One year ago, Stockholm resident Felicia Margineanu started the company OhSnap! Sweden, which provides photographic training for girls aged between 7 and 21. Over the course of three months the girls get to learn the basics of photography, borrow equipment and learn how to retouch photographs – all free of charge – and at the end of the project they can exhibit their pictures on the basis of a theme they have chosen themselves. The course’s goal is to provide the girls tools that they can use to themselves influence and change the beauty industry and the male-dominated photographic sector.
Why did you start your company?
– I’ve been working with photography for nine years. But I lost my creativity after several years of hard work as a freelance photographer, and my new passion for changing society took over. It was only last year that I understood that the one did not need to rule out the other, and that’s what led to the birth of OhSnap! Sweden. The basic idea is that I want to give young girls back the power to have the courage to look and be curious about the world around them, to create and to find themselves, but also to become so strong in themselves that they have the courage to assert themselves more and to become aware of how society works.
Among other things, you’ve started the #förortenimedia (thesuburbinthemedia) campaign together with the think-tank A Million Minds. What is the campaign’s goal?
– To change the media’s image of the suburb. If you google the word förorten (suburb) today, you see burning cars, concrete buildings, police, violence... I grew up in a suburb of Stockholm myself and I couldn’t recognise my own experiences in those pictures at all. We thought that if you gave the residents themselves the power to produce a portrait of the suburbs and produced a digital campaign, then we would be able to change this image ourselves. We also took pictures from the suburbs to Almedalen last summer, where we lobbied for a more realistic and more representative image of the suburbs in the media.
What advice would you give other young people who want to start their own projects but who don’t know where to start?
– My advice would be to have the courage to get in touch with people who are active in the sector or on the market that you want to enter or start something up in. Ask to meet someone who inspires you for lunch, tell them who you are and about your idea, and ask for tips and input. Have the courage to get out there and show people that you exist, even if you don’t have anything finished. Have the courage to ask for help. That has helped me a great deal during my own journey – in order to be the best I want to learn from the best. They have probably already taken a thousand wrong turns and most of them are more than willing to help!
Would you like to know more about OhSnap! Sweden? Check out their website, give them a “like” on Facebook and follow them on Instagram by clicking the links below. You can also e-mail Felicia direct at Felicia.Margineanu@OhSnapSweden.com.
Text: André Vifot Haas