Ben Ahlblad: PnV Exclusive Interview
By Chris Chase @ChrisChasePnV
I really don’t do many interviews anymore. It really takes a compelling subject or person to bring me back to the keyboard. So you know if my name is attached to an article, it’s something I’m passionate about. Which brings us to Ben Ahlblad or Fit Beny as you guys know him on social media.
I first saw Ben in an editorial for another publication and thought to myself, he has all the tools to succeed. Ben has a great face, a great smile and oh yeah a great body!
In getting to know him he’s also got a great personality and spirit. Michelle Lancaster is an up and coming photographer I met by posting a photo she took of Ben on Instagram.
We hit it off automatically and decided an interview with Ben coupled with EXCLUSIVE photos from her would be killer.
So here it is, my interview with Ben Ahlblad with a foreword by Michelle on what it’s like to work with Ben.
“When Benjamin first walked in the door there was no doubt I was taken by his unbelievable beauty.. but in my mind I knew that it was not the only thing I wanted to photograph. A shoot based purely on beauty is never enough in my work.. I wanted to photograph who he is and what makes him real. So we stood opposite each other, Ben against a white wall, no props, barely any fashion and began. What I found was one of the most beautiful souls I could capture, such light and passion was found inside someone so physically stunning. Benjamin is brave and willing to try anything to push boundaries, his smile is contagious and there is way more to this man than a six pack. I would go on to shoot him for days after and quite literally be saddened that my new muse was going to leave Australia to go back to Finland. I cannot wait to see him again one day to see where the world has taken him, in his expression and energy. I hope you enjoy viewing our shoot. “ –Michelle Lancaster
Chris Chase: Hey Ben! It’s nice to finally connect. Start off by telling the readers a little about yourself.
Ben Ahlblad: My name is Benjamin Ahlblad. I’m currently 22 years old (born 31.12.1995). I’m a model and life-liver currently in Helsinki, Finland!
CC: I can say for certain that you’re the first person I’ve interviews from Finland! Tell me about your family and growing up there.
BA: I am the youngest kid, and the only son in our family. I have three older sisters, Alexandra who’s only one and a half years older than me and then I have Sara and Linda – they’re both over their 30’s. And my loving parents.
(Being born on the last day of the year got me used to being the youngest bloke in almost everything – in our family, in school, in the army and among my friends. But I guess now when I’m in my 20’s the tables will turn soon so I shall cherish the moments when I still was able to be the youngest!)
CC: Tell me about your childhood in Finland and what was your fondest memory?
BA: Spending my childhood here has been a peaceful and enjoyable experience. With 4 dramatically different seasons I’ve experienced minus 40 degrees celsius freeze and pretty decent +30 degree summers (If we’ve been lucky) – and everything in between.
Still I’ve always had the urge to travel somewhere far away – to express my inner explorer and see some different views and enjoy longer summers. With all the peace and a low population density I wanted to see ’’the real world’’ – what is it like to just throw yourself out there?
My fondest memory from my childhood was the Christmas feeling we had during december. We would decorate our garden with Christmas lights and my dad would buy some hyacinths with a strong scent. My mum made the best Christmas food and we were all together in a night that felt to last forever.
After high school our Christmas celebrations weren’t quite the same anymore. My sister, Alexandra had left the country to travel the world (must be in our blood to explore lol). But one year, I think it was 2015, our family got the absolute best Christmas present without anyone knowing. Alexandra walks through the door, straight to our Christmas celebration… needless to say, we all shed some happy tears.
CC: What did you aspire to be growing up?
BA: This is a hard question because I never had a calling to any specific branch or work. But I’ve always had these visualizations. When I was a kid I always dreamed about winning some sort of sport competition. When I was doing martial arts I dreamed about being the best fighter in the world. Things changed and I started doing more fitness orientated workouts. When I got visible abs I low key dreamed to become a model – So I won the IFBB men’s physique jr Finnish nationals and got into modeling. Everything just falls in place if you’re doing what you love and follow you’re path.
CC: What is your life goal now?
BA: I rarely discuss my plans. One uses a little bit of energy from his dream whenever he talks about it.
By talking about my goals I run the risk of spending all the energy I need to put that dream into action. I’ve learned the power of words.
But I’ll give you a little hint: Freedom.
CC: How would your friends describe you?
BA: Well, most often anyone else’s opinion tells more about himself than about the person in question. But I know my true friends would describe me as happy, hippie and optimistic 😀
CC: Okay, desert island time. What your favorite book, food and movie?
BA: Mmmm did you say Dessert island?! I go with chocolate pizza!
I’d say The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, but I’ve read it so many times I know it by heart. So I’ll go with The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel. This is an informative book, I read it as frequently a possible to keep my mind optimistic, and to be in harmony with the universal mind. Also includes 24 exercises to keep me busy on that Island!
Nowadays I’m really bad at watching movies. Whenever I watch a movie I find myself grabbing my guitar instead and just getting lost by the music. So my answer is I’d change the movie for a guitar (or a chocolate pizza).
CC: What’s your favorite hobby?
BA: Well I’ve fallen in love with the freedom of just working out at the gym on my own terms. I also love playing the guitar – for me it’s like an airplane away from earth. So I go with fitness and playing the guitar.
CC: A perfect day for Ben is?
BA: Waking up with the first rays of the sun and to the sound of an ocean breeze. Going to the gym after a healthy breakfast, and after the workout finding myself on the beach accompanied with good friends or family, or perhaps a good book. When the beach gets boring I’d fancy to do some exploration in the nature.
When the day gets older I’d go to a cozy house among with some new and familiar faces and we can all vibe together with some good food and funny stories!
That’s pretty much a perfect day for me! I’m lucky you didn’t ask about the night.
CC: I’ll save that for the follow up interview! How’d you get into modeling?
BA: After winning the Fitness competition, I got approached by a local photographer (@esakapila), and we arranged a shoot. The photos got published in Adon Magazine. I didn’t even realize it at first, I just woke up to my instagram going from 500 to 3k in one night.
That was at the same time when I was leaving Finland to do some exploration in Australia. In Australia I got the chance to collaborate with some top photographers, like Michelle Lancaster.
CC: What has your experience been so far?
BA: Well, I’d still consider myself as a newbie since I’ve been doing this only roughly a year. But It’s been a blast! From every photoshoot I learn something new, and it’s always nice to connect with the photographer – when you find the connection you get the best shots as well!
I was lucky enough to do Miami Swim week as my first big runway show and it was such a cool experience – meeting a bunch of amazing people, connecting with the top from this industry and getting some valuable advice from the best.
CC: Tell me about working with Michelle because she absolutely adores you.
BA: Oh boy, that was a game changer. Without Michelle I would still be a rookie with a stone face in front of the camera.
The moment I met her I got this totally relaxed and easygoing vibe from her. When we started shooting she let me do my thing but directed me constantly to the right direction. She made me realize what modeling is all about. I wasn’t posing in front of the camera anymore – I was showing emotion and opening my soul. It’s a lot like acting I guess.
Not to mention I had so much fun shooting with Michelle! We ended up shooting for three different days. Her mind is full of creative ideas, and she sees an opportunity to shoot in any circumstance. We literally made art with the help of natural light and a white wall – as simple as that.
CC: Tell me something about you that no one else knows?
BA: I think most people see me as this social extrovert, but honestly small talk makes me feel uncomfortable many times. I love to have deep conversations and just be weird with equally twisted people.
CC: What is your philosophy on how to live a full, happy life?
BA: Don’t waste your life going with the flow. Do the things that truly excite you and what you really enjoy doing. Be harmonious with universe and by that I mean – be good. Be a good human being for other people, for nature and for yourself – that way you’ll feel better and you’ll do your bit on making this world a better place.