Shirt - LWS*,  Pants - H&M,  Shoes - H&M,  Bag - GT,  Earrings - Glitter




Some slightly more personal photos this time, from my trip to Stockholm, which I did about a month ago with my family. We were staying for three days only and when you're in Stockholm that isn't too much time. We did however find time to carry out the essentials - shopping and visiting our relatives. We met up with my aunt and my sickeningly cute cousins. And my dear grandma. She had been sick and was waiting to hear from the hospital, either good or bad news about a potential surgery. And dad especially wanted to be there for her. Luckily the news were good and there was no need to take such measures. It was a little scary, the thought of her existence coming to and end. I guess that was also one of the reasons why I wanted to photograph her, in case this was to be the last time...

My relationship to my relatives on my father's side is kinda tricky. I've spent a lot of time with them when I was little and have mostly good memories from our time together. But now after moving to Finland (and growing older) and staying apart from them for the majority of every year I've started to look at them objectively. And those thoughts contradict greatly with my childhood memories. A lot of it has to do with their values and morality, which in some instances differ hugely from my own. A lot of it is a consequence of the way they were brought up in Iraq. They have their own ways of doing things and that's perfectly ok. But sometimes it gets to the point that I can't respect them based on their actions. I won't go any deeper on this subject now. I like to see myself as a fairly open minded and empathic person, one who tries to avoid conflicts at any cost. But when there are people who you deeply care for involved it's hard to just leave it be. Feeling slightly confused. When you love someone but they suddenly change in your mind after you've found out an unpleasant truth about them, what do you do? I know they're not going to change because it's deeply imprinted by cultural norms and how they were brought up, and I really don't feel like supporting something I can't accept.

I don't want to finish with such a gloomy tone so I'll just explain some of the photos in hopes to lighten up the mood a little. The second photo is of my grandma. She's beautiful, isn't she? And a very active woman despite of her health problems. Sometimes a little too active, not allowing herself to rest. She's a very loving person. And perhaps the world's greatest cook. The next photo is of something she cooked for us called "kfta" and it's one of my favorite dishes ever. The fourth photo is of my cousin Alex. He's one of the cutest things I know. He's a sensitive kiddo who's a little shy but very kind and sweet. I had so much fun shooting him! I think he got so excited about seeing us that he didn't know what to feel, making a bunch of crazy faces moving from one emotion to another, haha. The last photo is kind of random if you don't know the story behind it, so let me enlighten you with an anecdote. So this is my grandma's toilet seat. It's guarded by this painted stone cat. Why? So that snakes climbing up the plumbs won't come out of her toilet seat. Obviously.



Viime viikonloppu tuli vietettyä Helsingissä Nooran ja Severin tykönä. Mun onnekseni kylässä oli samaan aikaan myös ihana pörröinen Milla (kuvissa), joka oli tullut sijaishoitoon. Siellä viettämäni aika koostui pääasiassa kuvailusta, hieman epäonnistuneista kirpparireissuista, lämmöstä nauttimisesta ja pienimuotoisesta shoppailusta. Olin valitettavasti tuolloin vielä flunssassa eikä ehkä tullut otettua ihan kaikki irti tuosta reissusta mutta kaiken kaikkiaan mulla oli todella hauskaa ja tuntui ihanalta nähdä Nooraa ja myös muita ihmisiä pitkästä aikaa! Nähtiin myös Thelmaa pikaisten photoshoottien yhteydessä ja saatiin tosi makeita kuvia. Hui että, en malta odottaa että pääsen käsiksi niihin!

Mutta jospa siirrytään hetkeksi nykyaikaan. Voisin (kerrankin) jakaa hieman tämänhetkisiä ajatuksiani kanssanne. Ensinnäkin mua on nyt jo alkanut ärsyttää runsas oman pärstän esiintyminen tässä blogissa. Uskon että osa teistäkin kaipaa vaihtelua. Aionkin tehdä parhaani ja yrittää tarjota teille juurikin sitä. Mulla on vielä kuukauden takaiselta Tukholman matkalta kuvia käsittelemättä joten niitä pääsette ainakin kummastelemaan pian. Mitäs muuta. Jokunen vastoinkäyminen on tullut vastaan viimeisen kuukauden aikana. Suurin niistä Turun Taideakatemian kutsukirjettä vaille jääminen. Rehellisesti sanoen oon yllättynyt koska kuvittelin kehittyneeni niin huimasti viimevuodesta (jolloin tosiaan sain kutsun pääsykokeeseen) ja pidin ikään kuin itsestäänselvyytenä myös tänä vuonna sinne pääsemistä. Oli peruste päätökselle mikä tahansa en aio antaa tämän vaikuttaa etenemiseeni, paitsi tietysti kannustavana voimana kehittyä. Voi tietysti olla että tyylini kuvata ei ole se mitä siellä haetaan. Se on ihan okei, sillä haluan kuitenkin pysyä uskollisena itselleni ja kehittää juurikin sitä omaa tyyliä.

Huonot uutiset ensin ja sitten vasta hyvät. Eräs asia josta on koitunut hyvin paljon iloa ja ylpeyden tunnetta itselleni tapahtui kovin odottamatta, täysin puskan takaa. Sain yhteydenoton Adobelta joka aiheutti hillittömän kilju-itku-nauru-kohtauksen. Myin heille yhden kuvistani ja lisäksi mua pyydettiin mukaan yhteen projektiin johon osallistui mun lisäksi 47 muuta taiteilijaa. Tuon jälkimmäisen projektin tuotos julkaistaan kesäkuun puolella joten en voi valitettavasti vielä tässä kohtaa paljastaa sen enempää. Toinen ei läheskään yhtä yllättävä juttu on kesä. Siitä aion ottaa kaiken ilon irti, etenkin nyt kun mulla on kaikki vapaa-aika maailmassa ja ennen kun hotellin kerroshoitajan hommat kutsuu. Muistakaa tekin olla vaipumatta epätoivoon jos jotain ikävää sattuu ja pysykää optimistisina. Elämässä täytyy olla tietty määrä ikävyyttä jotta osaisimme arvostaa niitä hyviä asioita. Mutta joo, antoisaa kesää vaan kaikille!



Me: Dress - LWS*

Noora: Dress - Bikbok,  Necklace - Glitter

So it's official. Summer is here. Conveniently my flu still hasn't gone away. I'm frustrated. The photos above (got a little carried away editing these with Snapseed) are from my trip to Helsinki, which happened last weekend. More photo material and proper writings coming soon (hand on my heart), I'm seriously too frustrated to do this right now.



T-shirt - Zara,  Skirt - H&M,  Fake Leather Jacket - Zara,  Sunnies - ZeroUv*,  Ring - Rings&Tings*,  Bag - Vintage



Watch video below for outfit info!




Photographer: Sara Lehtomaa
Model: Jade Than
Makeup: Sara Lehtomaa
Styling: Sara Lehtomaa



So, I have been meaning to do a post like this for ages. Especially now that I've almost completely updated my gear I feel like it's a good time to finally do it. Every now and then I get questions about what gear I use, usually from people who are newbies to photography. I do actually have a link in my sidebar which says "Click here to find out what gear I use!". Despite of that fact, I will now dedicate this whole post to introducing to you the gear I use and how I use it.

1. Camera body - Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Previously I had been using the 7D as some of you may already know. I can honestly say after using it for about 5 years that it was a great camera (if you are curious to see how it delivers just scroll down about a month backwards, since almost all of my photos back then are taken with it). I wanted to update my camera in the first place because mine wasn't full-frame and because I knew plenty of fellow photographers who were using either the 5D Mark II or Mark III and were producing beautiful images. Long was I pondering which one of those two I would purchase. I ended up justifying buying the older Mark II, by a lack of improvement in the newer model and about a 1000 euros difference in prices. I bought it secondhand and saved me some money there as well (I did do some serious background research of it's condition before I bought it, though). I'm still very content with my decision and it's truly as good as new! I feel like it produces much more vivid colors and greater sharpness. And I do recommend it to anyone who is considering buying one. However, they don't manufacture new ones anymore so you'll have to buy a used one. When it comes to a good entirety, the body is of course a very important factor if you take photography seriously. But if it's just a hobby and you're not willing to spend too much money on it, then I suggest you to pay more attention to what lens/es you use. A good lens can make a huge difference!

2. Lenses - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG, Canon EF 20mm f/2.8

Yes, all of my lenses are fixed. Why? Well, one reason for sure is that they don't weigh a ton like zoom lenses tend to. And as I am a very small person with nonexistent biceps and a self-indulgent mind, I wouldn't bother myself with those horrid things. Also, zoom lenses with high film speed (= sensitivity to light) cost a fortune compared to fixed ones. Besides I bet you won't even find zooms at f/1.4. But there are plenty of fixed ones with great film speed at affordable prices, e.g. my 50mm f/1.4 lens by Canon, which cost about 350 euros. In my opinion that's a lens everyone should own. And for the record, the smaller the f-number you photograph with (ergo the wider open the aperture), the shallower depth of field you will get (if that's the style you're going for). I actually almost never go above f/4, unless I'm shooting wide-angle. Now, when it comes to choosing your lens, different lenses are fit for different situations. Portrait time! I grab my 85mm. It's great in bringing all the attention to your model by blurring out everything else in the background softly and beautifully. When I head outside for a spontaneous photography trip I always carry with me my 50mm. I'm telling you that lens is good for nearly everything! When I don't have too much distance from my subject, like indoors for example, but want to fit as much as possible in the photo I use my 35mm. Last but not least I have my 20mm, which I don't use too often. It can be a powerful tool for exaggerating depth and relative size in a photo, so it's great to use when photographing buildings or landscapes. So knowing what you want your photo to look like and using the right lens in order to reach it is important.

3. Flash - Canon Speedlite 430 EX II

Since I'm not filthy rich I haven't afforded to buy proper studio lights (yet). But I've been doing just fine with my little Canon flash and of course all of the beautiful ambient light mother nature provides. Quite honestly I'm not too familiar with the world of flashes, even as I do to some extent know how to use mine. So I wouldn't really go around advising people on how to use one. And when it comes to the technique I'd say the same. It's very likely that you will by seeing a photo be able to tell whether the lighting in it is good or bad. It's a question of what pleases your eye. So by trying out different techniques and seeing what kind of lighting they produce you will slowly but surely learn. Of course a basic rule would be that you don't want to point the flash directly at the subject without any sort of filter to soften or split the light. A filter could be a translucent umbrella, a softbox or really anything that partly lets light pass through. Another option would be to point the flash at a surface that's able to reflect light and point that surface at the model. A reflector could be again in the umbrella shape or as improvised as aluminum foil or a white wall. A reflector could also be used as a fill light to reduce contrast. The bigger the filter/surface the softer the light. There are really surprisingly many ways to modify light - its' color, shape and strength - and it's a huge expansion of possibilities when you possess the knowledge and ability to control it. That's all I can say at this point as I am only at the beginning of that specific road.

Go ahead and check out the rest of my gear by clicking this link if you are curious to know. I really hope this answered some your questions! Btw, if you're thinking of purchasing something subject related you should definitely take a look at what Adorama has to offer.



Me: Top - Thrifted,  Shirt - H&M,  Skirt - H&M,  Purse - Vintage

Mikko: Leather Cap - Marc By Marc Jacobs / Eastdane,  Jacket - Eastdane,  Cardigan - COS,  Jeans - H&M,  Trainers - Puma /  Eastdane,  Bag - Calvin Klein

I've been watching Vikings quite eagerly lately and I guess I could go as far as saying that it has become an obsession to me. The costumes, the acting, the gorgeous landscapes and of course the storyline are all mind blowing, very exciting and of course perfect as is typical for HBO. Too bad I wont be getting some for a while since I've already watched all the episodes that have been released so far. Luckily I have Game Of Thrones. Anyhow, in honor of a great show here's the song that's used in the intro, Fever Ray's "If I Had A Heart" (an old favorite of mine)!