Per Sollerman

Long skating tours on sea ice, showers in the forest and grand sunsets. Per Sollerman chose the benefits of a freer life with the sky as his roof instead of a career and stress. Meet the Lundhags friend who works and lives with his ever-present interests.

The short answer to the question of who Per Sollerman is reads about like this: photographer, event producer and eager to learn about forest and garden.

The slightly longer version is that Per grew up in Sweden, but moved to Norway in 1987 to work as a bartender and club manager in Oslo. At the turn of the millennium, he built up two event businesses and worked with larger communication strategies and event solutions, both nationally and internationally. But it was then, at the end of the 2000s, his gut feeling lured him into a rather different path. Per had long been passionate about photography and decided to jump right in and get away from the career circus to the benefits of a freer life.

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– The last years within event felt like I was simply compromising with my own values and what and where I wanted to be. So, I followed my gut, got off the career ladder, and went all in as a photographer – which felt completely natural because I had always photographed. During my first years as a professional photographer, I worked solely with food.

And then it just continued. Per’s way of photographing food leaned already early on towards the documentary. Less of simply food on a plate and more history behind the food. The farmer’s work with food production. The chef’s world and view of food. From ground to table in many regards. Today, Per works as a photographer, producer for a major prize on sustainable food (matprisen.no), and tree feller.

– I have made the conscious decision to be nice to myself and do what stimulates and engages me. Because I’m freelance, I have the opportunity to work with what interests me. By exploring and learning more about what I’m involved in, I’ve gotten more joy in working.

But of course, it isn’t only because of the above that Per appears as a Lundhags friend. Per is also a dedicated outdoor person, year-round. From growing up in Falun, Sweden, with a skateboard, rollerskates and DJ-spirit, if anything as a reaction against the expected team sports and skiing, Per eventually end up in contexts where climbing, diving and kayak dominated. What about skating on natural ice? It’s perhaps the way most people recognize Per Sollerman’s outdoor life today. Well, this was just some strange sport that older guys in cotton anoraks did for a long time.

– With the move to Norway, I became interested in everything you could do with sea and forest around the corner. I became simply curious about the frozen element. And after purchasing skating equipment, I got in contact with the local enthusiasts who went Nordic skating in Oslo, which were pretty few. I was lucky to meet the most keen and knowledgeable on Østlandet.

– On the first sea tour I joined, about 10 years ago, we skated between 80 and 100km, out to the Hvaler islands (Bohuslän/Strömstad region), that tour I especially remember. It was something that I had never experienced before. Out to the edge of the ice and to the open sea, in between islands and narrow capes. Brilliant sun and essentially no wind on ice that was so new, you could see wave movements in the ice from the skaters in front of us. When we found our way back to land late in the afternoon and got the amazing sunset, I was sold.

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– No two days on the ice are the same. Ice is dynamic and under constant development, and in particular, it’s ever-evolving. The incredible black blue ice from one day can be something completely different a few days later. This means that you have to constantly treat ice as something that you (literally) have never encountered before. I’ve previously climbed a lot and you can draw many parallels to on-sight climbing.

When discussing nature experiences with Per Sollerman, he will gladly tell of the calm it affords him and of the almost magical healing effect a walk in the forest or a skating tour can give. 

– The Japanese have a saying they call Shinrin yoku. Literally translated, it’s something like a forest shower or forest bath. If I’m out on skates, skis, take a tour in the forest with the dog or work in the forest, I feel the forest bath. The energy and calm come quietly. It makes me more present and focused.

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Facts

Name: Per Sollerman 

Age: 54

Born: Visby

Lives: Oppegård in the winter and Hvitsten in the summer. Both places are 20km outside of Oslo in Norway.

Profession: Photographer, producer for matprisen.no and tree feller. “Life is lived best as a freelance”.

Other interests besides skating: Music and photo.

Three important: Solita the dog, the family and the cottage near the fjords in Oslo.

Motto: “Everything you do has been done”

Favorite garment, fall and winter: Viik MS Hoodie and KRING MS Jacket and Pants on the ice.

Favorite boot: “Vandra Mid both during the summer and as a city boot during the winter. On the ice, my Guide BC are unbeatable.”

Favorite season: “Because I start thinking about ice in July every year, so it’s no surprise that I like fall and winter.”

Tips for beginners on skates: “Have respect for natural ice – it’s under constant development. Your “eyes” on the ice are your ice pikes. Listen to the ice’s clang, it reveals the thickness of newly formed ice. Ice knowledge take time to learn. Skate and learn from more experienced. Ask questions and be curious. Find out about your local club or organization, join an intro-day, take a course about ice knowledge and safety. But especially, skate a lot and test different types of ice”.

More about Per: www.persollerman.com
Instagram and Facebook: @nordicskate