Testing, one, two…

Things are slowing down here in the Southern Hemisphere, winter is only days away are we’re moving toward something that resembles what I’m used to. I’ve said for the longest time that I want to write more here on the blog, but then I simply…don’t. Having worked as a writer before, both in advertising, but also writing columns for various magazines, I know my creative process way too well. Without a deadline I simply don’t do it.

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

Thomas Mann said the above and I think it’s very true. The weird thing is that nothing comes more naturally to me than writing. It’s the only creative endeavour I do without effort. I’m not saying I’m a writing prodigy in any way, and on top of that I’m writing in my second language, but when I write I never have to think. I don’t worry about grammar, I don’t worry about the length of sentences, all I want is for my thought to go from my subconscious, then filter through my heart, pass briefly through my brain, my hands, my fingers before I tap the keyboard with the intention for you to understand.

To feel.

It’s all I’m after.

It’s true for all the things I do, whether it’s photography or anything else. I want you to feel something. Nothing else matters. Few things make me more proud than when my work makes people feel so much they cry. It may sound horrible, but to make someone cry is a very powerful thing. We build up facades, desperately trying not to feel, walking around pretending we’re people we’re not. If anything I do can break down that barrier and touch your heart, the core of your being for a second or two, we have created a connection that’s very powerful.

And that’s what I’m looking for.


If you feel something when you see my work, I have succeeded, if you’re indifferent to it, I have failed. It’s true you don’t have to connect with everyone, but I want to connect with as many as possible. For the longest time I couldn’t handle people not liking what I do, but as I’ve grown older I’ve realised it’s ok, *deep breath* not every single person in the world needs to share what I think, what I feel.

I’m hoping to share more of my thoughts here on the blog. If you like that, please tell me in the comments, hopefully we can start a discussion. We live our lives on Facebook these days, but no one has time for anything longer than fragmented views. I want to slow things down and reflect a little more.

And I also don’t want this to be all about me and my work. People often ask me what inspires me and the truth is that everything inspires me, often it’s not photography at all. This TED talk by Brene Brown is one of my favourites and talks beautifully about both connection and vulnerability.

Let’s start working on that connection.

Dylan John Western

Writing scares me, it does. Which is why I’ve decide to write a book. It’s actually a project I’d like to make you apart of. I’ll be in touch soon.

Christine Willett

I saw a glimpse of me here. I appreciate the honesty in your writing and this direction you have chosen. I hope you continue to write more entries like it. Thanks!.

Megan Carswell Gladden

Now not only do your images resonate with me, but your words as well. I feel every word you said in my heart. Thank you for sharing. Incredible TedX and oh so true. I am enough.

Melissa Wright

I just finished a TED talk a couple minutes ago and was wondering what to watch next :) What better what better than another TED talk?! I appreciate your honesty and really identify with what you wrote. I want to connect with people through my work. I want them to feel it. I’ve been pushing myself harder than ever, due in part to your inspiring work. Thank you!

Rania Rönntoft

I’d love it if you shared more of your thoughts here on the blog. Your writing is as mesmerizing as your images, and you do touch my heart with what you “say” (write) and think. Seeing what inspires you is also great, no matter what it may be!

When making a post like this, do you write everything and then go back and change a lot? I find that to be the hardest part for me, having a blog in english when I’m swedish. I just write everything I want to say, but then I have to read it through, change words, find synonyms, alter the order of words and sentences – the first draft always sound very swedish somehow, and it’s hard to make it not to.

Time to enjoy my morning coffee while listening to this TED talk. Thanks! Have a great day :)

I have waited so long to see this post and couldn’t be more excited for the stories, reflections and discussions that will soon follow. More of this, please!

You are an incredibly influential person to me, and have had a pretty big impact on the way that I view things, and I say that secondary to how I view your photography.
I’ve had an amazing opportunity that most never will, get to meet and interact with you for a few days. I love seeing your writing, and its always a pleasure to see anything you produce.

I, for one, would love to see more writing and a continuous feed on your blog.

I love that TED talk, and her books. You should read one or two of them if you have not yet, and watch this too, if you have not seen it. It’s one of my favorites. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-JXOnFOXQk


Jessica: I’ll check it out :)
Ben: Thank you, that means a lot.
Kim: Yup, that’s the idea.

To give all of the feels…this happens most often for me, when I see an image reminding me of a dream, hear a melody that feels like home, smelling something so familiar you are transported to that moment so sharp in your mind, you aren’t sure if you are remembering the memory or in it.

Your words and images do that for me. A world away and still I have hope in love, in dreams, and how those cross over from our childhood.

I would like to know more about the remnants of younger Jonas that are quite potent in the now Jonas which lend themselves to your work. What are the favorite foods from your travels? Is there something you’ve wanted to always try but never had the time to pursue?

You do and have done for years

I came across your work several years ago when I was just starting out in photography. Your website was like a rabbit hole of beautiful images. What grabbed me, however, were your words, which just felt real and genuine. I remember thinking about writing and offering to assist if you were ever in San Francisco, or anywhere, really. I hadn’t seen your work again until very recently, but in combination with this first test post of yours, it feels like a fortunate synchronicity for where my own creative exploration is right now. Thank you for continuing to share with the world, and yay! for Brene’s Ted talk. One of my favorites too. I still hope to meet you someday. Til then, cheers!

I read and you did make me think. Even to stop my daily life and write a comment. Great writing!

Man of many talents.

You write about different things now then when you started out ages ago, but it’s still the same. Your stories captures your audience, so I’m glad you’re testing again. And want to remind of one of your earlier work within the visual art. Tack! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65WvOjXjRpY

Hey Jonas, I have to be honest I stopped following you for a while, you know I was caught up in the whirlwind of how well you were doing, awards, accolades, you were feeling the love. But my world was a mess, I couldn’t pay the mortgage, things weren’t going well at home, my children nearly had to leave the school that we moved 1700km’s for because we couldn’t afford to pay the fees and my work was all over the place. It wasn’t me because I was too busy looking at your work, admiring another life, something that seemed beyond reach. I have small needs, I have no need to be famous or get on blogs, I am happy when other people are doing well and am humbled everytime someone pays me to use my camera. It’s a dream come true. Then I look at my children and the possibilities, when I was down, they always showed me the way back, they inspired me. Today I have turned the corner, I have stepped away from photography full time, I spend time with my children, I live on a beautiful farm which I am slowly restoring and love. Some mornings I stand on the driveway with tea in my hand, it’s quiet, children are tucked up in their warm PJ’s sleeping peacefully. Small birds flutter between the reeds of sunlit grass and I think of the world and my place in it very differently. I am at last at peace. I belong in the local community, I am a Rural Firefighter and have saved people’s houses, helped people from car crashes but most of all I found a family of friends who would do anything for you and they are not related to photography, there is no ego, there is only the person next to you when you are standing facing a wildfire.

I am still shooting work and seem to be getting enough just to cover the bills and mortgage and that’s ok, it’s enough !
I still spend some time looking through your work, admiring and believing that it’s ok to be where I am and that I can’t be like everyone else. I am unique and you are unique and I thank you for giving me a window into another world with such grace and for the selfless connection it allows me to have with you.

Thank you for just being out there, I know this comment may seem disjointed but it’s what is in my heart.

Cheers always Cam.

Jonas, I’d have to agree with you. You know? I did’t actually like your work when I first came across it until something happened and I just woke up :) Thank You Sir.

I only read blogs that I connect with.. and to be honest, that’s very few. I’m looking for connection in virtually everything I do. It drives me.

You know Yonas, here in Russia I’m trying to do To tell the stories. To see them in the people’s eyes, in the light of their rooms, in the way the air is moving around their bodies – and to caption it. With words and photos. I’m both writer and photographer, too (journalism, columns, AD, short stories in books. poetry, been there done that).
All I wanted to say to you today – is thank you. Especially for these words about handling people not liking what you do. Deep breath, yeah. So hard.

And this is our power, to say about it, too. About our fears of sharing the work – what if someone wouldn’t like it. I feel it now not like – eh, wise thoughts, ok – but with all by body inside. It’s true. It’s the power.

And thank you for my less loneliness after I found your blog)

Wish you keep going.

I saw this talk a couple of years ago I think and it hit home so much. I love that you’ve posted it here and that you are opening up a discussion about a topic such as this. Human connection is so important…being aware of whats going on inside of you and finding peace with who you are and your needs. It’s all so important. More important I think than a lot of the things we focus on now a days. I don’t care what people say. At the end of the day, I think we all have a basic need to connect intimately with other human beings.

Dear Jonas, the most beautiful and meaningful to you is that you’re authentic . and this makes you a true artist. I also had the pleasure to listen to you and meet you. your soul is the button. unique, live, true. my discretion has prevented me to hug you in person. I do it here.

I admire your writing, your photos, your heart. Thanks for sharing!

Your work always makes me cry. Both your writing and your photography. No matter how much of an “emotionally off” day I’m having you always seem to be able to inspire and move me. Everything about your work is beautiful and honest in my eyes. It always makes me tear up and more often than not I eventually start to ugly cry. I hope that I one day might be lucky enough to have you present at my wedding, capturing the best moment of my life in that pure and warm way you do.

you make me feel something, every single time. i wish and aim to be more like you every single day, and i wish more people would do the same. never ever stop.

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