Bengt Wanselius was born near Stockholm, Sweden in 1944. His early experimentations with a camera started at the age of ten, capturing friends, family and cars on film, and changing the household's bathroom into his first darkroom. His formal photographic education was at Stockholm's Professional School for Photographers, 1959-1961.
From 1967-1985, Bengt worked as a freelance photographer for all the major magazines and publishing houses in Scandinavia. Some of these assignments took him to war-stricken areas in the Middle East, and other places of unrest or revolution as in Yugoslavia, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba. Whether he was photographing from the back of a camel in Jordan, or ruining a Renault deep in the wilderness of Tanzania and Kenya, Bengt has experienced both the beauty of nature, and the best and worst sides of man.
More tranquil assignments in advertising and food photography were with Unilever, Kodak and Ericsson. He also made his acquaintance with dance and theater photography early on in his career. Bengt has taken stills (on location and in the studio) for films with directors such as Bille August, Bo Wideberg and Liv Ullman, and for television productions with Swedish Television / Drama and Channel Four, England.
In 1976, Bengt was one of the founders and co-owners of the picture agency, Bildhuset - one of the largest distributors and sellers of stock images in Scandinavia. Beginning with 15 photographers, Bildhuset now represents seventy of the most successful photographers in Sweden today.
For seven years, from 1980 onward, Bengt served as chairman of the Swedish Photographer's Association, and between 1984-1987, also as the chairman with the Nordic Photographer's Association. During 1981 through 1983, he was selected by the Swedish government to be a member of the Swedish Culture Council, simultaneously teaching at Stockholm's Design School for Arts and Crafts - Konstfack.
From 1984 -1987, Bengt held a position as assistant professor in the Photography Department at the University of Gothenborg. Today he still is a regular guest teacher and lecturer at Konstfack, sharing his experiences and establishing contact with the coming generations.
Perhaps a little weary of all the traveling, Bengt agreed to an "easier" job in Stockholm as House Photographer at the Royal Dramatic Theatre - Dramaten. He alone was to be responsible for personnel portraits, archive, press and program materials, rehearsal and performance pictures, as well as photographic projections used in the scenography for some twenty new productions each season. During his fifteen years there, he made his acquaintance with internationally well-known theatre directors such as Arthur Miller, Andrei Waijda, Juri Ljublimov and Robert Lepage. His long collaboration with director Ingmar Bergman is certainly one of the most interesting (as well as demanding). They have worked together on about twenty productions ranging from theatre, opera and television, and Bengt has created a unique photographic documentary of Mr. Bergman's works. His latest exhibition (in 1998) was with his dance pictures over a twenty-year period at the House of Dance in Stockholm. Bengt has also been published in several books about theatre and dance- especially noted are his books about Drottningholm's Theatre and the Cullberg Ballet.
Since 1997 Bengt has returned to the freelance world. He has actively promoted digital conversion of photographic material amongst his colleagues. His latest enterprise has developed into moving stills. With a digital video in hand, he has made several films and documentaries for advertising, dance, theatre, sailing and behind-the-scenes work for productions with choreographer Mats Ek and Mr. Bergman, as well as editing and preparing films for websites.
From his first Zeiss Ikon to the latest in digital photographic equipment, Bengt Wanselius has always been involved with pictures. His fascination with the visual neither sets limits with a 300 mm lens, nor freezes at 125th of a second, but encompasses a wide perspective and a neverending curiosity for discovering what is hidden around the next corner.