As a photographer usually you have a certain “area of expertise”.
I used to think that I was a nature photographer. I still am, but when I did the Summer Intensive with RMSP back in 2008 I discovered that I’m not solely that. I’m much more. Nature is still a big part of my portfolio, but I’ve been cursed (or blessed?) with a 3rds grid and viewfinder marks in my eyes. Most of the times I’m looking around seeing in everything a potential picture. Slightly annoying sometimes, but it’s also made me so much more aware of what’s happening around me.
I’ve shot a wide range of topics. Studio, industrial, journalistic, and even portraits (I’ve met with the Finnish President for a commissioned shoot and I have a few of his pictures in my portfolio! How many can really say that? πŸ™‚ ). I shoot a cracking portrait, when I get the opportunity. The downside is, believe it or not, I’m shy. I tend to think I’m social, I have no problem whatsoever interacting with people, but for me to shoot a good portrait I need to be acquainted with that person.

Awhile back I came across Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York via a friend who hinted me about it. Don’t ask me why I hadn’t heard of it before. It’s a great project. And it seemed like a great thing to do. Just doing portraits of random people on the street.
There was a big but there, though. I’m shy.
Just going up to a perfect stranger and asking if I could take a picture… That is so far out of my comfort zone that I could image doing it. But… I may be shy, but I’m also totally into new challenges, and I’m totally into stepping out of my comfort zone.
And so, inspired by Humans of New York, with two great friends and fellow photographers I started the project we named “Humans Captured”.

Humans Captured LogoIt’s basically the same principle, only we didn’t want to strictly limit ourselves to one city, since we’re travelers and we’re in different places all the time.
We’re just shooting where we are and where we see people.
I’ve been experiencing some “start-up” problems of my own. It takes a whole different level and a whole different kind of courage to just walk up to someone and ask if you can take their picture. It’s one of those irrational “fears”, I’m totally aware of it, and it’s ridiculous, and I will get over it, but it takes a tad bit of time and getting accustomed. And really… what’s the worst that can happen (apart from being beat up if you run into the wrong person πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ )? You get a “no” or “get lost” or something like that…
Owwell… It’s not a life rejection in any case.
Sofar the people I’ve shot were very sympathetic and forthcoming, and that gives you courage.

Let’s see where this will go.

Here’s a little teaser:

Super Mario

Super Mario

I’m not going to put a whole lot of pictures up here (there aren’t yet SO many, but posting every day will change that quickly πŸ˜‰ ). If you want to see more, go ahead and visit the Facebook groupΒ or the blog.

Facebook LogoΒ  https://www.facebook.com/HumansCaptured


Humans Captured LogoΒ  http://www.humanscaptured.com


And don’t forget to like us on your way in (or out) πŸ™‚

I have a godson. And he has a little brother.
I may have mentioned them before

Due to mutually busy schedules we haven’t seen each other for quite some time, but today the whole family came over for a visit.
And lovely it was, as always. And yeah… Kids do grow fast. Crazy fast.

And my godson is still the cutest, with his baby brother putting up a stiff competition <3Β  πŸ™‚

Baby brother and daddy

D800, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/2, Nikkor 50mm

Baby brother and mommy

D800, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/2, Nikkor 50mm

Baby brother <3

D800, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/2, Nikkor 50mm

Godson <3

D800, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/2, Nikkor 50mm


So a couple of days ago I wrote about someone using my picture as their profile picture on Facebook. I dropped the person a few messages, to no avail (of course).
But that wasn’t the end of it. I wasn’t done with my reverse search, and lo and behold, I ran into another profile on Facebook that was using another picture of me as their profile picture.
I put a status update about it on Facebook, after which a whole number of my dear friends reported the particular person and the profile. As did I myself (since I didn’t get any reply to my messages from this guy either).

Facebook profile

The Facebook profile which is using my picture

I thought that Facebook had already removed the other account (the one I wrote about in the previous blog post) and I praised Facebook for its effectiveness. However, after today’s mail from Facebook I started doubting if it was really Facebook who removed the other profile, or if it was the person himself who deleted it or took it offline after my message(s).

Here’s the mail I got from Facebook. It’s called “Follow-up about your recent report to Facebook”:


Recently you reported a profile on Facebook. We did not take action on the profile you reported because it did not violate Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

If, after reviewing the Facebook Community Standards (https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards), you think we’ve made a mistake, you can request that we review the profile again here: http://www.facebook.com/report/appeal.php?report_andthensome….

Please note: If the profile does not violate our policies, your ability to report may be limited in the future.

The Facebook Team

Give us feedback to let us know how we are doing:

I sent a few reports yesterday, not only about these two profiles, but also about something else (which I’ll tell a bit further on) so I wasn’t quite sure which report this was. So I clicked the appeal link and came to this:

Facebook's appeal page for denied reports

Facebook’s appeal page for denied reports

So there you go. They wouldn’t take any action on my report (or any of the reports my friends did?), because it didn’t violate Facebook’s Statements of Rights and Responsibilities.
I mean… WTF???
Of course it doesn’t violate FACEBOOK’s Rights and Responsibilities. It’s not f***king Mark Zuckerberg in the picture. It’s ME in the picture, so it violates MY rights!
And since when is it allowed to
1) use someone’s picture without that person’s consent?
2) use a picture of which you don’t own the copyright without the consent of the rightful copyright owner?
So how does this not violate Rights and Responsibilities?

So I will appeal with exactly the text above and see what Facebook says to that. They may limit my ability to report if they still think it’s no violation.

And then the other thing…
When I did the RMSP photography course in the US in 2008, we had a great class (RMSP2008 forever!!! πŸ™‚ ). We had so much fun together!
One of the courses we did was studio lighting and we stood model for each other when we did portraits.
One of the guys modeling for me at that time is probably one of the most hearty, friendliest, radiant and goodlooking guys I’ve ever met and he’s got a smile like no other. I swear, if I hadn’t been heterosexual, I would’ve jumped him *LOL*
Anyway… The portraits I took of him came out really nicely, and he was nice enough to sign a model release for me, so I could use the images. One of the images is in my portfolio:

Portrait of a handsome young man

The portrait

When I found another one of my pictures used as a profile picture on Facebook, I decided to check all the people I shot images from and which are in my portfolio. And guess what (can’t really blame them, in the end, but still), this image came up on two different Facebook profiles and on one corresponding Twitter page.

The Facebook profile of Jacob Mems with the portrait I shot as a profile picture

The Facebook profile of Jacob with the portrait I shot as a profile picture

The Facebook profile of Matt with the portrait I shot as a profile picture

The Facebook profile of Matt with the portrait I shot as a profile picture

Coincidence wants that my friend is also called Matt, but unless he has changed his last name and went from the most peaceful guy in the world to a streetfighter, these two Matts are not the same (if they are, then I sincerely apologize). And I know Jacob isn’t Matt, because according to Jacob’s profile, he’s studied in the UK and Matt hasn’t.
I sent both of these guys a message asking them to take down the profile picture, because it’s not them and they have no right to use the image without my consent and I left a tweet with the latter. I haven’t received any reaction, any sign of life from either.
I filed a report on both profiles with Facebook, but the problem with that is, that Matt isn’t on Facebook to my knowledge, and the only way to report an impersonation is if you can refer to the person on Facebook. So I had to go through the process of reporting abuse of intellectual property. That came up empty-handed sofar, but if the idiots at Facebook won’t even acknowledge a report by me and by a bunch of my friends of an impersonation of me than I don’t think they will go for the intellectual property thing.

So what I want to do now is make this go viral. And prove once again that Facebook only SAYS that they have privacy as priority number one, but really they don’t give a shit.

Read this, share this and put it out there.

He’s got a baby brother now, who looks just like him when he was that age.
But my godson didn’t stay that age. It’s been awhile since I took some pictures of him, but last Saturday, when we were out with the whole family, I got and took the chance. It was an excellent setting. In the middle of one of those typical Finnish scenes: a field full of blooming, bright yellow oilseed. We were on our way back to the car and he was just walking there with mom and dad, fussing with the flowers. The light was beautiful, and right in his face. So I looked at mom and dad and they were okay with it, and even helped the little guy pose. I’d say he’s a natural.
And he’s the cutest! Ever! Period! <3


D800, ISO1600, 1/1000 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 70-200mm


D800, ISO1600, 1/1000 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 70-200mm

(also love the little bug flying toward him in the second picture πŸ˜€ )


Right… Speaking of “out of your comfort zone”. This would be a gross understatement in my case. Strangely, I’m not people-shy. Shy, yes, but not introverted or anything (at least not so much πŸ˜‰ ). But when it comes to walking up to a perfect stranger and asking if I can take his or her portrait… Don’t think so. Chicken right here, if ever there was one! I know I make a cracking portrait if I have to (want to), you can check my portfolio on it. But I need to at least be somehow acquainted to that person or they have to come to me.
“Right,” you say, “go up to a person, make your acquaintance and shoot the damn portrait!”
If only things were that simple… I know, they are, but no, they aren’t. Really…

Anyway… I chickened out on this one, but I got a nice picture for which I wrote the accompanying text as follows:

I had gone to see Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp, and I ran into her on Mannerheimintie just outside Lasipalatsi. She was the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen. Jet-black hair, fair, but rather pale skin and the most vivid, stale, green eyes. Not quite as green as her shoes, but very green, nonetheless… There was something in her eyes that beckoned me, pulled me out of the cage of shyness which always prevents me from walking up to a perfect stranger to ask if I can take a picture. She was a natural. And her eyes… My god… I asked her, and she let me. She never took her eyes of me, and I had a hard time taking mine off of her… When I had taken the picture she moved towards me, almost as if she was floating. Then she whispered something in my ear. There was the slightest breath in my neck.
After that I don’t remember much anymore…

Green shoes

D800, ISO6400, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

A man can dream, right? πŸ˜‰

Okokok, my godson is the absolute cutest boy in the world, but these two girls must be the absolute cutest girls in the world.
I was asked to do a shoot with them, and so I did. We spent the afternoon with the family, got some really good food, and I got some really nice pictures. It took some improvisation here and there, because I don’t pose them, I don’t tell them where to go stand and how to smile and where to look. Especially with kids in this age that’s just a pain in the neck. So I shoot them as they come along. I don’t keep the camera in their face all the time, but I keep it near so I can grab it quickly.
Admittedly you miss moments, but on the other side, you get pictures you don’t get when you have the kids pose for you. It’s so much more natural like this, and it’s so much more satisfying. For me in any case, but I think also for the parents, because they get pictures of their little treasures/goofs (or both πŸ˜‰ ) that actually shows who they REALLY are, and not what the photographer wants them to be.


D700, ISO1600, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm


D700, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm


D700, ISO1600, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm


D700, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm


D700, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm


D700, ISO1600, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

I wrote about hi-contrast black and white late last year, when I shot a picture from the window of my apartment.

I shot a bunch of images from this window (all posted here on the blog), which I figured I could turn into a series I named “Between the corner of the street and the sixth floor” (or in Finnish “Kadun kulman ja kuudennen kerroksen vΓ€lissΓ€”). Don’t ask… πŸ˜‰
Anyway… I was missing one image still, and I had some idea about it. And I thought I could implement one of the most clichΓ© things in photography. It was kind of inspired by that court case about copyright infringement which has just been in the news in the UK about the black and white image with the red British bus and the Big Ben in the background (totally stupid, something so moron-ish I thought it could only happen in the US with their farce of a justice system, and all of us photographers could just as well pack up our photography bags and hang them in the trees with an outcome like that, but let’s not get me going, that’ll just ruin my day).

I was looking for people crossing that same pedestrian’s crossing, but in winter, with snow, and dressed (partly) in red.
It’s surprising how many of those are walking around here, I must say. It wasn’t at all hard to get. Hence I ended up with a good number of pictures in just like half an hour or so. Now I’m considering making this a whole new series in itself πŸ˜€


D700, ISO200, 1/60 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm


D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm


D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm


D700, ISO800, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed and hope I won’t be hauled to a UK prison and be dragged into court for copyright infringement. Because that church in the background (which is just outside the visible area) does look a lot like Big Ben. And I gotta say that some of the people in these pictures really do look like a British bus…
But owwell… Let’s see.

Oh, and if you happen to recognize yourself in the picture do drop me a line and I’ll send you a print for free. I didn’t think it was a good idea to yell six floors down and ask if it was ok to take the picture while you were standing in the middle of the road… πŸ˜‰

I’ve wrote about it before, but with different titles. I found this one actually quite an appropriate title. It’s slowly turning into a small collection. I guess for cat lovers it may be a funny series πŸ˜€

So… peek-a-boo πŸ˜‰


D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/3.2, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB-800

We’ll stay with kids for a bit.
A few weeks ago I was asked to shoot some pictures for the first birthday of one of my friends’ kids.
I shot their wedding last year, just after the boy was born and it just keeps on surprising me how much kids change in their first year(s). I see it happen with my godson all the time.
I hadn’t seen this little boy in awhile and it just struck me. He looks wise beyond his years. So much more mature than just one year old.
He was a bit grumpy before dinner, but after dinner he was just the happiest little guy in the world!

Birthday boy

D700, ISO200, 1/4000 sec @ f/1.7, Nikkor 50mm

Birthday boy

D700, ISO200, 1/2000 sec @ f/2.4, Nikkor 50mm

Birthday boy

D700, ISO200, 1/750 sec @ f/3.3, Nikkor 50mm

And my absolute favorite (wouldn’t be surprised if that follows in Miss World‘s footsteps πŸ˜‰ ):

Birthday boy

D700, ISO200, 1/1500 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

For several years I’ve been subscribing to Practical Photographer, a UK photography magazine. They do a Photographer of the Year competition every year, and in 2009 my tiger (yeah, that one πŸ˜‰ ) was runner-up in round 7 (the Natural World) of the competition. This year I entered one of my favorite portraits into the portrait round (round 2) of the competition.

1 in 1000 Portrait

D700, ISO400, 1/125 sec @ f/2, Nikkor 50mm

It was shortlisted out of about 1,500 entries. In the end it didn’t win, but I was already very happy it got this far (how could it not, anyway? She’s such a lovely, pretty girl! πŸ™‚ ).
It was published in the August 2011 issue of Practical Photography.

The opinions of the judges can be viewed in the online video. I’m in around 2:27.