Spotlight: Photobook

Drunk in love with Märta Thisner

© Märta Thisner

Shot over the course of 15 years, Drunk in Love documents the photographer and her friends’ search for sexuality, freedom, and love

Märta Thisner has been making photographs of her friendship group for over 15 years. “I just thought that I had amazing friends, and that we had a lot of fun,” says the photographer. Her new book, Drunk in Love, comprises 150 candid images, capturing the shapes and colours made by plants, objects and tipsy bodies tangled together.

“I like when you have to ask yourself ‘what the fuck is happening here?’,” says the Swedish photographer, who started making pictures when she was a teenager. “I was always the one with the camera in my group of friends – that became my identity,”. But it was not until Thisner went to photography school that she realised she could make a living out of her hobby.

Alongside editorial commissions for magazines like Dazed & Confused and Wonderland, and for fashion brands like & Other Stories and Weekday, Thisner has consistently been shooting her friends, initially inspired by photographers such as Nan Goldin and Ryan McGinley who also photographed their inner-circles. “I started before anyone had a camera-phone or social media, and I really enjoyed being that person who documented our time together. Also being a queer person, I felt that I was documenting our special hangout.”

© Märta Thisner
© Märta Thisner

After working on the project for so long – the earliest image in the book is from 2003, and the latest was shot just last year – it became Thisner’s goal to make a photobook. Now, aged 38, married, and pregnant, Thisner feels that chapter of her youth is coming to an end: “My friends are having kids too, so we don’t party like that anymore. I won’t stop making pictures, but maybe it will have a different focus.”

Looking back, Thisner feels fortunate to have this physical book of memories, which captures the search for sexuality, freedom, and love. “It is a collection of images for us not to forget and to keep us together,” she says.

Drunk in Love by Märta Thisner is published by Journal

© Märta Thisner
© Märta Thisner
© Märta Thisner
© Märta Thisner