Johanna Ekmark


The many hours Johanna Ekmark has spent behind the camera lens and in the darkroom has developed her ability to discern the most minute of nuances, both in the light of nature’s seasons, in facial features, as well as in the many shifts of the sea and sky.
In working with the natural light to capture the moments which “breathes of life” she wishes to accentuate the beauty in everyday life and objects, and in the human nature to mediate what so often passes others by;

“The word Fotography comes from Greek φῶς, phṑs and γραφή, graphḕ meaning ‘writing with light’.
This truly describes my art: with natural light I create images that tell. Through my eyes the viewer also gets the opportunity to see what I have seen.”

When Johanna in the middle of the 2010’s left the commercial advertising industry in Milan, the idea was formed to publish her own series of photographic books with focus on the stories she over the years had been drawn to throughout her many photographic commissions but never had the opportunity to tell;

“The stories that passed me by when I was photographing for the more conventional clients.
The richness of Italy, the unique gems. Why, how, and what makes this country so special, truly.”

From this idea, ’Caffè Italia’ originated. A book series that Johanna Ekmark created through her own publishing company and where she has the chance to, in the ‘cradle of Humanism’, discover what we do not know and what we should not forget; “a hymn to Italian stories.”
The years that followed brought hard work to reach the objective of the book series, partly together with one of the most renowned and accomplished publishing houses in the world. But it was also during this hardship period that Johanna was able to hone her photography from the commercial line to a more art oriented focus;

“Caffè italia has given so much in return. Even in the archive, I was finally able to search and photograph the stories worth documenting. Giving it the time it takes. Allowing for real encounters with real people.”

In 2016 Johanna Ekmark’s publishing company published the first issue, ’Il Numero Uno’, of the book series ’Caffè Italia’. Two years later the second issue, ’Il Numero Due’, was published (

For two decades, Johanna has worked with digital photography. However, the experiences from the years with analog technology has become the foundation for her photographic abilities and knowledge and it was during these years she learnt how to use the natural light and what works in photographic art. That which today is her main focus.

Johanna Ekmark, born 1966 in Stockholm, and from the age of ten she spent her summers in Tuscany, Italy, at the family farm where she loved to walk amongst the cork and oak trees, feel the salty sea breeze and accompany the groundskeeper for the olive harvest.
The impressions and memories from Johanna’s childhood became the basis for a decision to move at an early age to Italy, the country which is her second home.
In the 1980’s Johanna worked as an assistant to one of Italy’s most prominent fashion photographers in Milan and it was during these years that she learned to appreciate the secrets of the analog darkroom.
After a few years in the city Johanna moved out to the countryside, to Emilia-Romagna where she spent over a decade and two of her three children was brought up amongst the tomato plantations on the hills above Parma.
Johanna’s life took a new turn in 1994 when she returned with her family to Milan and began a carrier within advertising as one of the very few successful fashion and advertising photographers with focus on children. Over the years, her portfolio grew to include interior design, food, portraits, and numerous travel accounts.
In 2018, Johanna returned to her childhood’s Tuscany and today she shares her time between the Tuscan countryside and her home in Stockholm.