Photographers Spotlight : Jarmo Pohjaniemi
When did your love for photography first blossom?
My roots trace back to Finland, but my parents and I moved to Portugal at an early age. It was during those early years in Portugal that my passion for photography took root. I immersed myself in my father’s collection of aviation photography magazines, igniting my interest. As a young man, I often borrowed my father’s camera, playing the role of a photographer as I chased chickens and cows on our family farm, even without film or a lens. This fascination deepened with time, and in my late teens, I took the plunge into photography, purchasing my first camera and lens. From that point forward, I captured images of everything around me, including moments with my terrified girlfriend.
Who served as your primary inspiration in the field of photography?
My journey has been shaped by several influential photographers, particularly those renowned for their mastery of human form and light. Figures such as Horst P. Horst, celebrated for glamorous images of women and fashion, George Hoyningen-Huene, Edward Steichen, Lee Miller, Irving Penn, and Cecil Beaton, all significantly influenced my evolving vision. A transformative moment occurred when I found myself in front of the lens of the esteemed American photographer Bruce Weber, propelling me to explore the world through my camera Viewfinder. This experience led me to Paris and marked the beginning of a successful career capturing cultures worldwide.
How has your career evolved to its present state?
Following a tenure of about 15 years with Playboy and the passing of Mr. Hefner, I transitioned back to the fashion world, discovering that the allure was indeed greener on the other side of the bunny field. Despite initial uncertainties, I seamlessly reintegrated into commercial and fashion photography. This shift presented challenges, including the need to rebuild a steady income. Nevertheless, I found success and fulfillment in the diverse projects that followed the era of Playboy’s Studio West.
In what ways does the dynamic social, political, and conservative environment of the country impact your career in fashion and glamour photography?
Navigating the intricacies of this multifaceted topic involves confronting diverse opinions influenced by regional rules and illusions. Political views often diverge from reality, underscoring the impact of uninformed choices. In the eloquent words of Stephen Hawking, “The greatest enemy of people is not ignorance. It’s the illusion of knowledge.”
How have your FAA Part 107 airmen license and EU A1/A3 EASA certification enhanced your role as a creator?
Obtaining a commercial drone operator certification was pivotal, allowing me to transcend traditional ground-level shots in my photography. Mastery of the drone craft has introduced alternative perspectives and dimensions to my creative repertoire. Now integral to production, drones offer high-resolution images and video capabilities ranging from 4 to 12K, expanding creative possibilities globally.
Photographers have a considerable advantage in adopting drones for their repertoire compared to anyone else due to their experience in composition, camera settings, and general understanding of photography.
Having traveled extensively to photograph in cities such as Milan, Tokyo, New York, and beyond, what destinations remain on your bucket list, and why?
While travel has made the world seem smaller in the past 40 years in the business, my goal extends beyond merely discovering new places. Instead, I aspire to revisit and reinterpret these locations more captivatingly. March brings me back to Seychelles for a fine art project, and in April, I plan to explore cinematic scenes in Indonesia. My bucket list involves breathing new life into previously visited places and mastering the art through extensive production studies.
If you were behind your camera and could capture anything, where would you be, and what would you photograph?
I am grateful for the ability to choose my subjects; my current focus through the Viewfinder encompasses various aircraft, superyachts, and fashion models. This isn’t a selfish pursuit but rather a strategic alignment with business objectives and the pursuit of clients with whom I wish to collaborate.
What motivates your partnership with Capture Integration, and how would you recommend them?
My collaboration with Capture Integration is driven by their exceptional support, surpassing standard practices. Their invaluable experience and personalized approach distinguish them in a market that is known for the opposite. Dave and CI bring old school values and a superior knowledge of the process back to our marketplace that too many are willing to ignore for quick commercial gain. I wholeheartedly recommend Capture Integration’s unwavering commitment to individualized service and support for the professional photographer.