For photographer and creative director Pete Halvorsen, each image tells a story.
“Sometimes you create a story, other times you see it as it is. It’s up to each person to decide what’s best for them,” he opined.
He was an actor in LA and did commercials in TV. Then he started taking lots of photos. “I just loved the opportunity to capture moments and share them,” he says.
About five years ago, with the growth of instagram, people started following the images taken by Pete. Eventually his followers started to grow and he had about 100,000 followers on instagram. “The next thing I knew I was being offered opportunities to write travel articles and tale photographs for blogs. It grew and I have been in 30 countries during the last few years,” he shares.
The Los Angeles based photographer is currently involved in advertising and commercial photography. The bulk of his career involves travel photography and he collaborates with hotels such as Four Seasons and Travel Bureau in Fiji, Scotland, Canada and many other countries around the world. “They utilize me to promote their countries,” he added.
As a child, he enjoyed travelling with his parents. “Travelling contributes to your personal growth and gives you an opportunity to learn about other cultures. In doing so, once you return home, you are more open to people around you,” he shares. It was this childhood experience fused with the excitement and suspense in travel journalism that keeps Pete hooked to his career. “You don’t take the trip, the trip takes you,” he adds.
Pete explained that when travelling, a person might think that he or she is in control. However, in reality one has to go with the flow. “There is a controlled chaos to
travelling, which is fun,” he declares.
For him, a photograph is a piece of art. “The first image I take is the canvas. From there it’s using filters and graphic designs to creating an image,” he says. “When I want to be really expressive about my story, I bring up the brightness of sun, the green of the grass and the oranges. That’s where the story really is and all of your story counts,”
Canada, Australia, Scotland and Fiji remained some of his favourite travel destinations. He also enjoyed the experience in Sri Lanka. “It is not a place that many Americans have visited. It is lot of fun cuisine-wise. I need to come back to really experience Sri Lanka. I got to meet some interesting people during this trip and the ambiance is really nice,”
Pete was awed by Sri Lankan buildings with their beautiful colonial architecture. “The temples are gorgeous in their make and maintenance. They are part of everyday life here, which is very interesting. The Pettah Market is wild. Outside the city there are beautiful rolling hills,” he remarked with awe.
Sri Lanka has not been on people’s radar but now Pete’s followers are showing interest. There are lots of positive comments. “They realized it’s safe and there are interesting things to do here after seeing my work,” he says.
Pete loves to capture moments and immerse in cultures and sometimes he hides behind the lens in the process. But, when he is at home, in his studio, he looks at the pictures and remembers the moments. “It is important sometimes to put away the camera and enjoy the moment, the sunset or the museum,” he shares.