Media years (1990-1999)

Media years (1990-1999) galleries

After the hectic eighties photography business like everything else in Finland  became much tougher, because of the catastrophic recession in the beginning of 1990. It was more like a fight to stay alive. Everything was scaled down. I had a huge studio with high overhead costs. Magazine assignments were out of question because of the much lowered fees and price structures. You could not run a studio with people on payroll and you alone  running around with a camera and hand flash shooting “celebrities”.  That is  what the magazine business had become…

I had worked already with all the publishing houses, Sanomat, Lehtimiehet, Yhtyneet Kuvalehdet  A-lehdet.  There were new smaller opetarors like City lehti that I worked for in the beginning. They found out however that they could  get images from new, starting out photographers for free, so no money was to be made there. Too bad…

Advertising photography was not what I wanted. Being a “jazz guy that don`t play the same solo”, I didn`t want to make the same silly images over and over again. Often just rip-offs of others work, presented as “great ideas and concepts” to clients by these AD:s   I was  a very bad and difficult mannered advertising photographer.

I turned more and more to projects where I could be the art director, producer and the photographer. I prepared concepts in advance, had a team of people, stylists, make up people and creative minds. We did some “pilot samples” , presented the idea for a possible client, negotiated a complete package and when given O.K. did the whole thing. I even comissioned the lay out and graphic guy for the project myself. Some of the more successiful projects, such as Kalevala Koru female  and male jewellery collections, Aarikka new male silver collection and some new fashions and jewellery for young designers are shown here. All of them completely revamped the known and established , but somewhat stagnated image of those companies.

The key to success for me was testing, testing and again testing. Models, photographic techniques, lighting , the people I was working with, ideas, weird make ups and so on. I think I was doing testing more that I was actually shooting for money.  In the process I invented new techniques for color film processes as I had in my studio my own color lab. I also contacted young fashion designers to create original fashions specially for me. One of these were the “tupas wool” dresses that looked like ones from ancient viking period to go with those Aarikka traditional jewelry. This period was for me also very active as shooter of artists and musicans, doing memorable portraits. All of this however without getting paid ! The artist portraits were gifts. I did lots of them, in jazz festivals and concerts, for record covers . There was a time when I did most of the new jazz covers in Finland. Now later I can see that this difficult time was artistically the most succesifull in my career and  was the period I made my mark as an “Art and design photographer” later on to be credited in a very beautiful way.(The full artist`s pension by the state of Finland)