10 minutes with Michael Friberg

Interviews with Photographers November 23, 2011 8:36 am

When did you first know that you wanted to be a photographer?

I was doing photography stuff in college trying to shoot snowboarding but I was terrible at it. I think it was after my frist trip to Africa that I realized I might have a future in it. I got the film back and felt like I had done something better than I thought I was capable of doing. Thats sort of when the downward spiral into documentary photography really started. 

 

Michael Friberg

Michael Friberg

Michael Friberg

Michael Friberg

 

Who would your dream subject be?

 

Somebody who doesn’t flinch or smile every time I raise the camera! I actually think I am working on my dream project right now. Its about Mormon culture and history in Utah. Its very unique and I feel like I am able to look at it with fresh eyes because it hasn’t really been done. I’m super excited about it and I am obsessing about all the details.

 

Michael Friberg

Michael Friberg

Michael Friberg

Michael Friberg

 

Tell me about your project West Yellowstone. How long did you work on it and what got you interested in wild bison and the situation in and around Yellowstone?

 

I got turned on to the issue up there first by a friend who’s family had land up there that was sort of in the middle of the whole thing. They kept telling me I should come up and shoot it but I was really broke at the time so I kept making excuses. They bought me some film to get me going (thanks to the Galanis family) and I headed up there for a week to see what was going on. What I saw blew my mind. These Bison leave the arbitrary boundaries of Yellowstone National Park (because they are migratory animals) and all of a sudden they loose all of their protections. They were getting rounded up with packs of cowboys, 4 wheelers and helicopters.
I wish I could have gone up more but Montana really took a toll on my financially. I went up twice over two years on long trips and both times it was kind of a disaster. The first time two of my three cameras broke and last year my car essentially blew up and I ended up leaving it up there when a friend graciously drove up and saved me.

 

Michael Friberg

Michael Friberg

Michael Friberg

Michael Friberg

 

What are some of your goals for the upcoming year?

 

 I just started work on a big project about Mormon culture and history in Utah and I really want to spend a considerable amount of time on it. I feel like I haven’t devoted enough time and energy to past projects and I want this one to be deeper and more well rounded than things I have worked on in the past. On the more professional end of things i’d like to start getting some assignments that take me places. I’ve been getting quick local assignments for some newspapers and magazines lately but I would love to get some more in depth stuff to shoot. On the non photographic side of things, I just got married so my goal this year is to not be a lousy husband.

 

 

(Michael is based in Salt Lake City, Utah. See more of his work, here.)

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