Photo: Jussi Puikkonen
Photography, Inspiration, Berlin Travel Night
Mixed Moods: The Photography of Jussi Puikkonen
Photographer Jussi Puikkonen deftly captures the moods of the places he visits, from Finnish saunas to Senegalese streetlife.
Jussi Puikkonen was raised Jokioinen, a small town of just 5,000 in southern Finland. He was the director of photography and co-founder of Kasino A4, which was described as “the world’s most melancholic magazine.” There’s something worth celebrating in the sombre – the magazine went on to win a number of national and international awards. He published his first photography book, On Vacation, before he was 30 and has appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He currently works on assignments with publications and brands including with Monocle, Dazed & Confused, Google, Image Magazine, and Die Zeit. Jussi lives and works in Amsterdam.
It was his photographs of Senegal that first caught our eye. Since then, we’ve followed his glimpse into Finnish sauna culture with interest. As he writes, there are 3.2 million saunas in Finland, and only 5.5 million people.
We caught up to Jussi on the road (of course!), as he was traveling through Slovenia and documenting the country’s more breathtaking corners on Instagram.
How do you find your locations?
I always keep my eyes open for locations. I like to wander around. If I see interesting locations, I take a picture with my iPhone and might use it for a shoot later on.
You work tends to capture moods, rather than specific events. Is there anything you look for in a location, something that makes it worth photographing for you?
I’m always looking for something out of the ordinary. Since ordinary is not interesting. Out of the ordinary is surprising and surprise makes an image interesting.
When was Kasino A4 published? What was the impetus behind the “the world’s most melancholic magazine”?
Kasino A4 was published from 2005–2011 and distributed globally and selected among the ten best independent magazines in the world. The project started among friends that we collaborated with. We started with a small core team of like-minded people. We felt that a magazine was the best media for doing the things we loved. At the time we all were big print enthusiasts.
Do you remember when you first picked up a camera? Is there a story behind this initial impulse?
I don’t remember the exact moment I held a camera for the first time. Actually, the camera has never been a really important object for me. It’s just something that I need to have to create an image. People often ask me for camera recommendations. Those questions are difficult to answer. I know the cameras that I use myself, but those might not be useful for the intentions of other people. I usually choose my camera based on how will my subject react to it.