Damian Heinisch, Elin Høyland, Fred Ivar Klemetsen, Katinka Goldberg, Line Søndergaard, Monica Strømdahl, Paul S. Amundsen and Therese Alice Sanne will be taking part in the fourth round of The Norwegian Journal of Photography (NJP).

“This year’s participants fall into two distinct categories. Some have a more traditional documentary expression, while others use a more artistic and to some extent conceptual expression”, observes Rune Eraker, one of the three NJP editors.

The editors, i.e. Eraker, Laara Matsen and Espen Rasmussen, selected the eight photographers on the basis of their applications. A total of about 60 applications were submitted to NJP, and the photographers’ photos and project descriptions were considered before the editors decided who would be taking part in the fourth round.

Gathering in September

On Friday, 21 April, the new group was presented at the book launch at Fritt Ord’s premises. The next day, the photographers met to present their projects and discuss the road ahead.

Now, the photographers will have time to get their projects off the ground and take pictures. The next session will be in early September. We will look at each other’s photos and determine where we are heading from there. Before that time, however, the photographers will be given individual guidance and follow up by the editors”, comments Rune Eraker.

Eight photographers

There will be a number of sessions at which the photographers and editors will discuss the stories told by the photos. In addition, they will gather for a three-day workshop at Holmsbu, to which one or more external mentors will be invited. Ultimately, the final editing for the book will commence, and Publisher Gösta Flemming of the publishing house Journal will play an important part at that point.

In this round, the group will consist of eight photographers. There were nine photographers in round three. Why vary the number of participants?

“NJP has no fixed target for how many photographers the project should comprise, but earlier rounds have had between eight and ten participants. Several factors are involved, not least that there should not be too many similar modes of expression and the content must be varied. Editor Gösta is invariably eager to devote more space to each individual, so he would prefer a smaller number. Ultimately, of course, it comes down to how many are so good not only in terms of their photographs, but also of their ideas and projects, that it would be difficult not to include them”, smiles Rune Eraker.

An objective perspective

Eraker explains that the role played by the editors is to provide an outsider’s perspective on the photographers’ projects, and to encourage the group to bond.

“We provide an objective perspective on both the individual photos they take and on each photographer’s overall project. Moreover, we try to encourage them to feel more confident in each other and, hopefully, in themselves as well, if need be. We also bring in former NJP participants in order to create a larger community in the field of independent documentary photography”, reports the editor.”

The application requirements for NJP include 30 photographs, as well as a description of a project that the applicant would like to work on under the auspices of the programme. What should the next round of applicants bear in mind?

“Applicants for the next round should be aware that we are looking for photographers who stand out, owing to their own unique mode of expression and consistent style. Demonstrating talent by taking several different types of photographs will not win kudos. The 30 photos submitted can originate from two different projects, but the above statement applies to this as well. Meanwhile, we hope to see several stories on social issues, perhaps even from outside of Norway?” says Eraker.