Hotel Room Portraits

Photography by Chris Aadland


Every year international film festivals like Sundance and Toronto release a series of portraits of the famous guests who visit the festival. In the vein of those classic photo shoots, Chris Aadland photographed the guests of this year’s edition of Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF). From actors to directors, Aadland has created a beautiful series of portraits that serve as a glimpse into the people behind the movies of 2016.

"I recently moved from London to Bergen and wanted to get involved in the culture happenings of the city as I wanted to transition to a smaller city in a rewarding way. I spoke to a friend of mine who works for BIFF and they had been talking about making festival portraits for a while. They enjoyed my earlier work and trusted that I was the right person for the project," says Aadland.

Aadland explains that they early on realised they need to find a twist that made the photographs uniquely BIFF. 

"The portraits from other festivals are often very glamorous, which made it natural for us to pull the pictures in a more raw direction, without it influencing the portrayal of the people too much."

From top left: Arthur Hakalahti, Jesper Christensen, Mohamed Jabaly, Dorte Ortved, Gary Reynolds, Andrei Nekrasov, Liv Køltzow and Alejandro Fernández Mouján.

Aadland was given a lot of freedom by BIFF, as they had never done anything like this before. He chose to limit himself to shooting the portraits in hotel rooms.

"It’s very common in a press context to photograph people in hotel rooms, which I find interesting in and of itself. It’s an impersonal backdrop ment for a temporary stay that says nothing more about the person being portrayed than that she or he has been there and it creates an interesting challenge when it comes to shooting a number of unique portraits. It’s been exciting to meet all these people and it’s exactly what I enjoy about portrait photography."