A favorite photographer: Sune Jonsson

Sune Jonsson was born in the northern part of Sweden in 1930. I especially love his photographs of rural northern Sweden, at a time when a traditional way of life was dying out.

After a time in Stockholm, he returned to his ancestral parts of Sweden and photographed the then quickly disappearing rural part of the country. That resulted in the book “Byn med det blĂ„ huset” (The village with the blue house), published in 1959, which is probably what he’s still most famous for.

He photographed for the book with a Rolleiflex. And there is a classic look to his black and white and square frames. He photographed real people in real situations, like in their homes or at work. There is no sense of pretense, staging och faking it. Clearly, Jonsson must have had a knack for talking to people, making them comfortable enough for him to take photos of them. You get the feeling that many of them had hardly ever seen a camera.

This is of course, not all Jonsson photographed during his career. For one thing, he was present when the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968. Those photos are also impressive, pretty classic photojournalism, but my heart beats stronger for his earlier work with the Blue house.