Introduction

This is my handwriting, also my handwriting are the images presented on these pages, for over 40 years, with Leicas, Hasselblads and various Nikon cameras.

What I try to do still as an “Oldie” is to get still the same feel, the same enthusiasm, what I had when I first picked up a camera and made my first exposures in a jazz concert of John Coltrane, back in 1961.. The same lousy technique and with B&W film, grainy like hell…

Yes I grew up in the period of movie “Blow UP”, the actor mimicing there the Photographer David Bailey, a hippie driving a Rolls, Nikon F hanging from his shoulder and shooting ” Social Documentary” in the back streets of London in his spare time, then going to his luxurous studio, shooting and shouting to the nice photo model girls. Oh those times…

Oh yes, I still like the sound of a shutter clicking and preserving what I see and feel in a slice of a 60`th of a second. I have those slices, hundreds of them, stored in my negative files. I feel truly rich, not by looking at my bank account, but looking and remembering the images in my archives. This website is about those images. My Life in photography, I am in the process of writing a book about it, with a grant from Patricia Seppälä Foundation. The “Working Title” is a little orthodox:

“More than thousand words-my  life with images”

John Coltrane in Helsinki 1961:
My career as a photographer got a flying start ( and my career as a young Saxophone star eneded likewise) as I entered a photo made of this negative in our school`s culture competition. I won the visaual art price, entered the same print in “kameralehti” magazine`s amateur photo competition and won it, I was asked to enter the Nordic Youth`s art competition in Stockholm. I won it too, and my Jazz photo was full spread on Dagens Nyheter daily / First page with text: Young Finn wins the Youth Culture Price !! WoW, quite a start.. I thought: This photography is nice, you also meet nice young girls, that want to have nice shots made of them… Within a couple years I was doing major work for the leading finnish magazines and Fashion Houses, travelling all over Europe and of couse also married to one of those nice models…

I have divided this website to three major segments:
EARLY YEARS: Work for fun, shooting jazzmen, girls, early fashion shots etc The period culminated in three reportage works, one in LAPLAND and others, made duringa TRAIN TRIP around Finland, Helsinki /Kuusamo/ Helsinki and one during my ARMY stint, the publication of my first serious reportage, after coming out of army . I forgot these two first stories and come upon them when starting to study my archives. They have never been published…

After army service , I opened a studio and started to do Commercial Reportage and Fashion work This period I call MEDIA YEARS It lasted in various forms from beginning of the 70`s up till end of 90`s . The advertising comissions I pass quietly ( it was good money, though)and concentrate on website to the more free work for artistis, musicans, fashion designers and new fantastic fashion model girls, that wanted to have a different look in their portofolio from what the other photographers were doing at that time. I have a lot of this material and I want to point out to the guys working in the photo business now: I always sold my work on single usage terms. I own the copyright to all my material, that applies of course also to this material on this website!                    (So please honor my copyright and don`t copy my images…You may know that fighting about the copyright cases is nowdays a better business that actual shooting of new images…) 

The last segment in my career I call “FINALE YEARS” I started to do photographs without comission, just by my own free will, in order to keep my sanity, between the daily “Professional Studio Jobs” I started to do the ” Grainy days” Portofolio, just shooting for kicks, in B&W and in bad weather. This I see now as a “KATHARSIS”, cleaning my inside of all the agression and junk. I continued with Leicas, in 35mm black & white film. Street photography. Shooting everyday stuff, just for fun, honing my skills again as an observer, and having great time doing it.  I have got rid of most of the professional equipment that filled my studio during the “professional career”  I just have  some 35mm leicas, Middle format hasselblads and lab/development equipment to produce  my portofolios . I also have a good scanner and computers to do digital scanning and printing of the same images for reasonably priced prints. The handicrafted prints are available as numbered and signed portofolios.   My present aim is to do the material for my retrospective, both old and new material, to be presented as a multimedia work. There is still a lot to do and live ! Hope there is still days to do it…

Thanks for looking, Jukka Watanen

(Click on the next volume “Portofolios” to see my images from my career)