In just a few short days, local man Karl Svensen has become a superstar photographer, jetting around the world to take photos of beautiful women. We chatted with him via satellite phone to get the story…
“I got the lens on Wednesday. I had it shipped to the office because nobody would be home and I was worried that the UPS guy would leave it there and then it would get stolen or thrown over the fence or something like that. Normally, I just bring a point-and-shoot to the office, just in case the most incredible thing ever happens on my 25 minute commute or in the break room. But knowing that the lens was arriving that day, I brought my Olympus OM-D EM-5, which meant that I had to switch out which bag I carried that day because the OM-D is bigger than my Panasonic LX-7. I was going to bring the ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50 but then decided to go for something a little smaller, so I ended up bringing the ThinkTank Retrospective 5 in black.”
After listening to Svensen drone on and on about all the meaningless details of his completely average existence, we got to the crux of the story.
“So the lens comes in, and I didn’t wait and do an unboxing video at home, so I thought that I could open up the box, take some shots around the office and then put it back in the box to do the unboxing video later. I don’t like doing those fake unboxings but…”
Oh my goodness Karl, we don’t have all day!
“So I take some photos around the office, and some outside of people smoking, and some of the cars in the parking lot. It had rained a little, so I got some wet windshields and raindrops on leaves and stuff. The shots looked pretty good–I think that I’m going to like this lens–and so when I get home I post some of the photos on Flickr and the MU-43.com forum. And then I went to bed.”
The next morning, Svensen didn’t know what hit him. “I normally stop by the Backstop Deli on the way to work, but this day I decided to do something different….”
[About 20 minutes of boring conversation about bagels redacted for brevity. And everyone’s sanity.]
“During my morning break, I check into Flickr and my photos have like a million Likes. Seriously. I’m glad if I get one once a week, but I’ve got thousands. And then I go to MU-43.com and I see the same thing; people have liked my photos like they’ve never liked them before. And it gets better….my phone rings. It’s Sports Illustrated. They said that they say my photos on Flickr and want to send me to Kiribati. I go, ‘where’s Kiribati?’ and they’re like, ‘don’t worry about it, we need you to fly to Kiribati to take the cover photos for next year’s swimsuit issue. We’re sending a car to your office in 30 minutes. It will take you to the airport.’”
“So I’m sitting there thinking. I’ve got no more vacation time this year, and it’s a really busy time at work. I don’t know how I can swing this. But I knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I walked into my boss’ office and told him the whole story. I was just halfway through when his secretary knocked and said that there was a limo waiting for me. So right there I quit my job, jumped in the limo, and flew to Kiribati.”
Svensen could hardly believe his luck. From zero to Sports Illustrated cover photographer overnight. “It’s like that guy that pulled that sword from that rock, like all of a sudden he’s king and he can do all this awesome stuff like ride around on a cool horse all day while wearing chainmail.”
“And so, after 36 hours in transit, I get to Kiribati. The Sports Illustrated team is there waiting for me, along with the beautiful models. I’m tired, but I’ve got a job to do, so I reach into my bag…and realize that I brought the wrong bag! I don’t have the Olympus! I don’t have the new lens!”
We wish, for your delicate constitutions, dear readers, and for Karl Svensen as well, that the story would end differently, but here are more or Karl’s words.
“Sports Illustrated a really professional outfit, and they had a whole bunch of camera gear for me to use. Like the best stuff – Leica S bodies and lenses, high power lighting, great models and makeup, everything. But I just couldn’t get anything good. Heck, at least they’re paying for my flight home. I’m calling you from the airport….I hope I can get my old job back…”