After almost a decade of fun, bursting images of fashion show backstages and runway looks captured in full detail we are finally entering a new era of ’behind the scenes’ with Eeva Suutari’s photography. She captures people and moments with a very distinctive eye and brings a new deeper and more documentary approach to the subject.
Can you tell us a little bit about you and how you started your career as a photographer?
I come from a small town and photography has been a dear hobby of mine for more than ten years. It is a part of my life every day. I shoot for work as well as random subjects for myself. I come from an art-loving household which definitely has shaped me as a photographer. I made the decision to work as a photographer at the beginning of this year. There was no big job offered or anything like that, it was simply a firm decision to try to live my passion. Prior to that, I have been quite active on Instagram since June of 2015 posting almost daily whatever I was shooting. My coverage from Pitti Uomo 88 got a lot of attention and that definitely helped to come to my decision. As well as photography I try to fill my life with music, art and traveling. I find these elements to be connected and support each other strongly.
What is your relationship with fashion?
As a child I was very interested in fashion. When I was a teenager I wanted to pursue the subject at a deeper level so I read many books and watched documentaries. I really wanted to know more about the industry; about the great impact it has and what it really means. Love of fashion lead me eventually to learn about textiles and how clothes are constructed. This knowledge helps me a lot when shooting fashion photography. I find it fascinating that fashion is indeed a platform that can be both a showcase of art and a very commercial business.
Who or what inspires you? Do you relate to any famous image makers?
As clichéd as it might sound, I am inspired by the world around me. From a beautiful woman passing and something about the way she moves to seeing a hedgehog in the forest. It can be a movement or texture or conversation. Photography really expands my senses. I feel that I am observing all the time and my inspiration often comes from these observations. The past also inspires me whether it’s other people’s stories or my own personal experiences. I find that museums, exhibitions and ballet are consistent sources of potential inspiration. I fear relating too strongly to famous image makers because I do not wish to become too heavily influenced even on a subconscious level. But if I were to mention two whose work has left me speechless they would be Henri Cartier-Bresson and Richard Avedon.
How would you describe your style as a photographer?
I think my style varies depending on the subject that I’m shooting. I suppose the unifying factor is ease; I don’t want my images to look forced. I have a great appreciation for classical style and classic views on beauty – I believe it shows in my work. Even when shooting something that is supposed to be cool and weird I tend to blend it with classic beauty.
The genres of photography are quite mixed nowadays. If you would have to pick one genre though what would it be?
My answer would be documentary photography because it encapsulates many subjects dear to me; from travel to portraits and street.
How do you work? Do you plan things way ahead or do you just trust in your intuition?
Most of the time I work with zero planning. Just go and do. I see this as a very creative industry and I feel that often when overplanning you might miss that moment of magic which truly makes an outstanding image. Of course I plan the equipment appropriate for the assignment but that is pretty much it.
Why do you think there is still less women photographers?
I think women are generally more rational than men and being a photographer requires far from rational thinking.
What will be the future of photography, in your opinion?
We live in a very curious time for both photography and fashion. 3D photography is arriving. The technology is developing very quickly but at the same time people have rediscovered the charm of analog photography. For example, many brand houses in the UK do their campaign shoots using analog today. I think the technology focus will eventually give way to a focus on the mind and creativity of the photographer. Otherwise it will become a very robotic profession where its all about setting up the light, pressing the button and in some cases handling the postproduction.
What are your dreams career wise?
Simply being able to do this for the rest of my life. My secret goal though is to be one day on the list of Magnum Photographers.