Until next time lovely.
Until next time lovely.
“I’m so nervous!”
That’s the most common phrase I hear at the start of every photoshoot.
My response is always some variation of:
“I’m so glad!”
Because nervousness is an indication that what’s about to happen really means something. In other words, if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be nervous.
When we look at it like this, nervousness can be a great indicator for where to head next. If you ever find yourself confused or unsure about which direction to take, follow that which makes you nervous, that which scares you (nothing that involves physical danger though!). Because in that place is where we’re going to grow and develop as a person, through which we’re going to find a lot of happiness, feelings of aliveness and joy!
This is what this gorgeous girl, Hanna, did.
Do you feel uncomfortable or afraid when you have to be in front of a camera? Have you thought about how you’d love to try out being photographed but are scared to do so? Read more here about why I think this is important to do so.
Until next time lovelies,
One of the biggest perks in my work is that I get to meet and know the most incredible people.
And this woman is no exception.
She’s an amazing combination of determination, intelligence, femininity, confidence and sensitivity.
She’s a CFO, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend and a yogi.
She’s all in one.
Kristiina is a woman I admire.
She’s worked hard, achieved a lot in her career, takes care of herself and looks about 10 years younger than she really is.
For the past 15 years, she has been practicing yoga and meditation, both of which she credits for her success and peace of mind.
Yoga and meditation have helped her get in touch with her intuition, which has always guided her in the right direction.
In fact, the decision to say yes to this photoshoot was in large due to her intuition. She visited my website, read more about my concept and felt a strong pull towards it – her intuition said a big, fat yes.
And her intuition was spot on once again. It was clear from the beginning that we were going to get along just fine.
The first time we spoke on the phone about the arrangements and other practical aspects of the photoshoot, I knew we would have no trouble connecting. There was something about her voice and the way she spoke that made me sure of it.
Since the photoshoot was to take place in her new hometown of Lugano, Switzerland, the entire process went about a little bit differently. We decided to jump start getting to know each other so I sent her an initial set of questions via email.
They’re no ordinary questions either, as they dive directly into the depths of your soul.
She had absolutely no trouble answering them. I was really pleased that she opened up and answered the questions so honestly. It showed me that this person is serious about the process and wants to make the most of it. That she’s willing to open herself up so vulnerably to someone she’s never met, in order to have the possibility of gaining something in return.
I was excited to begin this journey with her.
One of the answers she gave me stuck with me the most. She told me the one thing she disliked about herself was her criticism – towards herself and others. While it has played a big role in her career success, it has also become a source of irritation.
When we strive for perfection, we’re never satisfied, there’s always something to fix, something to be made better, something be made perfect. However, the problem with perfection is, it’s only an illusion.
This is something familiar to me, something I’ve also had to learn to deal with. The wonderful Marie Forleo always says: “Progress, not perfection” and when I start to get pulled back into perfectionism, I try to remind myself of this quote. We can sometimes get so stuck in the idea of what something should be like, that we end up getting lost and never arrive anywhere.
Sometimes the aspects of ourselves that are the most prominent, ones that we’ve always considered ‘us’, might just be habits formed early on in our childhood. We’ve grown so accustomed to them that we’ve made them a part of who we are. We’ve learned to define ourselves through these habits.
The strive for perfection was something Kristiina always thought was in her character. It wasn’t until we had our initial conversation face-to-face that she discovered, it was probably just something she learned.
This gave her a whole new perspective on the possibilities of who she is, who she could be and what she could feel.
Kristiina’s husband, the one who gifted her with the photoshoot, was largely in charge of logistics and had picked me up from the airport, shown me around so I could choose the photoshoot location, and was now giving me a ride there.
He told me in the car that Kristiina had already started getting nervous about the photoshoot the evening before. This was great news to me – it proved, yet again, that this meant a lot to her. There are so many non-verbal signs that tell us much more than we can sometimes even articulate.
I was excited to see her and work with her.
That day, we spent a great deal of time together. Walking, photographing, talking, laughing, eating, drinking tea and photographing some more.
Kristiina told me that she’d always wanted to have nice photographs of herself but has a hard time relaxing in front of the camera. She feels like she’s not able to smile and doesn’t like to see herself laugh in photos.
This is a very common issue – seeing ourselves laughing. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because of how we’re used to seeing ourselves. Our primary source is the mirror. How often do we stand in front of the mirror laughing? I sure rarely do! So we are most comfortable with the “poker face”.
I made a note about it to myself that I need to find a way to 1. relax her and 2. to make her laugh. Luckily those two usually go hand in hand!
Kristiina is an amazing woman. I was constantly blown away by her. In the bloopers section you’ll notice how she was jumping around, moving her body, and at times she did this directly in front of people. She couldn’t care less about what they thought.
How much more free and happy would we feel if we did what we felt like doing without concern about how others may perceive it?
Life would look quite different, I’m sure.
So next time you feel like doing something, do it, regardless of the place or the time. Follow your intuition, follow your heart and set it free. The right people will love you for it. Remember this:
Be who you are because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. -Dr.Seuss
Thank you, Pasi, for finding me and for knowing your wife so well. Thank you, Kristiina, for opening yourself to me without limitations and for being so open and willing to try anything. It was an absolute pleasure, and privilege, to get to know you and to photograph you.
Until next time lovelies,
Here’s a girl who will go onto doing big things in her life. In addition to her external beauty, Alice has a heart of gold and an intelligence to match – she’s really the perfect package.
And we had so much fun! Not only is Alice extremely photogenic and an all-around awesome person, she was also willing to lie down in the busy Hesperia park sidewalk, sit in the middle of thick vegetation and even getting herself wet in the Töölö Bay (which we ended up deciding to leave until next time ;)).
Right at the beginning of the photoshoot, Alice asked me a really good question – do I go check out exact locations to use before each photoshoot?
I answered ‘no’.
The reasons are quite simple:
I always choose the starting point for the photoshoot with the subject in mind. It depends on who I’m photographing and if the photographs have a specific target in mind. The location also needs to be one that is surrounded by photo opportunities because I rarely stick to just one location.
Weather-wise, I hope for sun, or at the very least overcast weather. I use a sun calculator which shows you where the sun will be at any given time. This helps me to plan better for where the light will fall at the time we are photographing.
Truth is, though, that there aren’t very many places you couldn’t photograph in and make beautiful photographs. Inspiration is everywhere and so are photo opportunities. In fact I tend to see a bit too many opportunities as I’m photographing someone that I physically have to stop myself or other wise neither of us would be going anywhere before the sun has set!
There is so much beauty around us, especially the unexpected kind. The way light penetrates through different elements brings me endless inspiration.
Nothing beats the dance of light and shadow!
This photoshoot was so enjoyable, inspiring and overall really fun. I enjoyed the entire process, Alice and the photographs themselves! A big thank you to Alice herself who was magnificent in the photos. It was a joy and an honour to photograph her.
Until next time, lovelies!
It always feels so surreal to me when I meet ladies who tell me they never look good in photographs and therefore hate being in front of a camera.
I always think ‘If only you saw what I see’.
Which is why I do the work I do. I want every woman who gets in front of my camera to feel beautiful, accepted and loved. I want to give them a different perspective on themselves; to show them what I see, to show them their inner and outer beauty.
We were all created different and in those differences is where our beauty lies.
Today I’m presenting you the beautiful and amazing Tuuli.
She originally contacted me because she has been on a quest to challenge herself, to do things she never thought she would and to build up her self-esteem.
One of the things she dislikes, normally, is being in front of a camera and she, like many women unfortunately, is very critical of photographs of herself. The idea of being photographed in front of people also made her very uncomfortable.
So naturally that’s where I took her – in the middle of people, right in the heart of Helsinki.
Let’s see what happened..
Sanomatalo was our first location. Sitting here something magical started to happen. I had photographed Tuuli for a little while when she said to me: “You know what? I’m no longer nervous! I feel really relaxed.”
That made us both shriek in joy and excitement – we had somehow managed to move past her fears in the first location already.
I felt giddy.
Our second location was the beautiful Musiikkitalo with its gorgeous clean lines. At this point Tuuli was radiating – you could see how she enjoyed being photographed.
Imagine that! The girl who, until now, has very much disliked being photographed.
Our photo session became so natural and such a beautiful moment.
Later on this is what Tuuli said about the experience:
“I tried not to think too much about where we were going to go, but like I said, the first thought was oh I hope we are not going to really public places! On the other hand I thought, I trust you and your vision. Besides you have a nice and calming presence.
So beforehand I was scared and nervous about the whole thing, how could I be in front of a camera when it doesn’t feel like me at all. I was nervous about being the center of attention and the unnatural feel of it. What will other people think of me and of the entire situation? That thought has eaten me for years. I still arrived with a relaxed mind. And the whole thing started off with good vibes and relaxed atmosphere. I wasn’t nervous about the people around me (the biggest surprise) nor did I feel uncomfortable (the second WOW). I didn’t even think of what I looked like.
And I was left with a winner feeling! I felt so good.
This is a long road I am on towards an overall self-respect, courage and stronger self-esteem. I’m also after a more merciful attitude towards myself and my shortcomings and accepting myself for who I am. Our photography session brought me much further in this goal. It might sound shallow and meaningless to someone else, and in some way I find it hard to articulate all of the positive and empowering feelings that came with this experience.
Thank you so much again, it was such a great moment with you!”
If you would like to be photographed to increase your confidence, to face your fears, to do something you never thought you would, contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org – I would love to work with you and help you move towards a stronger path.
Thank you so much for reading the story of the beautiful Tuuli and checking out the photographs we created together. If you found this blog post and these photographs touching, please share them with friends and family who might gain something from them as well.
Thank you again – I wish you a wonderful day!
Until next time lovelies,
About a month ago I photographed a woman who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer (read the full post and see the photos here) and was about to go under the knife. The mastectomy was scheduled to take place a week after our first photoshoot.
Once we got together for this post-mastectomy photoshoot, she told me more about the surgery, the experience and all the things that went through her head during. Through it all, she has maintained her sensibility and optimistic outlook on life.
Her humour especially is still very much intact: a few days after the surgery she was already joking about the new breast she has ordered from the surgeon!
This woman is an inspiration.
See for yourselves.
The final photograph perfectly portrays her joie-de-vivre.
Just look at her.
Isn’t she beautiful?
Thank you, again, for letting me come to your home and to such an intimate situation with you. I feel blessed to have gotten to know you and in some way experience this with you.
Until next time lovelies,
Of all the messages I got regarding the “I Challenge“- photo series, the one from this woman was the most impactful.
She had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and wanted to document her breast before it went under the knife.
For a moment I didn’t know what to say – all I knew was, I had to and I wanted to do it.
On the day of the photo shoot, I arrived to her house and she opened the door smiling. We had a long conversation over tea before getting to what I actually came there to do. She told me a lot about herself and we shared many experiences, thoughts and emotions with her.
This woman is fantastic. She is so friendly, so open, so strong and she has such a good heart. It was easy being around her and I nearly forgot why I came there in the first place.
Once we started the process of photographing, there was no sadness, there was no awkwardness, it was just her and I conversing, sharing a moment that will forever be marked by the photographs we were producing.
We were creating work that she will carry in her heart forever.
She didn’t find a lump in her chest, but instead she was alarmed by the oddity of her breast – it had changed in appearance. The breast felt different, it was resting oddly and she noticed her nipple had turned inward.
She is going under the knife next week.
And she will come out of it without her left breast.
This will, I’m sure, take a lot of time and emotion to really understand and come to terms with. But I have no doubt in my mind that she wouldn’t come out of this stronger.
Through, and with, these photographs I send her my wishes, my prayers and my thoughts. I’m honoured that she trusted me with such a sensitive and fragile subject matter. She opened her heart to me even though up until we saw each other, I was a complete stranger to her. But it is, in fact, in these moments that we experience life at its best – when we jump into the unknown simply following our hearts. And I am so glad she did so with me.
Until next time lovelies,
What is Studio Metsä all about? What exactly does Studio Metsä do?
If you’ve read the previous Blogging Challenge posts, you will have gotten a pretty good idea of the values and ideas behind Studio Metsä. And now that you are aware of the why, let’s get more clear on the what.
To put it simply: I photograph.
That’s what I do.
And I love it!
Now I will introduce you to a few “categories” of photography that are near and dear to my heart:
So there we go! Four of my main photographic interests and a few reasons why.
What about you? What type of photography is your favorite? And why? Leave a comment, I would love to know :)
Until next time lovelies,