Spring has started

It is spring again and there are more and more opportunities to take photos outside. Right now it is unfortunately still a bit cold. At least for me. I really dislike cold, especially when taking pictures – your hands are cold, the model is cold. Not nice.

That being the case, I am happy to show you some lovely warm pictures me and Eva took of a good friend. I am very happy with how soft and natural they turned out. They have a real calmness to them.

Woman adjusting her hair in front of a mirror
Woman sitting in front of a mirror
Woman by a window looking towards a camera
Woman near a window
Woman sitting on a couch
Woman on a bead

New song: “How to live”

It has been almost two years since I last posted a full original song on YouTube. While that is kind of sad, it has been an odd time with many changes in my life. Hopefully I will now find the time and interest to concentrate on my music again.

I am really excited about “How to live”. Most of the song came together quite quickly but it took a long time to get it done. I started with a simple riff and built upon that. Before finalizing it, I asked my friend Helene Urva to add her vocals. I am very happy with how it ended up sounding. Hope you will enjoy it too.

The song is also available on soundcloud and bandcamp.

B & P

Usually couples invite a photographer over when they want nice pictures of themselves. The impulse comes from them. For a while now, I have had an idea to find the couples I want to take pictures of myself. find people I think are interesting for whatever reason and ask them if they would like to do a photo session.

The idea is to make it very personal and very “them”. No forced dress up in a suit (that you would never otherwise wear) and hours in a make up chair. Just the couple as they are – as they seem to me.

This is the first set of images I made with this idea in my mind. It was such an effortless process. B and P  were both very cool in front of the camera and we ended up with many great pictures.

Couple in front of a wall

Man standing behind a woman

Woman embracing man from behind
Man shows muscles behind woman

Man and woman looking at each other

Man and woman on couch laughing

2016 – a dynamic year

Retrospectives are a nice way to analyse what has happened and whether the changes have been for better or for worse and I am all about analysing.  In addition 2016 has been such an outlier, it should make for an interesting read years later when I discover this post.

A year ago I was still in the university. I had made the move from Sweden back to Estonia but my thoughts were still mostly back in Västerås concentrating on the defense that laid ahead. I traveled back there soon after the beginning of the year and did my presentation successfully. I received my PhD and that was that. From then on I was back in Estonia, thoughts and all.

Ivo standing in front of a whiteboard looking at a book.
Defending my PhD (Photo: Patrik Klintenberg)

Looking back now, moving to Estonia was for the better. Many things in my life have changed and while this process has been quite stressful at times, after four and a half years in Sweden, it was needed. Both me and Eva are more fulfilled now and can plan our lives more equally.

I have also reconnected with some of my dearest friends and gotten much closer to my family again. I see my parents almost weekly now and have found much more similarities with my brother than we had previously shared.

It has not only been about reconnecting. Making new close friends as an adult is difficult but necessary after being away for so long. For the most part however, it has gone surprisingly well. Nothing exemplifies this better than my friendship with Jim that was developed largely while recording the Popkulturistid podcast. We were friends before but this experience has brought us close and experiencing it in such a public way has been interesting.

Ivo and Jim squatting in front of geeky things
Promo photo for the Popkulturistid podcast – squatting like western spies (Photo: Gea Grigorjev)

Speaking about friends, as the year developed I began to look at my time in Sweden more often through rose-tinted glasses. While parts of the experience were very difficult, I met some incredibly lovely people who I miss very much. Social media is a great way to stay in touch but people I used to love talking to almost daily, are now often thousands of kilometers away. Takes a bit to get used to it.

Another thing that took a surprisingly long time to come to grips with was the fact that I was not a PhD student anymore. It had been such a big part of my identity that finally graduating left me feeling somewhat hollow. Happily it took me only a month to get back to work. Identifying myself as a governmental employee has been somewhat difficult for some reason but having such a practical outlet for my knowledge has been very rewarding and interesting. Plus, the people I work with are all very nice!

The year has also been defined by many side activities and projects that have helped me stabilize after such big changes. In addition to Popkulturistid, I have loved working as a co-author in the technology news portal Geenius. Having an outlet where I have to constantly think about the audience and consider both the accuracy and clarity of my texts has helped me grow as a writer immensely.

I have also had several very cool photo shoots this year. For a while I even toyed with the idea of doing something with my photography at a professional level but decided against it. Honestly, my skills are no where near that good anyway. The low stress experience of just going out with friends and making beautiful pictures together is much more what I need from photography at the moment. It is also something that we enjoy doing together with Eva, giving us a nice hobby to do as a couple.

Picture of Ivo sitting on a couch
In our new home, on a couch bought in Sweden (Photo: Eva Krustok)

So a year full of experiences as was to be expected with all the changes we had to make in our lives. From here, there will hopefully be some stability in which to grow both personally and professionally and enough change to keep things interesting.

I hope you all have great things to look back at today and expect form the year ahead.

Have a happy New Year’s Eve!

Autumn at the beach

The autumn is getting a bit more bleak here in the north. Since my friend Heidi wanted me to take some pictures of her this autumn we decided to use the clear day thus Sunday and headed to the Stroomi beach in Tallinn.

I didn’t really have too much in mind before the photo shoot in terms of inspiration. I had seen a very interesting session in Italian Vogue that had a cold and distant feeling. The weather and the empty beach had a similar sense to them but overall we took everything very freely. We were just walking around the beach for about an hour and looked for what worked.

This calm and attitude was really lovely and I thought we ended up with some really cool pictures.

Woman close-up portrait

Woman sitting on a beach

Woman on a rock
Woman with branches

Woman close-up portrait

Woman with metal angles around