I am Tommy Simonsen, photographer and official Fujifilm Nordic ambassador from northern Norway who specialises in landscapes, wildlife, adventure and documentary photography, as well as tour/expedition management. My field of work is mainly Northern Norway with special focus on High Arctic Svalbard, but I have been leading several month-long photo expeditions to Central America, Patagonia and Antarctica, Asia, East Africa and Madagascar in the last nine years.
Photography has always been important to me. I got my first camera as a seven-year-old, and already at that point it challenged my creativity. I started asking questions about the pictures I got out of it, which made me try again and reach out for a higher quality in my pictures. I have worked professionally as a photographer since 1991. The first years mainly in portraits, but from 2003 to now, travel and landscape photography as well as expeditions and photo education have been the main focus of my profession. For the last 20 years I have provided pictures to Norwegian tourism companies, as well as a number of book productions for different publishers. Today, I run Kvitebjørn Foto together with my girlfriend Harriet M. Olsen, who specialises in portrait and product photography.
I am a true northerner, born in 1970 and raised in the small northern Norwegian city of Harstad in Southern Troms county on the border of Lofoten and Vesterålen. I am perceived as robust and enduring, with great pleasure for photography and usually with a glint in the eye. As a child, I learned early to enjoy being outdoor by my father and participating in organised outdoors activities. This has made me able to exploit the best of what the arctic nature has to offer, in both the joys and challenges. In any case, I manage to take care of myself, the ones I bring with me, all the while working on our photographic and expeditionary objectives. Although there are a lot of landscapes among my pictures, they are often recognizable by animals or people in them.
The portrait photographer is still in me, I love working with other people – both colleagues and friends describe me as super social. One of my main priorities is to get a high result in the assignments I undertake, whether it is shooting or tour production, and I want to make sure to give my clients a good experience and photographic results. Although I enjoy the cold places, I work just as well in +50 on the highlands of Madagascar as in -40 on the high plains of the north. When I bring people, I understand the needs of the clients and provide them with photo locations, accommodation, transport and meals according to their wishes.
Since 2016 I have been a proud official ambassador for Fujifilm Nordic, and participated in the testing of the flagship X-T2. My experience of extremely hard use in field helps us improve the equipment. I love to talk and travel around the country, show pictures and lecture about my travels and share my experiences in the field and use of the equipment, which is often not necessarily written in the official manuals. More about Fujifilm
Luckily, I have several good friends that happens to be photographers and film makers. This short video portrait of me is made by my talented German friend Jan-Christoph Elle that runs a business in Magdeburg outside Berlin.