It's always about life and human experience

One of the nicest thing about my job is meeting new people and getting to visit their lives and thoughts for a brief moment. It gives me new perspectives, it inspires, and it has definitely influenced who I am today.

One of the hardest thing when I started, was to step into other people’s territories, to get close to people either with with my camera or with my questions. Breaking those boundaries made me feel like an invader.

I can happily say that those worries are long gone. I feel no shame sticking my lens close to someone’s face or digging deep with my questions. I believe that a successful encounter is never just about the subject and always about life and human experience. And sometimes what started as work turns into a friendship.

A few years back I met Nina when I photographed her for the Helsinki – People Make the City book. She is one of the two founders of Nord-T, an organic tea company. Last week Nina invited me over to Fiskars, a little artisanal village about one and half hours drive away from Helsinki, where she had just moved with her family to start a new chapter in their lives in a very old and charismatic estate.

I love it how light lingers in old buildings. I love the presence of the past, the little chips and knocks that tell stories of the lives lived before us. And of course visiting the countryside makes me dream of my own garden with a greenhouse, a new old home where I could retreat to with my my family to potter around and make art all day long.

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House of art and magic

My friend Maritta is a sculptor, painter, and a spiritual being. Her home and greenhouse atelier are both filled with beautiful objects, charming energy, and magical light. I visited Maritta’s house a few days ago and when I saw her beautiful flower arrangements, I had to dig out my camera.

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Photography: Laura Iisalo

Milla <3

A while ago I had an idea of a new book about motherhood. I wanted to photograph different kinds of mothers with their children, and have an open discussion about what it is to be a mother, how it affects identity, daily life and the relationship with oneself.

I did a test shoot with Milla, a super inspiring woman, artist, and mother to little Unto. I applied for a couple of grants and contacted a few publishers but that came to nothing. After some serious pondering I decided to let this project go. But here is Milla with Unto. It was a pleasure to meet them both.

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Remains

Two years ago me and my man bought an old van, made it into our contemporary home and traveled across Finland and up to the Arctic Ocean with our two dogs.

I have lots of photos from our trip – and I may come back to this – but one is my favourite. It was taken on a very small island somewhere near Alta where there were no people, just a herd of reindeers and us.

I took the photo but by man spotted it first; remains of a little reindeer calf resting on a bed of moss and flora.

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Above: Remains, 2017

Thailand 2009-2017

I have spent around six months in Thailand altogether and I have always carried my camera with me either completing assignments or just for fun. I miss doing documentary style photography. It’s so easy to get lured into trying to capture a perfect image with perfect light, perfect sharpness, straight lines, and with commercial value. But sometimes it’s more satisfying to capture a moment, a feeling. These photos were taken during my travels in the years between 2009 and 2017.

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