Nikon Imaging | Sverige | Europa

All shorts of sports has been in Vesas life from the beginning, but especially motorsport has been the biggest thing. Vesa has been riding since he was four years old and because of that he started to take photos of that also. After shooting motorsport for couple of years Vesa moved to shoot all kind of sports and has been doing that ever since. He works for all the major clients in this scene in Finland and is familiar face of all big events.

Vesa does many things to bring the food on the table. He photographs for the biggest newspaper in Finland, but also shoots advertites for the companies and works with the video as well. He has also written sport related articles troughout the whole 20 year carier. Vesa has written one book about sports photography and runs workshops when he has time. That’s not too often, but yearly bases anyways. Vesa works together with his wife Heidi and they travel together around the globe shooting sports action.

How has your career progressed?

I was racing motocross since I turned 16 and after that I run out with my budies who where racing in World Championships. I help them out, but at the same time I took photos and wrote some articles to local magazines. I was immeaditly hooked with photography and I started to study that. When I got back to Finland 1999 I started to look a job. I was shooting as a freelancer for many magazines and newspapers and 2003 one newspaper hired me as a chief photographer. I stayd there till 2008 when the biggest news paper in Finland needed a sports photographer. I took the freelancer deal and it’s been an amazing journey since that. I’ve been shooting a lot for that newspaper, but there’s many other really cool clients as well. It’s been great to work with them and together with my wife. We also have a studio near our house.

How would you describe your style?

My style is quite simple. I love to use really wide and really long lenses. I keep my pictures clean, like backrounds and stuff and I try to get the feel of movement. I shoot a lot of games and events when the moment is the key, but I also love to do action shots that are well planed and my role is more like director. These kind of shoots I use a lots of flashes. In the games my trademark is remotecameras. I just put those everywhere.

Do you have a favourite image?

Not really. Of course I like the work I do everyday, but I’m really happy if I get 10 images per year that I’m really really happy. I have couple of images that I remember, but it’s more about the situations and the places where I have shot those.

Most challenging shoot?

Every day is a bit of a challenge. Sometimes it’s the installation of the cameras some strange place or even getting the permission to do that. Sometimes we struggle with lights and etc. Because of challenge, I just love my job.

Is there any specific sports you particularly prefer to photograph?

I've always loved motorcycles, so I try to go every year to shoot some MotoGP and motocross events. It’s like going home.

How does your workload split between work for yourself and commissions?

99% of my work is for someone. I travel 150 – 200 days a year and this is my occupation. Having that said, I try to do my own projects as well. Every year I have something going on and at the moment I’m working on with one light painting project. Hopefully I get that one ready next year. I think it’s important to have own projects, because that’s the time you learn the most. I use to do those a lot, but at the moment I’m so fully booked all the time.

Have you always been a Nikon man?

No. At first I shot with another brand, but since 2005 or 2006 I’ve been shooting with Nikon and I’m really happy I made the change. I’ve been shooting only with Nikon digital cameras, but they has been on the top of the game all the time. Nikon offers all the things I need in action photography.

Which lenses do you use?

A lot of different lenses. And I really mean a lot. I like to shoot with 16mm fish-eye and 14-24mm f2.8, but then again I use 400mm f2.8 and 600mm f4 very often. It really is about the assignment. For the documentary I use 35mm f1.4 and 85 f1.4. I have a lots of favourite lenses.

Is there any such thing as a ‘typical' working day, week or month?

Well I try to keep one day of every week, but it’s not going like that every time. Basically I shoot almost everyday and then I work with the computer rest of the day. When I have “free” time, I try to study new things. I have to say I have a quite busy life at the moment.

What would be your dream assignment?

I have to say I’m a really lucky man. I have dream assignments almost every day. I love sports and photography and I can do it every day with the best gears ever!

Do you have a photography confession to make? (We promise we won’t tell…!)

I made a lots of mistakes when I started. I was praying to get the jobs and when I got those, I wasn’t prepared well. I almost blow it, but at the same time I learnt the most important thing. Almost 80% of the photography happens before you push the button. You have to be prepared and do your homework. When I learned that, life’s been little bit more easier. No regrets.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Be on the top of your game. Prepare with all the time you need, be on time on the location and focus only the thing you are doing. During the game, don’t talk to anyone, don’t chimp the pictures, focus! The greater results will follow…