This is his sixth book and his first in English. I am of course referring to one of the finest watch photographers on the planet, Kristian Haagen. For the launch of his new book, ‘Hashtags and Watches‘ we thought it would be cool to find out a little more about the man behind the lens. The book consists of 176 pages of original horological photography. In this short interview we find out who inspired Kristian to start taking photo’s nd he tell us the story surrounding a particular shoot that caused quite a reaction on social media!
When did you get into photography?
I was inspired by my dad. He was an avid photographer and he taught me how to develop in the dark of his workshop.
Are you self taught?
I have been into photography since I was a kid, but it is not until the last three years that I started to do photography again. The iPhone kinna killed “photography” for a while. But now I appreciate the difference between “shooting pictures” with an iPhone and “doing photography” with my cameras. (The photography in the book is made with Nikon D90, Df and FujiFilm Pro-1 and X-E1)
What, if anything, inspires your style of Photography?
Being a Scandinavian you will not see any blingy props, shiny supercars or Cristal champagne in my pictures. So I guess the inspiration for my habitat is very obvious in my photography. Always understated.
Has your style evolved?
Hahaha, yes. Shooting more in RAW formats than ever before.
Have you had any accidents with the watches while shooting??
Not while making the pictures. But after! Well, not so much an accident, more of an incident. Many Instagrammers fumed, when I shared a picture of my Patek Philippe Nautilus covered in saw dust. Many people thought I had buried it in sand. I imagine little Kristian Haagen voodoo dolls were made that day and pierced by sensitive watch lovers.
What is it about watches that inspires you to capture them as you do?
They are pieces of art. And wonderful models too: They don’t smoke, do coke nor fart. Very well behaved models, I’d say. Easy to work with!
Did you see yourself as photographer as a kid at school?
Oh yes, I would borrow my dads cameras as often as I could.
What inspired you to do the book?
This is my sixth book on watches and I decided long time ago that I wanted to do a book in English. And since I am a hopeless print romantic with a growing love for Instagram, I decided that the book should reflect this. Hence the title and the format.
What word would you like people to associate with your images?
Unpretentious. Fun. Passionate. And that accounts for the captions in the book too, hopefully.
What books have you produced in the past?
My first book was published in 2002, my second in 2008. And in 2011 I decided to start a series of watches books of which I have published three already. And more to come.
Who’s this book for?
I dedicated it to my father. So it is actually an homage to him as he taught me photography. My dad aside, ‘Hashtags and Watches‘ is a book for lovers of watches and social media-addicts.
How much is the book and where can we buy one?
‘Hashtags and Watches‘ is priced at 55 Euro / 60 Dollars – You will be able to buy your copy simply by emailing me at: [email protected]
You can learn more about Kristian Haagen through his own, personal watches, via two episodes of The Collector’s Series: