Lizel Strömberg

Backstage with De Vet Du
Quite a while ago, De Vet Du performed at Trädgårn in Gothenburg and I was there to photograph them. The reason why it took such a long time for me to publish this post, is because it took me so long time to edit these photos. Also because it has happened a lot since then, I haven't had the time to finish it earlier. Anyway, during Melfest I had already talked with them about their tour and had let them know that I was thinking about attending the show when they came to Gothenburg
It's always a struggle for me to get in to shows whether it's me having access or just tickets, it's always something that comes up. I was a bit worried about getting in the venue because of miscommunications which could have result in me getting kicked out. I made sure to be on set early if any complications appeared. I did had small issues to varify that I was allowed inside, but the guys helped me out and everything went well in the end. 
I was invited backstage and it was nice meeting the guys again. I hung out with them before the set and photographed some candid shots of them since I know they like those kind of photos. 
I didn't know what to really expect from the show or anything. I kinda knew that they would have a couple of friends backstage, but not as many as it was during the night. First it was just Rickard Engfors (who worked with them during Melfest) and I, but through out the night it came more and more people. There was no room for everyone to sit basically. And let me tell you this, I was the only girl there. Not the most comfortable situation, but I managed and they didn't made me feel like I didn't belong there. 
Right before the show, I decided to take a group photo of De Vet Du and Rickard since I knew things would be more hectic afterwards.
De Vet Du prepared the last things for their show while Rickard and I walked outside to get where we was suppose to be. This was my first time shooting at a clubgig and I have to admit, I was very nervous for it. I was really concerned about the lack of lighting inside the venue and the smoke that I knew was coming. I had to use my ISO at a very high number, which I think was at 3200 as the most which I hated. I couldn't do much about it since I wanted to make sure I had a high shutter speed to be able freeze their movements. 
The major issues I had was the lack of lighting and the colours. Since I don't have a lens cap the light hitted right in the lens several times which made lens flares in my pictures. My settings in the picture style that I usually use didn't work in this kind of enviroment which I only realized what to change after half of the show. 
Despite having technical issues, I did managed to capture some of the highlights during their performance. Even if the editing process took a long time, I could fortunate save some of the photos in the editing. 
Beforehand I had made research to see how De Vet Du's show are set up, to get a feeling of what I could expect and to be more prepared of what I could capture. Unfortunately, I didn't found a lot of videos of their shows which is a shame. There were not even a lot of photos, which is really bad. I don't see why not more photographers take photos of them since they are a lot of fun. And if you are going to be one of those photographers that only take photos of people to get you clicks, De Vet Du's fans are dedicated. If I could I would have photographed them at more times before, not for clicks but because you can get funny and good pictures of them. Also because I enjoyed seeing their show.
At one point during the show, Dj-Hunk stops the music and doesn't seems satisfied. In response, Johan says something like: "Oh, Dj-Hunk is not happy because we forgot to introduce him". Dj-Hunk gets intoduced to the audience and he walks from the Dj booth to recieve the audience cheer and flex his muscles in response. 
I think it's a great idea to give Dj-Hunk his own moment, to get him more into the light and give the audience a chance to see him more since he's always in the back, almost invisible. Also, it was great for me since it gave me another opportunity to get photos of Hunk which was something more than just him standing by the Dj booth. 
It was my first time to get to see De Vet Du perform outside of the Melfest bubble. The only time I've seen them before was at a day gig in one of the malls nearby, which honestly doesn't count. I loved seeing the show and to get a feeling how things are when they are out touring. It was nice to get to see what the actual response is from the crowd. I enjoyed getting to hear them perform all those well known songs such as "Fy Fan Va Stek", "Dansa Som Kungen" and "Fucka Ur".
I think there's small things in their show they could work on, to get it even better. Like having something more in between some of the songs, coordinate their movements on stage better so they are not so spread out on stage all the time and maybe have some kind of ending to it? It could be a small thing like just having all the members together at one spot and do some kind of thank you? Overall the show was great and funny. You get to see De Vet Du make jokes with each other, being all silly and you get a feeling of their different personalities. 
After the show, we went backstage a bit to get ready to go out in the club for the guys to meet their fans. We got escourted to a rope off space in the venue beside the bar. The square we had to move in, was super small. It was basically De Vet Du, the guys that were backstage and I in that small area which got even more crowed of people getting in. It got too much at one point and the security had to make the square bigger and bring some fences so people wouldn't get in as easy. It felt like the guys in De Vet Du kept an eye on me to make sure I was okay and didn't got pushed, which I really appreciated. Even some of the guys that were backstage earlier, was keeping an eye on me, helped me and made a way for me to get my photos. 
Despite the pushing it was fun seeing all the fans coming up to De Vet Du to get their photo taken. Some would think that one or two members would get more approached but I think it was equal between them.
When I'm at shows or signings, I'm used to see small fangirls approaching the artists and be fangirling a lot. But this time, I got to see people in my age or even older, fangirling over De Vet Du which was fun to see. A lot of the people tried to act cool and talk like if it wasn't a big deal for them, but as soon as one of the members in De Vet Du turned around to the next person, they would fangirl so hard! xD
It was one fan in particular which had "dressed up" as Dj-Hunk and wanted a picture with Hunk, he acted all cool and Johan even made a Snapchat video of him with Hunk. He didn't made a fuss, but as soon as they have walked away, he fangirled SO HARD. He basically disappeared behind the fence, crouch down and kind of couldn't believed what happened. Haha. It was so funny, loved it!
On the internet, I've seen a lot of people trying to figure out the mystery behind Dj-Hunk and it was so funny to see it in real life as well. I can't even remember how many times people tried to make Dj-Hunk talk to them, make him take off his glasses and just try to make him react. Haha. 
(Unfortunately, I didn't get any good pictures of Dj-Hunk while meeting fans since he was most of the times next to me so it was too close for me to get a decent angle.)
I had a lot of fun attending De Vet Du's show, to meet and to photograph them. I enjoyed seeing the chaos, the love and support they recieve from their fans. It was nice getting to see more of who they are. 
Here's a clip of snippets from the night if you want to see more of it. 
I want to end this post with saying thank you to Johan, Chris, Tor and Dj-Hunk for letting me to come. It was nice meeting you again and I hope you liked the pictures. I'm sure we will see each other soon enough. 
To everyone reading this: until next time, ingat! 
Hanami @ Botaniska Trädgården
Hanami is a ancient tradidion that still lives on today. It might not have the same meaning in the modern settings, but it still excist and gets celebrated. I don't know a lot about the tradition or the Japanesee culture to understand what it is really about. If I've understood what I've got told is that the orgins of Hanami have to do with making offerings to ensure a good haverst. It also has a lot of poetry about the flowers because of how they're symbolic of life.  
Earlier this year, my friend Lina and attended the Hanami celebrations in Gothenburg at "Botaniska Trädgårn". We had never been at this event before but we were looking forward to attend it and photograph the beautiful flowers around the garden. 
First thing that took place that day was the releasing of the koi fishes in the garden's pond. It was a lot more people there to see the release than I expected. It was fun seeing the curiosity in the kids faces. 
We briefly met Carol that day as well, which was very nice. I hadn't met her in a while so it was nice seeing her agian. 
I spotted this older couple while photographing and they were so cute. The older man seemed excited to be there and kept photographing the things he saw around him. 
Unfortunately I wasn't that good at capturing the cherry blossom at all, most my photos turned out very shaky and the focus wasn't where it should have been. Photographing flowers and other herbs is not something I do on a daily basis and something I need to learn to get better at. 
It was nice seeing Lina photographing and doing her thing. I can tell how much more confident she has become in her photography and I'm so proud over her!
If you want to see Lina's photos from the day you can find them on her blog:
After seeing how pretty the background turned out in my photo of Lina, I decided I wanted a photo of myself as well. It's not often that I'm in the photos myself, but I'm trying to become more confident infront of the camera. 
Lina and I decided to check out the greenhouse in Botaniska. As it was a very windy and chilly day, it was very nice going in to the warmth. 
In one part of the garden, you were able to try Japanese tea. I drink a lot of tea, but I had never tasted Japanese tea before. It was very interesting to see the woman making and preparing the tea. It had very interesting flavor and it was much stronger than I thought. It was nice getting to taste it, but it wasn't something for me. 
We ended our day with a Fika. I had a very nice day together with Lina! It was nice hanging out with Lina outside from our work to just photograph, chill and just have a nice day. Lina, if you are reading this: Thank you for being a great friend and for your company!
This was it for this time and I hope you enjoyed this post. 
Until next time, ingat!
TB | Final rehearsals of Melfest 2017
The schedule for the final week is a bit different from the semifinals and as press we only get one day were we get to get our footage of the rehearsals. The day didn't started as early as it used to, which was a relief since we had stayed up late the night before. The press got let in the arena and we hurry inside to get a good seat for me to photograph from. Since I don't have the largest or the best zoom lens, I had to make sure I sat close enough to the stage. 
First act to perform after the press conference that they held right before the rehearsals starts, was Ace Wilder. I basically already knew the performance in and out from semifinal 1, so I knew what to expect and know when to be ready to capture the moments. "Wild Child" was one of my favorite songs and performance in this year's contest and I was happy to be able to see and photograph the perfomance live once again. 
I loved that you could see how much Ace was enjoying evey minute she was on stage. She had said in our interview that she had felt pressure last year when entereing the contest and was putting the most into her performance. This year, she didn't felt the same pressure and she had said that she could enjoy it a lot more than before which I think really showed in her performance. 
Next up was Boris René. I think all of the people that have been following me here and on my social medias know how much I like Boris. He's such a good performer with a charisma that is hard to find in Sweden. If any one of the performance that I've watched the most, is definitley Boris's, which I guess is mostly because we saw him in semifinal 1 and Andra Chansen. 
The amount of pictures I have of Boris from Melfest is ridicioulus many, haha. Despite the fact that I had seen him only the week before, I was happy to see him do his thing on stage once again. This time around, he had another jacket to see if he wanted to change the style a bit. I liked the jacket in Mint but the red one suited him much better. 
Lisa Ajax was next up. I still have a bit hard time to decide what to think about her song and performance of "I Don't Give A". Photographing Lisa performance was not much, I only took a couple of pictures since I knew there was not a lot of variation to it.
I was super excited to see Robin Bengtsson's performance of "I Can't Go On". I love everything about it! I loved watching the peformance and it was nice seeing him doing something different than I've seen him do before. When I first started follow Robin's music career, he was the guy with a guitar in his hand singing acoustic songs (which is a version of him I love as well) but now he looks more comfortable and are actually moving on stage. It's nice seeing him stepping up his game. :)
Joik isn't something Swedes usually listen to, but it seems like a lot of people have a soft spot for Jon Henrik Fjällgren and do actually pay attention to his songs. Jon Henrik was a prefavorite for sure this year, and a lot of people were excited to see him in the contest again. 
It was the first time for the audience to see him perform with someone featuring on his track. I wasn't sure what to expect of "En Värld Av Strider" since there would be someone joining him, I really like the song, even if you don't understand most of what they are singing, you can still feel the emotions they are putting into their performance. It was nice having them in the contest to show something different from what everyone else was doing. 
I liked Jon Henrik and Aninia's chemestry. Despite the fact that it was Aninia's first time entering Melfest, she did a good job. As many people know, Jon Henrik wasn't feeling alright and was going through a tough time as he lost a very close friend not long ago. It was nice to see that Aninia did her best in supporting Jon Henrik and be there for him during the circus of Melfest. 
I loved hearing the song live and made an even bigger impact when you heard it in the arena. 
Another person that returned to the contest was Mariette. She has been a person I've come acrossed now and then, but isn't an artist that I put on play. First time I heard "A Million Years", I was pleasent suprised over how good it was. In my opinion, "A Million Years" is a much better song than her last entry "Don't Stop Believing". 
The bungjy ropes that Mariette had in her performance of "A million Years" was definitley something that stood out. I think it was cool and I'm impressed of the dancers doing the choregraphy. It takes a lot of balance, focus and strenght to jump around and doing their thing. 
Next up, was Fo&O. I still have a soft spot for them and I respect them for having a lot hands on everything they do in their work. The lyrics of "Gotta Thing About You" is still stuck in my head and I can't help it to sing along to it whenever I hear someone play it. 
The lighting in FO&O's performance is one of the best ones in this year's Melfest, at least when it comes to me photographing it. It's very easy photographing the boys and it's fun seeing them do what they do. 
The blackhorse of this year's competition was definitely Nano. I don't think anyone expected someone as new as him to become the big favorite of everyone, specially when there were a lot of returning acts. Personally, I do like "Hold On" to be able to listen to it, but it's not a song that I would put on my playlist. 
It's not that a lot of things happening in Nano's performance, it's mostly the lighting that changes. I tried to capture something else than I did the first semifinal. I managed to capture the change in the lighting. And one of the best things in the performance is the choir that Nano has, I really like hearing them live, it had such impact to it. 
Another big favorite this year was Wiktoria. She debuted last year in Melfest and gained a big following. She was a prefavorite this year and I think she felt the pressure to come back right away with such a success. I was happy to see that she had something else to her performance this year and that she actually moved around on stage and did a little choregraphy of some kind. 
"As I Lay Me Down" is a very catchy tune and it's easy to follow along. I would lie if I didn't told you that I know most of the lyrics. I kind of like it, but at the same time I don't. I'm sorry to say, but it's something about Wiktoria's voice that makes me not wanting to pay that much attention to it. I guess it's just that you can have your own liking when it comes to vocals. 
Benjamin Ingrosso was one of the debuting artist this year. I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to think about him before he did his performance in his semifinal. I had heard his previous singles but it wasn't something for me. 
Once it was time for him to do his performance back in his semifinal, I was pleasant surprised over how good it was. "Good Loving" is such a great tune and you get that feel good vibe from listening to it. I think Benjamin did a great job doing his performance and he showed a lot of charisma on stage. 
I was looking forward to see Benjamin's performance live and feel the vibe in the arena. 
Last but not least, Owe ended the rehearsals with his performance of "Boogieman Blues". People's opinions of Owe is very split. I think it's one of those things were you either like it or hate it. I think it was great to see Owe and the love he got. It was fun to see that he got to do his thing and to actually qualify to the finals. To prove that Melfest is not only for the younger people. 
Owe's performance had it's own charm. It was fun to watch and Owe really put in everything in his performance. A funny thing that happened during the rehearsals was that the press had been told that Owe was going to take it easy, and not do his performance full out because he was tired and it was very late at night. I think it was about 9-10pm when he did his rehearsals.
Anyway, we were told he would hold back but once they said that and he started to do his last round, he did the opposite. He put everything to it in his performance and more, it was so fun! I think he said after the round through that he wanted to do his best since the press was there and nothing would hold him back to do what he came to do. Haha. Kudos to him!
After Owe's round through, that was it for the rehearsals of Melfest 2017. It had been a very long day of me photographing all of the rehearsals while editing photos in between. I think we left the arena around 10pm. It was fun being in the arena to take photos of the performances though. During the rehearsals is when I get to do what I do best and I love it.
Jenevia had been sitting by my side during the whole time editing the interviews we had got the previous day.  I have to say, getting back to the hotel that day was lovely. We continue to edit our footage a bit when we got back to the hotel, but I called it a night and got some well needed sleep. I doubt that people understand how much Jenevia and I work during Melfest, we basically barely get some sleep at all. 
Anyway, that was it for this post, hope you enjoyed seeing my photos and reading some Melfest stories even if it wasn't that much to say. 
Until next time, ingat!