Meet Jacob Sjöman: The greatest course photographer out (in our humble opinion)! We have been fans of Jacob's for quite some time, after his jaw-dropping imagery found it's way into our instagram feed. His work is shared all over the place and we'd see these images pop up, one after another, blowing our minds, and then taking notice that they were all being shot by the same guy! So, inevitably, we had to track him down to get the scoop on the man who is truly living dream the dream. It is our pleasure to introduce you all to our friend, straight out of Stockholm, Jacob Sjöman
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB
My job, or maybe it's better to describe it as my big passion, is to photograph and produce high quality content for different brands, golf destinations and companies active in the golf industry. A normal year for me usually contains a lot of traveling, working on all kinds of projects across the globe.
I guess you can say that I produce a wide variety of photos and covering everything from creative portrait photos, interviews to advanced golf course photography captured both from ground and air.
Over the years I've been fortunate to be hired for exclusive creative photo sessions for players like Dustin Johnson, Jack Nicklaus and Justin Rose, but also produced content for more than 30 of World’s Top 100 courses, which I’m probably more known for.
DID YOU GROW UP GOLFING
I started playing golf when I was eleven and I've been hooked ever since. I'm what you probably would call a “true golf addict” and also went to a special golf school when I was a teenager.
HOW DID YOU BECOME THE GO-TO GOLF PHOTOGRAPHER
I've always had a competitive personality and although I didn’t tell anyone when I first started out with golf photography, I had my vision very clear right from the beginning: I wanted to become the best golf photographer in the business. Having this goal in my mind and in my dreams has helped me a lot over the years because all I do is more or less connected to this goal.
I’ve continued to work hard sometimes I’ve been a bit frustrated not making the progress I wished, but transforming frustration into energy can actually be a good thing for you.
To doubt in yourself isn’t really a bad thing either, in each project I have a lot of doubts but this feeling also makes me wanting to produce more, better and never give up,
Another important key in this has been to study photography and learning editing in order to improve. I strongly believe in learning new things each day, that has been and will continue to be an everlasting process throughout my entire life.
I also remember that I tended to think that the golf world can be a bit too traditional for example in terms of how photos should look like and how videos should be produced and that’s one of the things I try to take see differently, to take things to the next level, just by challenging the rules and tradition. Most of the time it’s just doing the old trial and error-game in order to improve your game and come up with new things. I find it interesting to always bring something new and fresh to the projects. For example, each time when you see a Jacob Sjoman-photo I want it to be as good as it can get and create the biggest impact that hopefully lasts over time. Over the years I've learned to not take anything for granted, try to be on top of things, don’t let anything randomly stop you, prepare for potential problems and solve these quickly. Take control and be responsible, there are no short cuts and clients like hiring someone who enjoy running the extra mile for them, which I do. It is all about over delivering and achieving clients expectations every single time.
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO EQUIPMENT
I mostly work with several Canon-cameras on the ground and DJI when it comes to aerial photography. For flash photography I use Profoto B1X-flashes that I prefer because they can deliver hi-speed sync and out conquer the sunlight.
WHAT IS YOUR NEXT SHOOT?
My next assignment will be for a golf course called Visby Golf Club, it’s a wonderful Swedish course located out on a Island called Gotland. It's a very scenic course that runs along the Baltic Sea and a course I can highly recommend to anyone. Although not many people outside Scandinavia know so much about Visby Golf Club (yet!) I have a good feeling this course soon will appear in some international rankings and get recognition.
YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN ACCESS TO THE WORLD'S MOST AMAZING COURSES, DO YOU EVER GET MIX BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE?
Although photography always will remain the No. 1 priority I often get to play these great courses, as well — this takes place outside the prime time for photography when the light is harsh and when the conditions isn’t suited for photos. By playing a course you also get to know it way better and you will also find new angles for photos and videos.
Since I also write about these courses, it is necessary to play them in order to understand the upsides and downsides.
WHICH COURSE IS YOUR FAVORITE TO PHOTOGRAPH?
That’s an incredibly hard question to answer since I have several favorite courses all over the world. Each course has also its own unique personality and character. But, if I have to pick one it would probably be Lofoten Links in Norway. I have reached over 20 front covers in different magazines and books with photos coming from Lofoten Links and the odd is that I’ve only been on site for less than 16 hours, which is kind of crazy since it’s a place you would like to spend a week at. The reason I visited Lofoten during a limited time frame is because it was unplanned since was in the same region and did a spontaneous visit just based on all the positive things I’ve heard about the course. I really hope I can revisit some day in the future and do a ”proper” photo shoot up there, I see so much more potential there.
Lofoten Links is one of those rare locations that's got fantastic 360-degree views filled with mountains, ocean views, and also that special, iconic second hole that is one of the most beautiful par 3’s in the world.
FAVORITE COURSE TO PLAY?
You are killing me with these hard questions.. haha... I will actually go for an unexpected answer on this, and not naming just one.
-First, I would like to try one that I haven’t played yet, I would love to play Cypress Point.
-Secondly, but equally as important, I would also like to try the new upcoming course called Cabot Point in Saint Lucia. For me personally, it’s a very special project since I’ve worked with the Cabot-brand since 2018 when I first visited Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs in Canada. The project with Cabot Point in Saint Lucia is also a very unique since I’ve been involved in already from the start there, which is a completely new situation to me as a photographer since on all my other assignments I’ve worked with courses that already exists.
This clearly adds a new dimension of excitement, just to observe how that special site turns into a golf course with all shaping and planning is pure magic to me. And on top of that, to observe some of the best golf architects you can find in Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw discuss golf design on site. Well, I can’t wait until the special day the course will open there.
FAVORITE JOHNNIE-O GEAR
I really love the hickory-colored sweater and I’m glad to announce this sweater has just premiered it’s first round of golf! I would also like to add that the light green hoodie together with the navy cap has become a big favorite-combo for me as well, the hoodie always feels so soft in the material which actually helps me to unwind a bit. The color of the hoodie isn’t too vibrant either so it also fits nicely with most of the other clothes I have in my wardrobe. I often put the hoodie on when we are going out with our boat in the swedish archipelago, I just love that feeling when you are out at the sea and wearing something comfortable.
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