Nothing stays the same forever

If I’d be running a YouTube channel, this would be what you’d describe as a channel update video. It has been a long time since my last post and I’ve actually got some messages wondering what’s happened to the blog. And no I’m not dead and yes, I’m still shooting film. Since I’ve been silent for almost half a year, I thought I’d share what’s going on. 

Basically what happened is I started a new job. I’ve been now working with VR (The Finnish Railways) for the past six months. As you may know, I’m a graphic designer and it just happened that they were looking for one. I’ve been extremely excited about my job and I’ve been pouring my creativity mostly on that. At the moment I simply don’t have time to shoot as much and it can take me up to four weeks to finish a single roll of film. Street photography I haven’t done almost at all, because it requires such a commitment. I simply cannot half do it while I work, because my concentration lies there. There’s more of course, so read on… 

Bad times

Before I started the new work, I actually didn’t have a job. It was the hardest time of my life and I was under a lot pressure and stress. I wasn’t only worried about money, but as a creative person, I have a need to create. It is a calling. Before things started to go bad, I was a freelancer for many years. I actually had a pretty successful career and I even had somewhat of a name as a designer. Nothing lasts forever though and things usually don’t end well. Eventually my business started to fail and I decided to leave sinking vessel. It took me how ever something like two years to find a job. Graphic designers primarily work for marketing, but I didn’t want to do marketing unless it was for a very good cause. I didn’t want to help some company to sell sneakers or cheap clothes that’ve been produced by some kids in China. I became interested in post-capitalist marketing or basically anything else than helping big companies to ruin the world. I wanted to do something good with my graphic design skills. Something like… oh I don’t know, help to promote the most environmentally safe public transport. Let me just say that if VR was my Tinder match, some wild things would’ve happened. Okay, that sounded dirty, but fuck it… what I’m trying to say is that I love my job, my new life and I love the idea of doing something for the planet. It is a perfect match! And yes, my position also involves photography. 

Film photography as a therapy

Film photography entered my life just when I was about to give up on life. I mean literally, I was dealing with depression and I didn’t want to see another sunrise. Again, not just for the worries over income. Creative person needs to create. After having a successful career, I felt I wasn’t needed anymore. Companies were only hiring trendier and younger people and I felt like a misfit. I felt such a terrible person for not having a place anymore. 

Photography became my therapy. It was one of the few things I wanted to get up from the bed for. It has such a strong connotations to those bad times, that it sometimes feels hard to pick up the camera. At the moment I see my street photography as an era, that lasted from 2016 to 2019. It was a project, even though I didn’t realise it at the time. I tried to document a fantasy world, where things would be good. I didn’t want to take photos of reality, but I wanted find portals to my fantasy world, where I could be happy. I found ease in slowly walking the streets and imagining I was living a time long before I was born. I also found writing to be relaxing. (That’s part of the reason why I started blogging.) Now that I feel I’m safe again, I feel like my street photography project is finished. I don’t see my current self in those photos anymore, but they helped me to cope. Photographically, I’m looking towards nature again. I’d like to take photos of breathing freely and feeling safe. Nature has always been a difficult subject for me though and I still haven’t been able to figure out how to do that on 35mm… maybe I can’t. New thoughts and ambitions are developing how ever and the future will show what will come out.  

I’m planning to keep the blog up and running, even though I’m probably not going to be the most productive film shooter out there any more. Or who knows. Something new and exciting might turn up tomorrow… you just never know. At the moment I’m moving very slowly and planning to shoot and write with patience.