I bought my first camera when I was 11 years. A small 35
mm with viewfinder for the price of 3 LPs. My inspiration to get into photography was Jan Schrøder, a butcher in Denmark, who had shown me the love of his life: A Nikon FM with a 50/1.4 lens.
My mother saw where it was going, and for my confirmation at age 15, she gifted me a Nikon EM which was the first "cheap"
camera Nikon made.
Soon after I was making
my own film rolls from raw film on cans and photographed somewhat 150
meters of black and white films a year which I developed and copied myself.
Tina Maria Nielsen from my school, laursens Realskole,1982
I had a thing for
this. I had figured out how the cameras worked inside and the whole principle
of "painting with light" even before I saw how a camera actually
looked inside. As a kid I had lots of time to philosophize on this and
to train my eyes and hands.
I also build my own
6x6 camera in wood, with a tilt-shift lens, which made nice pictures. It could only contain one shot at the time (in film loaders of wood and paper I had made). It was a very nice project and the camera works.
I still have the 6x6 wooden camera I built when I was 14.
My mother was renting
out rooms to all sorts of people, an African prince, a girl
that worked with horses, another girl that was working at the best restaurant
And so on, a lot of funny characters. I brought them to my
"studio" with its do-it-yourself lightning and did portraits
I also walked a lot around in the nature and photographed the lake, the
trees, cows and the buildings.
Tina. My brothers girlfriend shot Sunday morning with the cat Jackie, 1981.
At one stage I was
very much into photographing demonstrations and went with so-called BZ'ere
(young people who took over empty factories and houses at night to occupy
them illegally) to photograph the takeovers and the life lived in the buildings.
I photographed my
school friends, my bigbrothers girlfriends, my girlfriends girlfriends, my girlfriends girlfriends brothers' girlfriends cats
and so on.
I did few commercial
works of houses and people (fashion) and some times participated in photo
competitions where you could win a camera. I sold my first photograph to Ogilvy & Mather advertising agency for $850 at age 15.
At one stage I wanted
the passion of photography to become my profession in life, but because I was slightly colorblind
(red/green) I couldn't be allowed into the photographic school. I told
them I didn't give a damn about color - I only wanted to work in black
and white. They didn't really care.
When I got into the
advertising business in 1985 I calmed down my interest in photo and even
sold my darkroom after a while.
Our bathroom zink always had beautiful light in the morning.
I still used my Nikon
EM till it broke in 1996 (it lasted for 17 years and 4.000 roles
of film) and then bought both a used Nikon EM as
well as a used Nikon F3 and a used Nikon FG.
In 1998 I met a film director in the Caribbean who always had a Leica Minilux with him, and I was so impressed with the pictures that I soon got one. The Leica Minilux is a nice little portable camera with a unique 40
The rest is history, as they say...
Overgaard and brother Martin Overgaard at Aarhus Beach, August 1971 [Thorsten far left,
Martin far right].
Thorsten Overgaard in 1988 as the executive director for D3 advertising
agency K/S in Denmark.
Thorsten Overgaard in his AD ONE advertising and internet company
, which he sold in 2000 and then left the advertising and internet business.
The AD ONE headquarter bunker.
mother and fathers wedding 2 June 1962. In the picture (from
left) it is Poul with his mother and father. In the middle
of the photo Jyttes grandmother.
father, Poul Overgaard Nielsen. Here a picture from 1984 when
he worked at Aarhus Stiftstidende, the local newspaper.