I photograph beauty; I'm old-fashioned that way. And the most beautiful subject I know is the female form.
I started out with travel photography, and I've seen and shot some stunning vistas: the karst formations at Guilin in China veiled in mist, the church and castle on Lake Bled in Slovenia flanked by Julian Alps, and the amazing skyline of Hong Kong at night. They and many others are perfect tens, but the female form goes to eleven.
While a subject can be a goddess-in-waiting, capturing her essence and making the world see her for the stunning creature she is can be another matter entirely.
After years of trying, I finally feel that I have reached a level in my craft where I do justice to the models I shoot. The components I've found to best complement my models include a bold, varied color palette, lighthearted compositions, and a bright, ethereal atmosphere. I usually include props and accessories to tell a simple story, which is often quite improbable and sometimes politically incorrect. These are unabashedly male fantasies I feel many women would like to be part of.
I draw my inspiration from popular culture, the collective desires formed by film, TV, magazines and the internet. These desires and resulting mental images are often unrealistic and unattainable, yet persuasive and universal. Some aspects are sacred to me – such as the physical proportions of a model –, while others – such as colors of clothes – are wide-open to change and experimentation. The goal is to create an inviting fantasy which just might be real if you believe in it enough.
I've always been a strongly visual person: I grew up admiring my mother's water paintings, as well as the usual childhood fare of comic books, TV and movies. While I've been photographing since I was a teenager, I started out "seriously" in 1999 with travel photography, and expanded to portraits and glamour in mid naughties. I've always wanted to photograph pretty ladies, but I'm a shy guy from a small Finnish town, so it took me a while to get comfortable enough behind the camera that I could trust myself to do justice to the models. When I finally did, I got off to an auspicious start: my first portraits got the model into Miss Hong Kong competition – she eventually placed in the top 10.
The joy I see when I show photographs of my models to them is a reward in itself, as is the knowledge that someone appreciates my photography enough to display it on a wall in their home - or bold enough to do so in an office. Although I get the warm and fuzzies from pleasing others, I ultimately and always shoot for myself. I'm a perfectionist and ruthless editor when it comes to choosing the keepers, reflected in the limited number of prints offered here.
I shoot modern pinups with a classic large format film camera employing a similarly hybrid approach: I develop the film by hand myself, edit the super high resolution scanned photos digitally, and print them with pigment inks on large sheets of fine art papers. Large physical paper prints are artifacts in a digital world; some would say antiquated the moment they come out of the printer. That's fitting for a contemporary take on a vintage genre.