Contemporary artist Mikko Lagerstedt is an award winning fine art photographer from Finland whose enchanting photo series highlight some of Finland’s extraordinary landscapes. Mikko Lagerstedt is a 31-year-old self-taught photographer, who began taking his craft in 2008. He lives in Kerava just 18 miles from Helsinki.
Capturing simplistic Finnish landscapes and fleeting moments, he strives to use his atmospheric vision to inspire people. His surreal and unique work manages to bring an absolutely breathtaking aesthetic that depicts the mystical and sweeping splendor of the Finnish countryside while capturing the emotion of the moment.
His photography has been featured around the world in book covers, magazines and in advertisements.
1. Do you consider yourself as a figure of contemporary photography ?
Mikko Lagerstedt : Not really, I feel that I’m just a photographer creating work that inspires me.
2. How would you describe your style ?
Mikko Lagerstedt : Atmospheric landscape photography. A surreal look at how the World looks through my eyes.
3. What led you to photography ?
Mikko Lagerstedt : My first inspiration towards photography came to me on a beautiful summer evening as I was driving to my relative’s cabin in Southern Finland. A beautiful vista opened on a field filled with fog and sunrays. I stopped and stared at it and felt the need to start capturing those unique moments.
4. What has influenced you to create atmospheric photographs ?
Mikko Lagerstedt : It’s something that comes through my past and how I see life. I think it’s because of many things. One of the things that might have influenced me is that I lost my best friend when I turned 18. It was a difficult time for me. I haven’t thought about it, but I believe our past experiences make our present vision. I also know that the worst weather sometimes gives the best photographs.
5. Félix Ziem, a very famous French painter in the style of the Barbizon school once said: “J’ai rêvé le beau ” (I’ve dreamed the beautiful). What does it mean to you?
Mikko Lagerstedt : For me, it means that we all have different perspectives on what is beautiful. It’s what makes you feel rather than see something.
6. What’s your relationship with nature ?
Mikko Lagerstedt : I have always been a solitary figure, and I have always enjoyed spending time in nature. I do enjoy to be around people, but when I’m out photographing alone, I feel that I’m in my element.
7. How do you manage to bring this enchanting universe to your series?
Mikko Lagerstedt : I do what inspires me. I create how I see the World. I don’t overthink the process. I always try my best and push myself to the limits.
8. Does “the Kalevala,” this epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish folklore and mythology inspire your work?
Mikko Lagerstedt : I haven’t thought about it. However, I think there might be a connection on how we Finns look at certain things. I love some of the poetry. I might have to go and visit again to refresh my mind with Kalevala.
9. Which photographers have an impact on you ?
Mikko Lagerstedt : I love the work of Brooke Shaden, Joel Tjintjelar and Martin Stranka. Of course, they might have influenced my work somehow. It’s sometimes hard to see it for yourself.
10. What gear do you use ?
Mikko Lagerstedt : I use Nikon D810, D800, and various wide-angle lenses to create my photography.
11. How do you play with lights?
Mikko Lagerstedt : I mostly use available light, or if I’m feeling super crazy, I might use a headlamp or a flashlight.
12. What about your future plans?
Mikko Lagerstedt : I will continue to create work that inspires me. I also plan to build a community and influence more people by teaching photography and how to see the World from your unique perspective !
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