Similar to many others in his profession, Ulf Magnusson became a photographer almost by accident. As a teenager he’d just been paid for a summer job when he happened to pass a store that had a camera package on display – the price was the exact same amount of money he had in his pocket. Despite no previous experience from photography, he made a purchase. It was a Konica FC1 camera with a Tamron 35-70 mm lens and a Nissin flash.|
The year was 1982 and Ulf was 18 years old when he went up to the offices of the teen mag Okej, claiming to be a photographer. The editor, Hans Hatwig, didn’t agree that he was, but offered Ulf the job of handling the magazine’s image archive. Tagging along on the assignments of Okej photographer Göran Lindsjöö, he learned a trick or two and got all the more proficient behind the camera – finally Hans Hatwig had to agree that his photos were good.
Ulf worked at Okej until 2006, taking pictures of virtually every then-current artist, from heavy metal bands such as Mötley Crue and Kiss to pure pop acts such as Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls. His pictures were also published abroad, in major magazines such as Smash Hits and Bravo.
The biggest moment in Ulf’s career was perhaps the tour of Poland conducted by Iron Maiden in August 1984. For a heavy metal fan who idolized that particular band, this was nothing less than a dream come true. “Being 19 years old and getting paid for travelling with Iron Maiden in their tour bus for an entire week was fantastic”, says Ulf.