In the beginning of 2010 I moved to Oslo. First it was gonna be just one month, than it became two months, than I moved all of my stuff and hustled my way in the big city barely affording the rent on my non-existing salary as a non-existing person in Norway.
The person who made my move possible was a friend of a friend Anne Valeur. Without meeting me she said that I could borrow her room when she was travelling, and I eventually moved in the room beside hers and we became roomies. I loved it. Thanks to her I got to see a new Oslo, the hipster cultural one, the movie people, the music people, the artists and more hustling.
Several months later it was from this room I finished my first book, wrote words on the walls, had my Oslo melancholia, and also was apparently spied on by the Norwegian police when my biography on being a refugee was published. I was dreaming of being a writer, and Anne was an aspiring photographer with an amazing ability to connect with people and eye for detail.
This May, 2018, I met Anne again in her photo studio in Oslo. In a few years she has become an even better photographer, doing beautiful charismatic projects, contributing in the books and travelling around the world.
During the photo shoot, Anne told me that many male photographers take pictures of men from down up perspective, and women from up and down perspective to make them prettier. Well, we both didnt want any of that BS, and she deliberately took pictures from a different perspective. Because we all tell stories and perspective matter.
I could not have imagined to ask anyone else but her to take my new press photos for my 5th book and also a new company Startup Migrants. It was great to look back together on the past 8 years, see how we have grown as individuals and professionals and how life turns out if you follow your heart even though it seems like the scariest and hardest choice.
If you use press photos, you MUST credit it to the photographer: Anne Valeur