Whitney Justesen

A photographic meditation on the way we connect to our ancestors through the landscapes and places they lived and breathed. This project was about creating imagery in a place that has held fascination for Whitney's entire life, as she learned the stories of those who came before me.

Whitney Justesen

Lifestyle, travel, and portrait photographer.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Hopefully I'll still be shooting and documenting my day-to-day life, but also shooting for small companies and studios. I'd love to be doing more travel work, and continuing to create images in the places I visit.

What is a good design for you?

Something well-thought out, with a clear understanding of light, color, composition, and texture.

What was the most challenging experience during your studies?

I'm not always very good at translating my thoughts onto paper, so sometimes it was difficult for me to write papers and, of course, that included my final thesis. I find I'm much better at taking photographs or creating art than writing down my thoughts.

Who or what inspires you?

I'm inspired by other photographers--I built a very large community of photographers from around the world when I was a teenager, and I've kept up with most of them and watched their work grow and change over the years. It inspires me immensely.

How do you approach a new project?

A lot of the time, I go into a project with a fairly vague idea in mind and then I solidify it as I'm shooting and editing. I try to gain inspiration for similar artists, and then make it my own.

What advice would you give to students who just started studying in your programme?

Work with your teachers, and don't be afraid to ask questions in class. I've noticed that the students that do the best work are the ones who make themselves known in class and befriend the teachers and fellow students.

Have you changed during your studies? How?

Sometimes I think I have less of a strong idea for what I want to do going forward in my career now than I did before I started my program. I think that's because I realize there are so many opportunities available, and it feels a bit overwhelming at times.

Why did you choose to study in your programme?

I knew I wanted to further my studies in photography at around the end of 2020. I had been shooting weddings for about a decade when I realized I had burned out and wanted to go in a new direction. When I found this program, I decided to take a chance and apply, and I am so happy I got in. I certainly wanted to live abroad, and I loved the idea of attending a school with a diverse student body from all over the world.

What are you not going to miss in your studies?

Deadlines... I hate working within timelines, if I'm honest. I *am* going to miss hanging out with my fellow students though, and collaborating together on our projects.

How are you going to celebrate your graduation?

With a relaxing trip to Madrid ;)

Say hi!

Daria Kolomiiets