We had the good fortune of connecting with Karoline Iversen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Karoline, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe taking risks is a big part of life and that it pushes us to be the best versions of ourselves. If you get too comfortable in life and stop taking risks, how will you be able to grow and reach your true potential? Already from a young age I realized taking risks was necessary for me to be able to grow, which is why I decided to move away from home when I was 16 and ever since I’ve kept jumping into the unknown head first, but an my personal and professional life.

Taking risks is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and having the courage to face the unknown. Even when no one believes in you, take that risk. Life is now, what are you waiting for?

That is literally what I told myself when I decided to quit my stable job, sell everything I owned, and move to New York to pursue my true passion; film.

As a cinematographer I’m often taking risks to get the shot. A big part of the job is being a problem solver, as there always will be challenges along the way. Several times people have shaken their heads to my ideas claiming they will be impossible to execute, but I don’t let that hinder me from trying, and I’ve found that if you have the right mindset you can make anything work, and I really enjoy the challenge of executing a complicated shot.

Taking risks has allowed me to work on some amazing projects around the world.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a freelance cinematographer from Norway, currently located in Brooklyn, New York.

I am where I am today because of the risks I’ve taken, the support I’ve had, the connections I’ve made and the experience I’ve gained through observing, learning, trying and failing. It hasn’t been easy, especially as a woman. Sexism is real and still very present in the industry. The number of shoots I’ve worked on where I haven’t experienced it, is discouragingly low. Dealing with this you definitely learn how to stand up for yourself, and if anything it has only made me more determined to make it in this industry.

Being a freelancer can be tough. It takes time to build a name for yourself and to be able to get the kind of jobs you really want. In my opinion you can’t be above certain jobs on the crew. I believe as a cinematographer, it’s important that you have worked in other crew positions as well, not only to understand the craft better, but also to understand your crew and to be able to see things from their perspective. I believe a lot of people in this industry are driven by their egos, and I think a lot of people forget that each and every position on the crew is crucial for the production, and that everyone deserves to be treated with respect regardless.

I’m still working my way through the freelance life and I’m continuously learning as I’m working towards my goals. Something I keep reminding myself, is to be patient. It will happen, but you won’t reach all your goals overnight, you have to work hard for it. There will be times where you question yourself and your career choice and feel like giving up, but that is part of the journey.

I have learned a lot along the way, and I still have many more lessons to learn, but some of the most important things I’ve learned so far is that you need to know your worth. You have to look out for yourself and protect your energy, if not this industry will eat you alive. I’ve learned that kindness will get you a long way, because no matter how talented you are, if you’re a shitty person, people don’t want to work with you. I’ve also learned that no matter how impossible things might seem, there is always a solution.

Don’t let others tell you what you can and can’t do. You have the power to narrate your own story.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a friend was visiting, I would take them citibiking as it’s a fun way to get around. We’d go to central park, we’d bike across Brooklyn Bridge, I’d take them to my favourite spots for tacos and donuts in Brooklyn. We’d go to a rooftop bar with views over the skyline and end the night dancing.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my friends and family for always supporting and encouraging me through the ups and downs of my journey. Shoutout to my fellow female cinematographers who are breaking the norms. A special shoutout to Sandie Cheng, who’ has been my biggest support since the very first time I met her in New York during apartment hunting. I love you all!

Website: https://karolineiversen.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karoline_iversen/

Linkedin: Karoline Iversen

Image Credits
Will Loo

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