Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sleepless nights


God, I love sleepless nights, They always get me thinking, so let me pick your brain a little with some thoughts...One day you are dreaming, but in the next moment, you are living the dream and thinking to yourself, how the hell did this happen? We are so busy planning our days and chasing our dreams that we forget what happens in this crazy thing called life. 
         When I look back on the things that have happened throughout my life so far, a smile forms on my face. Harsh lessons were learned, a couple broken hearts here and there, but most important are the memories..the times spent laughing with family, the great nights with friends, those were the best of times. Now as a grown man I can actually appreciate those times. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy those moments, of course I enjoyed them, but that was one chapter in my life and now I've turned the page to a new chapter. That what makes it special. Time makes it special.
               All those things that we didn't want to happen..they happened. Those that we wanted to happen, they happened as well.  To me it's still a big mystery how I ended up being an artist.  I never liked art in school, I was supposed to be doing something else.. but do I regret that I am what I am now? No! Do I love it? Oh yes! I didn't like anything while I was in high school. I just wanted to be one those "cool" kids and question everything. I was one of those people who Bryan Cranston would call "Sneakypetes." He mentioned this word in a speech after winning an Emmy couple weeks back. I was the kid who took shortcuts, who was lazy and was basically that typical teen boy. The positive thing is this life is that we actually can grow up. And I love what I do now.  I love to take pictures, that's what drives me and what allowed me to go from that typical teen boy to a more mature and responsible person.  
           I don't know how I got here, but here I am, and I know that I have a few people to thank for this.  And if they are reading this, they know that I'm talking to them when I say thank you. And to you all, here's a message.. Don't settle for mediocrity, find your passion, make it your dream, pursue it and reach it. Don't let your life pass you by.  I still have have long way to go but I couldn't be happier, because I know my journey is only starting.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Across the US

       As humans, we were born with a curious mind. Curiosity is what empowers us to move forward. Curiosity is what creates opportunities and in turn, opportunities create possiblities. You have to replace your fear of the uknown with inquisitiveness and let yourself go. Curiosity is what got me here and it got me to travel across the United States in a train too. More than 7000 miles in 18 days. 

           In Europe it's very common to get a rail pass (the equilavent of an Amtrak ticket) and travel around Europe by train. This is what gave me the idea to travel this way throughout the United States. When I first read about traveling by train I learned that it's not as common in the U.S. as it is in Europe. And there are some differences between the EU rail pass and the U.S. rail pass (this just proved to make me want to explore this vast country even more.).  

           Even though during this trip I visited all of the biggest cities in the U.S. I have to say that there is no place like New York, it still remains my number one place in the world.  I'm sorry that I have to say this but I didn't like LA at all..it was a big disappointment.  But other than that, the whole journey was amazing. I was ready to feel a little uncomfortable since I had to endure two days on a train but that just helped contribute to the feeling of adventuring.   The trains were nice, nothing fancy, but comfortable enough.  As a phone addict I really missed the wifi but I think it was good for me to just enjoy the views and get to know fellow passengers. Something I found amazing was the fact that if I had been on a train for a day in Finland (and no one knew each other) it would have been a quiet ride, unless you had given every passanger a six pack of beer.. It's just how the Fins work. But here I was, in the U.S., with strangers who acted like we had known each other for years.  And that's what I love about Americans, they are so outgoing. 

         I really enjoyed San Francisco although it was a bit chilly there. I heard that it's always like that in San Fran.
   I visited a lot of places during this trip, but hands down, the most amazing place I visited, was the Grand Canyon.  You really can't appreciate how big it is until you actually see it with your own eyes. Words cannot begin to describe how beautiful it is.  I stayed in this small town near the Grand Canyon called Williams. Lovely place. After that I started working my way back to NYC.  

        I started my photography career as a street photographer so this experience reminded me of when I had just started  photographing images.  This was a personal project of mine that I enjoyed doing a lot. I did this for me, but also in the hopes of extending my resume, getting new ideas for projects, and providing you guys with some nice images. Hope you enjoy them! 




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I found my "voice" as a photographer

There I was three years ago wondering the streets of New York with my first camera. I had been in New York many times before, but this time I had come all by myself for three months. I had just graduated high school in Finland. I had no idea what I was going to do next. All I knew was that I had to start my service in the the Finnish military in a few months, which is mandatory.  I also knew that I wanted to move to the United States when I finished that. I had no idea that the little thing in my hand would be my key to something different.. To something great! 



           My goal was always to do something different and to try not to be like every one else.  But also I was afraid of that, of being different, because we all know how people react to something different and something that they are not used to. Of course I also thought I would be like my father, a doctor, but I never liked reading and all that.  Then again I never liked art classes in school either, until I tried my sister's camera. A couple months later I bought my own camera and then I came here. 

          In New York I spend my days walking around and getting to know the city..and taking a lot of pictures, of course! At the end of the day I come home and transport my images to my ipad and edit my favorites with an app called Snapseed (which I still use daily.) After awhile I noticed that the pictures I took were actually good.  In order to show my work to the world I opened an Instagram account and posted a couple pictures.  I did the same thing with  Facebook too. Later on Nike used a picture of mine in one of their campaigns. 

          After three months I went back to Finland and I kept on taking pictures. I used my friends as models and I took self-portraits a lot as well.  I only showed people some of my pieces of work, because I was afraid that no one would like them. Then I was asked to take photos of a town called Imatra in Finland so they could use the photos for advertisements.  The first time I showed my images to them, they came up with an idea to open up a gallery dedicated to my work instead, which turned out to be a succes and it opened up so many new doors for me. Later on I worked with different companies in Finland.  For example, I began taking portraits of athletes.  Also I opened my own business and I took pictures of people who were graduating.

         Now I'm studying Photographic Imaging at Suffolk County Community College, which is located on Long Island in New York. A few weeks ago I was a part of a student art gallery in Huntington, New York. Out of 21 amazing artists I was awarded a first place prize for one of my pieces of artwork. 
          I must say that my style as a photographer has changed a lot since moving here. It's not just about taking beautiful pictures anymore, they all have a deeper meaning and they tell story. It's like a poem...I found my "voice" as a photographer.