Pictures Of Lili

by Corina Gaffey.

Alek Wek, The Klaxons and Andrea Roche – what do they all have in common? Apart from the obvious – rich, successful and famous they have all been shot by the notable Dublin based fashion and music photographer Lili Forberg.

A little over two years ago Forberg emerged on the photography scene and has been steadily raising her profile ever since. She cites her biggest achievement as being able to work full time in the demanding industry “I feel so grateful that I am able to work full time as a photographer since the day I graduated from college.”

Forberg began photography at a young age. At the age of twelve, when most of us are more concerned with hanging out with our friends, Forberg was borrowing her mother’s cameras and shooting gigs. She admits that her mother knew of these late night adventures and approved of her hobby. “My mother was good about me going to gigs as long as I did my homework and went to school. My friends lied to their parents. I never had to.”

Going straight for the big guns so to speak – Forberg’s first ever gig she shot was Guns ‘n’ Roses in Cologne, an hour away from her then home in Düsseldorf, Germany. Her mother, who accompanied her into the venue, drove her but when the music got too loud she left leaving Forberg on her own. Thinking of myself as a twelve year old, being left alone in a large venue surrounded by middle age rockers, my reaction is to ask her if she was scared. Without hesitation Forberg says: “Not at all. I was too excited to be scared.”

Being a female photographer in the sweaty pits of rock concerts would appear intimidating to most. Interested in how the dynamic works in a small cramped area, where time is at the essence to get the shot, I ask Forberg is there huge competition in the photography pit. Far from the picture I imagined Forberg quashes my thoughts of snarling photographers out for themselves. “There is huge camaraderie in the pit at gigs. There is no pushing and if there is a good spot to shoot everyone swaps around.”

It is not just the pits of concerts that are a male subjugated area; the photography trade in general seems to be ruled by men. Principally in the international fashion market it is apparent where I stumble to name ten female fashion photographers. But in Dublin there is a relatively new batch of female fashion photographers trying to revert the tradition. Forberg is among one of them.

Obviously being a female photographer proves advantageous at certain times especially when it comes to Forberg’s fashion work. She feels that it certainly helps the working relationship and provides a much calmer, relaxed atmosphere. Although some of her shots seem provocative she believes that the sleaze element is absent and it always shows in the photographs if the model is comfortable.

Working with new models is part of everyday life for Forberg and it is essential that they be at ease. Regularly she has girls that have never stood in front of a camera before. Forberg says that she always tries to embolden new models to move on their own and try new poses. Some models do not need to be encouraged. “I really love discovering new talent. The results are sometimes amazing. I can’t get over some girls that are 16 years old still in school and pose like a top model. Some girls are just natural.”

Forberg has never advertised. The Internet has been an essential and invaluable tool for awareness of her company. With the likes of Myspace, Bebo and her photography blog, Forberg has mobilized every outlet for promotion and awareness. The nature of these sites allows Forberg to network with other people in the profession that might be unknown to her.

Forberg’s online presence also provides clients a snap shot in to her life. On her photography blog she uploads photographs of nights out and behind the scenes at shoots, it feels like peering into a diary and one sees what kind of person she is. Forberg started her blog when she was bored living in Germany and wanted to communicate with her friends. She realised the power of her blog when random strangers would leave comments admiring her work. Today she gets about 170 hits a day.

On Forberg’s Bebo, a social networking site, she uploads personal photographs as well as her work with recognisable Irish models Katy French, Aoife Cogan and Glenda Gilson. Through Bebo young girls contact her inquiring about how to come a model and Forberg’s model portfolio services. On average she gets 5 – 10 inquires about model portfolios a day.

Judging by the amount of attention Lili Foberg is getting it seems that 2008 offers a huge scope of further endeavors for the assiduous photographer. You never know you could be next to be captured by the lens of Lili Forberg.


4 thoughts on “Pictures Of Lili

  1. Hey that’s a brill piece! Really interesting to hear how you cam into things: HOW COOL IS YOUR MUM!!

    Hope I’m like her in a few years time 🙂

    May that interview be the first of very many! Here’s to you xx

  2. Lili

    Been great watching your blog and your rise to stardom :-). Always good to see real talent bubble to the top.

    Keep it up and don’t forget us poor ‘arty’ photogs! 🙂

    Take care
    Graham Gosling

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