Photographer Andrea Gjestvang, a member of the NJP group, has been named Freelancer of the Year.

The freelance journalists in the Norwegian Union of Journalists are responsible for naming the Freelancerof the Year, and this year’s jury consisted of Linn Stalsberg, Åshild Eidem, Per Asbjørn Risnes jr. and Paul S. Amundsen.

The jury states: “Andrea Gjestvang is a freelancer who has spent tremendous energy on few, but meticulously prepared projects. Sometimes this kind of work does not yield returns in the short term. It calls for great personal commitment, and it is not characterised by compromise – quite to the contrary. That merits respect. With the project “Disappearing Ice Age”, she portrayed life on Greenland over a long period of time.

“She also spent several months in Finnmark County for the project ‘Everybody Knows This is Nowhere’, working exclusively on her own project. However, she does not stop there: She returns and spends new, long periods of time among young people in Finnmark County to make a photo documentary that takes us behind the clichés. At a time characterised by a steady stream of fast-breaking news, we were impressed and inspired by this slower, more thorough way of working.”

The jury also attached emphasis to Gjestvang’s involvement on behalf of other freelancers with the blog ‘Heartbeat Photography’, on which, along with Photographer Marie Sjøvold, she promotes other female photographers. The prize is NOK 20 000 and a diploma illustrated by Finn Graff.

See Andrea Gjestvang’s projects on her website and see the Heartbeat blog here.