Golf Course Photographers: Jacob Sjöman

Have you ever browsed Leadingcourses.com and stumbled across golf course pictures that made you excited to hit the links right away? Big chance these pictures were not made by your average Leadingcourses user, but by a professional photographer. Time to speak with the people behind the pictures. We managed to get a hold of busy Swedish golf course photographer Jacob Sjöman. In just a few years Jacob has become regarded as one of the best in the world of golf course photography. He has travelled all over the world and has a record working with clients such as Golf Digest and Volvo.

Golf course photographer Jacob Sjöman
Jacob Sjöman

Tell us a bit more about yourself.

“I live in Stockholm, Sweden. I’m 35 years old and I obviously love golf. I started playing golf when I was 11 years old and have been playing a lot ever since. I play of a 4 handicap nowadays. I started to work as a photographer in 2005. I started shooting golf courses in 2010, so it’s been seven years now. I just don’t know why it took another 5 years to get the winning combination. In these 7 years I photographed 282 golf courses.”

282?! That’s quite a lot. Is there a course that stands out picture-wise?

“I always try to deliver the best photos from each course. The most popular photos I’ve taken so far from Lofoten Links and Thracian Cliffs. However, I was very pleased with many of my photos at Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen as well. Lofoten Links was a special moment for me. I spent less than 16 hours on location and I believe I’ve got all weathers during that timeframe. Northern lights, magic sunrise, crazy fog and gusty winds. It’s a special place for sure and I think it’s one of the best experiences I had on a golf course.”

Lofoten Links by golf course photographer Jacob Sjöman
Lofoten Links – © Jacob Sjöman

It can’t always be rainbows and butterflies for a golf course photographer, right?

“That’s true. When I was at Keilir Golf Course in Iceland i had a rough experience. I had a total of 1 hour of sunlight during 5 days. Storm winds for 4 days. It was a mess, but I still enjoyed the course and the scenic views it offers. I think that every golfer should visit Iceland and have a good round of golf at Keilir and the stunning Brautarholt.”

Trump International Golf Links by golf course photographer Jacob Sjöman
Trump International Golf Links – © Jacob Sjöman

How do you go about to make the perfect course photo?

“I need to be ready at the right time and place, that’s why I plan my photo sessions carefully. I am always out on the course for much longer time than I shoot photos. You will also need to understand the course and give it time to grow. The weather conditions are a key factor and good maintenance of the golf course is very important. Perhaps the most challenging is to produce great photos even if it’s bad weather and the golf course isn’t looking great. My best pictures are normally shot at sunrise and sunset but I wouldn’t close the door completely for other alternatives. Sometimes extraordinary things happens like double rainbows.”

Thracian Cliffs by golf course photographer Jacob Sjöman
Thracian Cliffs – © Jacob Sjöman

Are there other golf course photographers you respect or look up to?

“Brian Oar (US) and Mike Seidl (US) are fantastic photographers. I like Brian’s colors and Mike’s compositions. I also like Tom Breazeale’s photos, but he is retired now. They all have a very own style. When it comes down to certain characteristics you can recognise a photographer by – for me – it all comes down to be able to inspire others. I try hard to produce iconic photos that I hope will make people visit new places.”

Some geek stuff now, what equipment do you use?

“I use a Canon 5DS together with several EF-lenses. These lenses are: Canon EF 14MM III 2,8L, Canon EF 24-70mm III 2,8, Canon EF 70-200 2,8L IS. The Canon 5DS allows me to capture photos over 50 Megapixel and in full frame. I’ve also been using a Canon 5D Mark IV lately for excellent video quality in 4K.

I am always open for new technology so I also use drone photography as a part of my production. I also use a DJI Inspire 2 with a mounted X7-camera together with 4 changeable lenses providing extremely high quality photos and videos from the air.”

Do you have anything exciting planned for the future?

“I’ve just done a big and amazing project for New Zealand and Australia’s best golf courses which I’m really excited about. I actually don’t know the next upcoming project since it’s not 100% decided yet. I know I am going to Ireland later this year but it will be a lot of different projects coming up before that.

In the future I also hope to be able to shoot Cypress Point in California, USA, but they haven’t contacted me yet, unfortunately…”

And with this silent wish we end this blog. We would like to thank Jacob for his time. For more of his work check out his website: http://www.sjomanart.com/. We will be back soon with a new golf course photographer. Want to be the first to get our new blogs? Subscribe to our newsletter here and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Post Author: GolfTrips