We've been drinking in the color, light and sheer beauty easily found in the work of Jaakko Kahilaniemi (@jkahilaniemi) for some time now. The scenery and perspective discovered on his feed is breathtaking. That, combined with his distinct ability to capture and create light, is what first had us pining over his photographs. Throw in his use of Mextures to weave in some bursting colors and texture and we're a tad head over heels! Lucky for us, we had the privilege of chatting with him recently about a little bit of everything. Check it out and read along!
My name is Jaakko Kahilaniemi. I’m a 26-year-old photographer from Helsinki, Finland! I finished my BA in photography in the spring of 2014 from Turku Arts Academy in Finland and now I'm working on my MA at Aalto University of Arts and Design in Helsinki, Finland!
For my personal, more artistic work, I'm interested in expanding my knowledge and I'm trying to handle my own project in an area that I don't know a lot about. The project is called "100 Hectars of Understanding" and it is going to be a part of a solo exhibition in here in the Finnish Museum of Photography. I was one out of five chosen and there were 300 applicants so I think I'm quite privileged!
I also work as a freelance photographer in Helsinki and I'm very interested in every kind of commission all around the world!
For me, Instagram is a hobby and a creative escape. It's my playground and a place where the most interesting part for me is creating some visually interesting landscapes and nature shots!
My way of life is photography. I see the world as a visually inspiring place that everyone should get to know for themselves!
How did you first become interested in photography?
My first experience with photography was when my mom bought me a simple, pocket film camera when I was around 6-7 years old. After my big sister got a "brand new" digital pocket camera when I was around 14, I secretly borrowed the camera and started to shoot nature and landscapes!
I got my first proper camera when I graduated from high school. After that, I realized that photography was my greatest love in life.
What inspires you to continue to pursue photography as a creative outlet and career?
I think the most important thing to me is to take the photos in the way I see the world or how I would like to see the world. For me the most common view becomes more interesting with a little tuning of the view and moving the feeling towards how I like to see the world.
Also, my constant urge to see and search out something hidden in photography. So with photography I can expand my understanding and become more familiar with the world.
How do you typically go about “tuning the view” in your editing process?
Well first, of course, I shoot the frame and after that I adjust basic things like contrast, shadows and highlights in Lightroom and then I export it to Dropbox where I download the photo to my iPhone and then start to tune it using apps such as Mextures.
I like to test different blending modes and opacities in Mextures. I feel like every photo should get its own overlays so that every time I edit a photo it's like solving a deep mystery before I feel like the photo is ready to be posted to Instagram. Quite often I like to use overlays from the Landscape Enhance pack just to push the photo in the right direction!
As a photographer, what has been the most useful aspect of Mextures for you?
For me, Mextures provides a quick and easy way to add some unique style to my photos. With Mextures there's always a speedy solution to bring the picture to life.
Of course, Mextures offers me a lot of options that I didn’t have before I discovered it. With Mextures I can truly concentrate on how I bring my thoughts to life.
Would you share some of your formulas to give us a "behind the scenes” look at your editing process?
Smoky bridge - MEKFHVT - This formula increases foggyness and adds a feeling of emptiness.
Forest Glow - JNUZPSI - This one adds Vignette with an extra burst of light.
Soft and Sunny - AINIZMG - Creates a great candy color for every landscape image.
Frosty Jack - LWSCKYY - This formula provides a great way to push away shadows and includes a sunny feeling in the background.
What is your favorite photo that you’ve captured so far?
Well I don't have an absolute favorite, but at the moment the picture I like the most is this picture. This is because when I captured this empty, battlefield-looking photo it felt so magical and silent as it was only four or five in the morning.
Who are some of the people that have inspired your photography and creative process?
There are a couple of photographers and artists who truely inspire me. For example, Christian Patterson, Henrik Halvarsson, Klaus Pichler and John Rankin Waddell!
On Instagram there are several people who regularly inspire me. People like @chrisburkard, @muenchmax, and of course my good friend, @kpunkka! They all have that adventurous perspective which I really admire!
Stay cool and see more of Jaakko’s pictures here!