That’s when they don’t care if you take their photos. »

What make you start this project?
It was a coincidence. A close friend of mine, Christian Nilsson. He is a Swede living in Zürich asked me if we shouldn’t meet up there. So we met the first time in München and started shooting.

How many time did you visit the festival? What did you improve on each shooting of the project?
I went for three years in a row. The first year I had quite a few beers myself and we were shooting pretty late in the night so those pictures became ”dark”. The second year I aimed to get ”brighter” photos and in the last year I even shot regular daylight photos. And when you gather a lot of photos you always find out what’s missing so I was even looking for photos in special settings.

How did you work and organize yourself on the place? Were you on your own?
It’s was very simple, at least for me. I just participate, mingle with the people, had a beer, a laugh. That’s when they don’t care if you take their photos. No I travelled with my Swedish buddy Christan Nilson. We both shoot with a flash but with different styles.

Are you thinking of making a photobook of it?
Yes, that’s the plan but now I got two projects that are finished plus another one in the wraps. So I can’t say when it will happen.

How did you work on the project edit?
I haven’t started with the editing yet, that process will start when I make a book.

What about the editing process of your first photobook “A Day at the Races”?
That’s a hard part of making a book. I have a very tuff time time editing for an exhibit or a book on my own. With A Day at The Races I had a book designer who also help me with the editing and sequencing. His name is Ben Molina and lives in San Francisco.

Did you shoot Volksfest using a digital camera or film camera? Which camera did you use? What film did you use?
No I almost exclusively shoot analog. Volksfest was shot with two different 6×7 cameras, Mamiya 7II with a 50mm lens and Voigtländer Bessa W 670III and also with a 28mm lens (equivalent).

« When you gather a lot of photos you always find out what’s missing »

Your five favorite photobooks?
Was, that changes all the time. I buy quite a few books. So to take a few recent ones (in no order):
– ”Spår av en befolkning” by Anders Kristensson, a Swedish photo book from the 90’s
– ”Buzzing at the sill” by Peter van Agtmael a Magnum photographer
– ”Ende und anfang-Early Trips” by JH Engström, another Swedish photographer
– ”Tyre Choice” by Gerry Johansson, a Swedish photographer
– ”Werkstatt für Photographie” from Koenig Books, a beautiful thick book with a lot of German photographers from the 70s

Interview by Jérome Lorieau / In Frame

Photographer’s Links: | Instagram