Hans Ekestang

The impressive catalogue of photographs of blues artists that Hans Ekestang has assembled since the early 1970s is the result of a fortunate interest in both music and photography. Hans, who played the guitar himself, fell for the blues-influenced British bands that were popular in the 1960s, and then went on to discover the original American blues performers. Parallel with his love for the blues he also had a strong interest in photography. In 1971 he was employed at the studio of legendary photographer K.W. Gullers, becoming a freelancer eight years later. Since then Hans has taken photos for a an array of paying clients, usually with no connection to the world of music.

There has been plenty of music in his pictures of blues artists, however. “It’s been a parallel career which has become something of a mission in life,” Hans says. As a blues enthusiast he established a long-running collaboration with Sweden’s Jefferson Blues Magazine, having his first picture published there circa 1970. There have been tens of thousands of photographs since then and the list of legendary artists whom Hans has captured would leave any blues fan drooling. Since he himself plays the guitar, he has a special fondness for blues guitarists such as Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and the three Kings: Albert, B.B. and Freddie – naturally, Hans has photographed them all. His blues pictures have been exhibited many times and there has also been an international demand for them.

“It’s all about conveying a feeling in the photograph, to observe a certain moment and then capture it in the right way,” says Hans. “If anyone seeing my blues photos will get the same feeling I had when I took them, then I feel I’ve succeeded.”

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