in your photography, you capture moods and sentiments in natural poses and compositions. Are these artistic decisions a response to something or a statement on their own?
I have to say that I am not sure of the originating aesthetics and how much of it is a response or a statement, but I have some ideas. For portraits or even when working on a fashion shoot, I want the characters to speak. For example, I never see a model as just a blank canvas. When I take photos of artists, it’s impossible to leave out their personality.
I am not concerned with statements as much as I am trying to step back in the development of photography. I want us to remember the purity or the art of capturing real moments. Of course there’s an aspect of staging and loss of reality from the start when we meet up with artists and models. Nevertheless I try to keep the environment and most of the process as natural and spontaneous as possible.
Simplicity rules in your work. What inspires you to capture moments without props or noise?
For me, the sentence “less is more” often works when it comes to photography. I feel like there’s so much in a person that if I start to build up a set or cover the subject with props, costumes and a lot of make-up, then the attention might get lost not only for me, also for the subject and the viewer later.
It’s a lot more fun to experiment with some weird poses or with contrasts between subject and environment, than to handle all the production of creating a fantasy photo-shoot.
Also, I’m quite impatient and I don’t like to edit my photos too much. I want the moment to happen on the location not later in Photoshop, which is why I almost never use it. And that’s why I like taking photos with an analog camera, too.
What elements do you implement in your photography to make your work universally appealing? I don’t think about it. I don’t think about being universally appealing and I don’t worry about getting the photos while taking the photos.
Who are the artists who you adore and fuel your thoughts and creativity?
You know, I might get inspired by anything. Just a glimpse might start a sequence of thoughts and a new idea is born.
Sadly, I rarely execute my ideas because I feel like there’s no time for it. Which is a lie. Sometimes it seems that I like thinking about photography more than actually doing it. Which is also a lie.
But different artists definitely inspire me in ways I’m not even aware of. I don’t have any role models or favorite artists. But I try to visit various museums, concerts and galleries when abroad. The Photographer’s Gallery in London is a must every time I visit the city. I feel good and somehow inspired in botanical gardens and high places that I also try to visit when I travel.
About music... I really like the sensation of getting lost in it. It might be a dance song that makes you forget about everything else in the world. Lately I have noticed that I get lost in mellow and melancholic music that on the contrary makes you remember things. Oh Wonder is the 'it' sound I like right now.
You work with other artists such as ballet dancers, singer/song writers, designers, etc.. You photographs present your characters’ artistic power. What’s the key to achieving these results?
The key is the person in the photo and the relationship we develop with that camera between us. I think I’m quite open, empathetic and always interested in people. We feel comfortable. The result is natural and genuine. I don’t put pressure on myself or on the people I photograph. I let them be who they are just with a bit of guidance every now and then.
Your landscapes of choice are either unadorned in their natural state or forgotten and even romantic for the same reason. What’s your objective when selecting your photo shoot locations?
I have two favorite sceneries which are quite opposite. I love nature and taking photos everywhere from the forest to the high top of a mountain. At the same time I really like clean architecture that might not even be a architecture (concrete posts or unfinished buildings, empty interiors). I don’t like ruins.
I select locations according to the character. Sometimes it’s a natural environment and sometimes quite the opposite of it. I like contrasts. My objective is to focus on the person(ality). I tend to look for empty places that don’t have too much of a story on their own but might with a person placed there.
In August, you and Henno were married. Your wedding pictures became a sensation. Were you prepared for all the feedback you received from people around the world? No, I did not. When we decided that I’d take my own wedding photos, it was like a fun challenge to get the bride’s perspective of our day and for us to be able to relive it later through the photo series. I could never imagine that we might get so much feedback from all over the world. It’s nice. I’m sincerely happy it inspired people. It is a bit funny, too. Our intentions were to keep our wedding small and simple.
Is your work for sale? Is it featured in exhibitions? Are you involved in gigs outside Estonia?
My work isn’t for sale but I do commission work. I have had a small exhibition in Keila, Estonia, but that’s it. I’d sure like to be involved in gigs outside of Estonia…