This role is part of our official Nikon European Ambassador Programme, which showcases the work of distinctive photographers with drive, vision and determination to push the boundaries of photography.
Only the very best photographers from around the world have been chosen to be brand ambassadors in the Nikon European Ambassador Programme. Each one has a unique take on the imagery they create and Nikon hopes to showcase their individual styles, technical approach and work ethics to encourage others to push their own boundaries in photography.
Nikon is very happy to announce Joel Marklund as the first Ambassador for Nikon Europe to be appointed. Joel is a Swedish sports photographer, with over ten years’ experience. His career in sports photography started with an internship at his local newspaper, where he discovered his passion for expressing creativity through the lens.
On his blog, Joel shares his thoughts on his new role. He also comments, “I’m excited and honoured to be the first of the Nikon European Ambassadors to be announced. To have this recognition from such an established and respected camera brand is incredible. I’m thrilled to be a part of this programme and hope I can help people broaden their horizons over the coming months.”
Joel’s love of sports meant he naturally gravitated to his subjects. Like the athletes under pressure to perform with one chance to win, he too embraced high pressure moments where there is often only one opportunity to get the perfect shot. The more he strove, the more he learnt how to be focused and determined in a competitive industry. Curious by nature, it also gave him the chance to explore the advantages of being behind the scenes to present another aspect of someone’s life.
Joel remarks, “I love shooting people, especially close-up, as you can communicate what the subject is truly feeling. The eyes are particularly important to capture, they convey the most emotion and are so important in making the viewer ‘feel’ something. I always want to communicate what a subject is thinking in order to generate genuine feeling.”
As many photographers, Joel looks to the world around him for inspiration. Reading fashion magazines and watching films in particular, helps to inspire him with new possibilities. For instance, an image that has inspired him throughout his career is Neil Leifer’s iconic shot of a victorious Muhammad Ali in 1966.
One of his biggest achievements was attending the Beijing Olympics in 2008 – it was his first time at the games and not only did he get to shoot famous athletes such as Usain Bolt up close – the trip resulted in him receiving an award on behalf of the. This was the first time he’d worked with a Nikon camera – using the Nikon D3 because of its excellent autofocus system and high ISO capabilities. It didn’t take Joel long to switch exclusively to using Nikon products following this event.
Experiencing such a momentous event first hand further drove his love for sports photography and to embrace competition with other photographers – he works tirelessly to get the best results, and won’t settle for anything less. It’s this passion for the perfect end result that pushes him to give 110% on each assignment.
As part of this drive, Joel continually tries to test his own limits, experimenting with new projects such as underwater photography; to overcome the challenges it presents and access hard to reach areas that others might not attempt.
The risk is worth the reward, as demonstrated by one of his favourite images from the Sweden vs. England match in 2012. The first historic picture in the new stadium, it took Joel months of negotiation with stadium officials to arrange the placement of his camera placement within the roof of the grounds. The effort paid off! It resulted in a fantastic image of Ibrahimovic scoring which won ‘Swedish Picture of the Year’ in the Sports News category.
Joel has previously owned a Nikon D4, Nikon D3 and D3S, AF Fisheye-NIKKOR 16mm, AF-S NIKKOR 14–24mm , AF-S NIKKOR 24-70/2.8, AF-S NIKKOR 70-200/2.8 II, AF-S NIKKOR 400/2.8 II, AF-S NIKKOR 600/4 and has most recently worked with a Nikon D4S. It’s his current favourite camera for everything he shoots – the high ISO and versatility of the camera makes it easier for him to get the best shot possible.
As part of his appointment, Joel is the brand ambassador for the new Nikon flagship DSLR, the Nikon D5. Announced last week, Joel has already been able to test the camera’s speed, accuracy, and reliability on a race circuit in southern Spain.
Joel will be working on various projects in the coming year and is looking forward to inspiring a new audience in his role. He’s looking forward to meeting new people – from photography enthusiasts to professionals and helping them consider new areas outside of their comfort zone to achieve innovative and original photography.
Stay tuned! In the coming month, we will present some of the fantastic images captured by him.