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

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

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

Sirens and early autumn

It’s been a busy September and I haven’t really had much time for photography. It is a shame since there have been many nice days, however I hope I will have a chance to take some lovely photos with autumn foliage before the dark and wet autumn really hits.

The biggest photo-shoot I had in September was the album release concert for the female chamber choir Sireen. They presented their new album “Terra Incognita” in the House of the Blackheads hall in Tallinn and asked me to take pictures of the event.

The concert itself was amazing. The sound was perfect, they had good choreography and an amazing light show. The only problem for me was the lighting. While everything looked impressive, it was relatively dark so I had to bump up the ISO. Using the flash would have ruined the concert for the audience and I also had to be careful with moving around. The concert was acoustic so every sound I made was audible.

In the end I got some really nice pictures, albeit a little noisy. The members of the choir seemed happy though and that’s what really matters.

Choir Sireen performing

Interesting light show during the concert
Members of the choir next to the walls

I have been thinking a lot about how I approach photography and what would make me better at taking photos of people. It is not an obvious thing. It takes a lot of practice and you really need to be able to connect with your subjects.

I tend to overanalyse (as is evident in this post) and worry too much about preparing. When the session starts I find I am too much stuck in my head and this takes it’s toll on my communication with the model. Understanding the problems helps but I’ve fount that talking to other photographers is really good as well.

I had a conversation about photographing people with Liisa from the wonderful Mellow and understood that I need to be more oriented on the person I am photographing and understand what they are feeling in the moment. Work with what the experience brings. Sounds simple enough but it is easy to forget it when you prepare things before the shoot and have too many things in your head.

I think I want to try to connect more with my models before each shoot and try to understand how the clothes they wear make them feel. What are they thinking about themselves in the outfit and how the background will play into it? A conversation that goes deeper than the basic “what will you wear and where will we shoot” may help bring more depth to the images and make things more interesting for me too.

I’ll end this post with a picture I took at an art exhibition called “Luminescent Art and Digital Sounds at Researchers Night” that I visited during the Researchers Night in Tartu. The artist is my friend Macey Muse who make a lot of amazing paintings.  I didn’t get many other images of the event as my sensor got some odd dust on it but this one I like.

Macey Muse talking to a visitor at her art exhibition

Stockholm in August

Picture of Nordens Ljus in Stockholm

We had our vacation near the end of August this year and decided to go to Stockholm for a few days. We moved from Sweden back to Estonia close to a year ago and it seemed like a good time to head back to see our friends and eat our favorite morotsmuffins.

Eva sitting on a staircase
Ivo checking his phone

The trip was incredible fun. The weather was very good (especially our first day in Stockholm) and we managed to go through most of the places we wanted to see. We’d seen most of the sights in Stockholm during the four years we’d lived in Västerås so we were more interested in the many lovely shops that we had started to miss. My favorite is the always fun Sci-Fi Bokhandeln, which is a bookstore dedicated to everything geeky.

We had arranged to meet a bunch of our friends in the evening at Mälarpaviljongen which is a lovely garden/bar/cafe/shop on the shore of Lake Mäleren. Part of the place was actually ON Lake Mälaren floating on barges connected by bridges. It was very lovely and everyone seemed to have fun.

View towards Lake Mälaren
The green queen flyer

After a few drinks we headed to a burger restaurant called Gnarly. The burgers were very tasty and we chatted until late in the evening when most had to take the bus to Västerås. We had a nice walk through Stockholm at night and stayed with our friend Mehmet, who had helped organize the evening.

All in all it was a great trip. Both me and Eva took many pictures with our phones and the Sony NEX 5n and enjoyed every minute.

It was quite sad to leave again as Sweden still has a special place in our hearts but the trip was definitely what we needed this summer. Thank you to all the friends who met us in Stockholm and we hope to see you all again soon.

Ivo looking at Hulk