• 2.26.15

    Jonas Fredwall Karlsson Breaks Spain's Biggest Scandal

    In a fourteen-page exclusive with Vanity Fair España, Diego Torres tells the whole story of his place in the Spanish Nóos Institute scandal that is rocking the European country. Facing more than 16 years in prison for embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, and other charges for mishandling €6m in public funds, Torres isn’t willing to take it lying down. The results of the six hour interview are more than simple confession; Diego is letting it all hang out, implicating everyone involved, including the royal family. From payoffs, to cover ups, to major miscarriages of justice, Torres refuses to be the patsy in a scandal that is much bigger than his own part. So he took his story to Vanity Fair and it is the whole story.

    Breathing life into Torres’ account, populating all 14 pages, are portraits taken by photographer Jonas Fredwall Karlsson. Like any high stakes tell all, there was hesitance and a couple false starts. Jonas travelled to Barcelona twice before they were able to execute the shoot. In the time leading up to the project, Jonas and Vanity Fair planned out the shots as well as they could, expecting some understandable constraints. “This is a business guy. And there were ideas that I had in advance that the magazine wasn’t sure he’d be willing to do. Like taking off his jacket, unbuttoning his sleeves,” says Jonas. He even had the idea of shooting Torres reclining in the bathtub, but their expectation was: “He would never go down in the bathtub, absolutely not!” It turned out, all Jonas had to do was ask.

    In their preshoot meeting, Torres was understandably nervous. “This was a big deal for him,” explains Jonas. But when the time came to shoot, Torres arrived as a collaborator. “With digital you can take a picture and show the subject and clear it with them,” says Jonas. “Most of the time you can say, ‘Can we try to do a picture of you in the bathtub?’ And then they agree to do that and they never ask to see the picture.” That's precisely what Jonas offered Torres, but it turned out it wasn't necessary. Torres nestled into the tub and they got the shot. No stress, no muss.

    After all was said and done, Jonas was clear to say that this is his kind of project. “It’s the kind of story I really enjoy doing, because it’s a real story with a real interest and it’s something that’s important,” says Jonas. “It’s great to do it for a magazine like Vanity Fair because they let me have the luxury of spending time.” The long time relationship Jonas has with Vanity Fair means there’s mutual trust, a crucial element for such an impactful story.

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