Direct Messages with @lar5erik
Direct Messages is a new interview series where I ask some quick questions to brilliant creators in our community. The interview happens over Instagram DMs to keep the conversation fun, light-hearted, and authentic. Have a suggestion for who I should interview next? DM me on Instagram!
If I were to survey the watch community, I think I'd have a hard time finding someone who doesn't know, follow, and idolize the work of @lar5erik. His was the first watch account I followed before I even started Watch Studies (that's right, I follow him on two accounts!) and I'm all but certain that that isn't an uncommon statement for most folks around here.
His shots are crisp, clean, and absurdly consistent. And don't get me started on his impressive watch collection.
In this new series, aptly named Direct Messages, I ask some rapid fire questions over Instagram DMs to shed some light on amazing creators in the community. Today, I'm excited to share my chat with the man and legend that has inspired us all to become better watch photographers. Enjoy!
Verne: Hey man! Thanks for taking the time to do this today! I know it's been a busy Friday for you. 🙂 Let's start with the basics: who are you, where are you, and what do you do?
Kim: Hey, I’m Kim from Helsinki Finland, Lars-Erik is my middle name and that’s pretty much the story behind the name of my account, tried to come up with something cool and clever, but I didn’t. I work as a Industrial Designer and I have a design studio with a friend of mine. My main interest is riding bikes, second watches and photography and third coffee! 😄🤙🏼
I'd say that that's a pretty killer combo of hobbies! How did you get into watch photography?
I have a bit of background of shooting photos, I studied architecture and shot film back then, next I shot some bike events and other bike stuff and as I got into watches I found this great IG watch community!
Well that certainly explains your refined aesthetic! What's your watch photography setup look like today? Gear, environment, etc?
I shoot with Leica Q2, mainly just natural light, I have some diffusors and just white boxes for reflectors. I edit with Lightroom, very simple setup and process. Mostly shoot in our apartment's study room which has a nice light. I should shoot more outdoors!
Damn, mainly natural light!! I feel like that might surprise a lot of people. Ok, this next one's kinda fun. Dig up your first watch photo on Instagram (I’ll give you a few minutes to scroll to it lol). How would you critique that shot today?
A lot of scrolling, over 1K shots!! 😅
lollll thanks for putting in the work!!
This is where it all started, I was interested in watches and created this account to follow watch content. Then one day I decided to take a wrist shot. Looks really bad, but actually like sharing it because it might inspire that there is hope even though the first try is not very good! 😄
I always say that if you aren't embarrassed by your past work, then you haven't grown enough! What's one piece of feedback you'd give your past self to improve this shot?
Just keep shooting, explore other accounts and photography inspiration. Main thing is to keep trying and eventually you get better! I found two great accounts @thewatchdude2 and @collector.101 took a lot of inspiration and these guys are still today my inspiration to get better!!
I think a lot of us would count those two amongst our list of inspiring accounts! Okay, last question! Hopefully far less scrolling for this one: what’s your favorite watch photo that you’ve ever posted and why?
O man, I was afraid of this one!! 😂 So difficult! I’ll try to pick one!
Bahaha, PICK YOUR FAVORITE CHILD!! jk jk a recent favorite will do as well.
(A suspenseful 5 minutes later…)
Too difficult!! 😂 I choose this moody wrist shot, technically it’s not very good, not enough backlight, but I like the mood and the feel on this one.
haha, I could tell that was a very torturous exercise! But it's so fun to see the contrast between this shot (a classic @lar5erik shot btw) and the first shot you ever posted.
True, basically same wrist shot setup but a couple of tries later! 😄
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions! I really appreciate it! 🙌
This was fun, cheers!! 🤙🏼🥃
If you're one of the rare people that doesn't follow @lar5erik yet, I highly recommend it! See you on the next installment of Direct Messages!
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Love Kim’s work been following for a long time… good question on first and favorite… 😁