Style Masters 2015

Last year, hairdresser and “mad hatter” Hannu Viitala contacted me for an upcoming project. He wanted to submit work to Revlon´s Style Masters competition. I have done competition work for him before, so I was exited!  Same model, three different styles and looks, pictures in black and white! I said yes, of course. Especially when we had the best team I could think of. Last years winners were really cool, and most of the submits was of really high quality. I found the best model Krista Naumanen, whom I had worked with before, so I knew she was goin´to rock it! It took us 3 days to complete all the three looks,  it did not feel like work at all =)  I absolutely love these looks. Mirjam Lehtonen´s costumes are amazing and the make-up Tiina Lamberg made, is super intense.

Have a look

The first step was to enter the Finnish Style Masters competition, the winner will represent Finland in the international competition. Well, we did not win, we came second. still,  I´m very proud of us. We all gave it our best and I think it got us pretty far =)

stylema2

In the first two pictures I´ve used strobes to get a clean and crisp look. I used strobes in the last shot as well, but I also wanted to shoot with constant light. There was something about the look in this shot that I loved, so for the last one, I chose the constant light pic instead of the strobes. I really wanted to show the details by not having strong contrast between light and shadow, so I had a silver umbrella for my main light and used a silver reflector to get rid of most shadows. The constant light pic, looks a bit different, since the technique wasn´t the same.

Here are some older competition work, made many years ago with Hannu =)

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Making magic

Last post was all about finding inspiration by doing shoots just for fun. About 2 weeks ago, me an Mirjam Lehtonen from Mirjam Lehtonen Costumes talked about arranging something awesome, since her costumes are so super inspiring and I have wanted to shoot them for a while now ( shoot is such a strange word, it feels wrong to say it like that)  So we did, and it happened really fast. Everything was set and arranged during that same day. Sometimes you just have to take actions instead of just daydreaming ( I´m guilty of too much daydreaming) Again we had the dream team Tiina Lamberg, Mirjam Lehtonen and me. We all have the same kind of visual eye, so co-operating is really easy. We made a mood board on Pinterest so we would be on the same level, but other than that we really didn´t plan much. Everyone just did what they do best. Mirjam found this wonderful model for us, Joni. He was amazing, better than what we had expected. I felt nervous before the shoot, cause I felt that there´s so much that I could do with this, and I definitely did not want to screw up this opportunity. Once we begun, the magic just started to happen, we were all on fire, can´t wait to start working on the pictures!

 

 

Today there is another shoot ahead with the dream team again, with added talent Hannu Viitala. It´s a project for Stylemasters. What a way to start february!

 

By M

Frozen photographer

Once and a while, you need to do pictures just for fun, just for you. That´s how, at least I, get the energy to do my normal work. I´ve been living and working in Hämeenlinna for almost 7 years now, and not until last fall, a friend of mine opened her own Make-up studio, Studio Tiina Lamberg.  She is a super talented makeup-artist, and I can totally trust her taste and skills to do anything with make-up. I had longed for a partnership like that. Finally we could do all kinds of crazy “just for fun” projects together. And so we have, and one project “Frozen” was making me into a frozen queen ( or whatever ) =) Tiina”painted” me white(ish) with a certain kind of cream, my hair, eyebrows and lashes was covered with potato flour. We used cellophane around my neck to make it look like there is ice. I looked very strange, but it kind of worked out in the pictures. Easy to be the model and the photographer at the same time =) Well we had fun!

And what became out of it all….

Lindsay Adler workshop in Stockholm

2014-05-08 09.24.43

Last spring, I got the amazing opportunity to attend a world known photographer´s workshop in Stockholm, the one and only Lindsay Adler. I´ve seen her workshops on Creative Live before, and I really like the way she teaches. It makes sense, and her style to shoot is really great. Clean, bold and graphic as she calls it herself. It was a very sudden decision, and I had no clue if there was any spots left, cause I was kind of late with noticing the workshop. Thank you Facebook and a sleepless night.

So there I was, flying off to Stockholm, only two weeks after I had signed up for it. It was a two-day workshop organized by Scandinavian Photo. The first day, we stayed in for studio demos. Lindsay talked about how she became what she is now, what steps has she taken, how she finds ideas. A real eye opener was, when she told us and showed us, how much she has developed in only 4 years.

The second day, we went out to Haga park in Stockholm, to shoot some fashion. Lindsay had dragged with her, from across the seas, her dresses by Dream Shoot Rentals ( also her business). When I saw the venue and the dresses, I almost drooled cause it was so cool =)  Lindsay talked about the difference between editorial and portraits, and how to make special effects in camera instead of post production. We all got an opportunity to shoot with two models and three different looks. Not that much time though per student. I think I shot mine in 5 minutes or so.

After the demo, we went back to the studio where Lindsay showed us some tricks in photoshop and we talked more about finding inspiration. I´m very glad I attended the workshop, it was well worth the money and the time. The thing that made most impact in me was the fact that I got some encouragement that what I do is all right, that I do have the tools to go further as a photographer. I guess we all need some encouragement sometimes, no matter what you do for a living….

Here are the pics I created during those 2 days…hope you like it!  (MUAH:  Mariella Angnér, models: Alicia GratzlFrida Grosshög and Johanna Jansson)

 

By M

Winterwonderland

I´ve been very much involved with animals lately, and found, that being among animals really is relaxing for me. I enjoy it. I have taken portraits of dogs and cats in the past. But now I feel that I want to step it up a notch. I want to take pet portraits outside, try to catch the personality of the dog (or other pet), and not so much what is supposed to be right according to the breed. Pets are family members, people take pictures of them all the time. So why not take proper pictures of the loved one?  It´s a challenge, since they move around and don´t always do what you want them to. But in the end, what you capture is genuine. The animal won’t fake it, it´s the same with kids.

I want to use short focal length, wide apertures, capture magical natural light. Enhance the colors and contrast in post production. Try to keep it natural with just the right amount of editing and with my own twist.  My inspiration for this is project, is definitely these lovely portraits by talented photographer  Alicja Zmyslowska . Magical must say! My usual style is perhaps not as colorful and cheerful and I hope I can get it to fit the visual style I have in mind for these pictures..

A week ago I had the opportunity to arrange a shoot with familiar dogs to test this out. It was a super cold and beautiful outside, -17 C at least, so the time to shoot was limited. I knew I had to make it in 30 min if not shorter, so no plans was made in advance. I just went out and worked with what I had. I´m pretty happy with the result. Next step is to get more experience and learn some tricks how to get the pooches to do what I want 🙂

P.S dog models are welcomed 😉

 

By M

 

New year new theme

Snowless landscape captured this January during a road trip...

Landscape captured this January during a road trip…

So here we are, it´s the year 2015. I have had a long break from writing. As you probably can imagine, many things has happened during this time. One big thing, is the fact that I changed my family name back to what it was before I was married. And since I´ve build a reputation, and my business on the name I used to have, I was left feeling disconnected to my identity as a photographer and not really knowing why I do what I do. I didn´t feel the business I had was mine anymore, so now my theme for the year will be to reinvent myself as photographer and reinvent my business. It´s hard. I know what I want, but not sure how I will accomplish it. Starting my blog again with a new theme and name is one step, next up is coming up with a good logo and brand for “the new me”…..wish me luck on that one =)

You are welcome to join my journey!

By M