Blipfoto feeds my soul and my curiosity
Photography has taught me to look at the world around me in a different way and blipping has made photography a lifestyle for me. For years now, I have felt naked or defective if I don’t have my camera with me. I think that’s quite revealing for how photography has changed my life!
I was born in 1967 in Savonlinna, a small town in East Finland. I’m a father of two sons. Since 1996, we’ve been living in the south-east part of Finland in Lappeenranta, a town 25km away from the Russian border.
If you follow Blipper Jukkakos, he might have given you the impression that he lives almost every minute in nature but far from it:
In the past and for twenty years, I worked as a business software consultant but currently, I’m working as a digital marketing specialist in the communication team of a local church. I’ve been leading The Association Of Finnish Camera Clubs as a chairman since 2017 and have marketing and board member roles in my local camera club and in couple of other local societies. On top of all of that, I also run a personal photography and digital content design business.
It might be hard to believe, but I still find time to spend in nature with my camera and seek or hide geocaches - I’m both a walking and photo addict!
On discovering how active he is, we were really pleased Jukka was able to find time to share more about himself and his photography exploits with us:
Have you always been a photographer?
Not always. Music and art were my talents at elementary school and family and friends probably expected my grades to lead me in that direction, but photography has become a more natural way of life for me.
Photography stepped into my life in my high school years during a film photography course. I still remember when I captured my first photo on monochrome film — frozen hay against the pure white snow. We made the final prints with our own hands in the school’s darkroom. I’m not sure if that print still exists in my dad’s archives but I do hope so!
After that, there was a long break from photography (or I did it only now and then) but when our first son was born, I bought my first digital pocket camera and it became more frequent. The final boost was in 1995 at a local aviation show here in Lappeenranta when I tried desperately to capture photos of fast flying fighter planes with that same pocket camera. The very next day, I bought my first DSLR Canon EOS 350 and then there was no return! Since then, camera models have been upgraded to full frame sensors.
What started you blipping?
After I joined the local camera club in 2010, I started my first 365 project in January 2011 on Google’s blogger service (now the site has been deleted, but the photos still exist). To Blipfoto, I joined in August 2012 after tvkosone introduced me. Unfortunately, we received sad news at the end of March as he passed away after a severe disease. I felt honoured to be asked to be a photographer at his funeral in April.
R.I.P. Tatu – also known as Epic Sax Guy – up there. Your photos and sayings live forever in our memories.
What do you enjoy about the concept?
It’s eye and mind opening to see photos all over the world taken on the same day. To see those photos feeds my soul and curiosity and love for other cultures and lifestyles — not to mention the news in the media and seeing the same through the eyes of other blippers, particularly right now, those in war-torn countries.
The most important and enjoyable thing is that most of these photos here on Blipfoto are real documentary and photography at its purest.
On top of that, the positivity of the community is very special indeed! I’ve loved the whole concept since the beginning.
How would you describe your journal?
I see my journal as a salad of photos. I like variety.
I have my camera with me almost everywhere I go so I usually take many photos every day and at the end of a day, I choose one which I feel reflects my frame of mind or even hints of some big moves in my life. I enjoy seeing if anyone notices those!
Of course, a major part of my photos is related to nature somehow because I love nature and spend time in there as much as I can. I also like to promote the beauty of Finnish nature and especially views from the Lake Saimaa area, the fourth biggest lake area in Europe. (Not forgetting my deep love of birches too!
I like simple and minimalistic images and compositions. But softness and artistic approaches are also my style. This is not seen that often in my blips but I have just made an Instagram account for those.
How important is the journaling side to you?
That is important for me.
Even though I used to say that the image shall tell the story, I do like to use Blipfoto as my diary. As a non-native English speaker, I don’t always use that much time for writing even though I do like writing; I usually publish my posts in the evening when I’m feeling too tired to write long stories! However, if there is a good story behind the image, then it has to be told. I also like to read posts of other blippers when I find time to do that.
Do you use your journal to keep in touch with people?
I really do.
I have got some good and long blip relationships via Blipfoto journals and I have also met a few blippers in person which is very nice. I also share my Blipfoto posts to my Facebook and Twitter account which creates another social dimension. However, I’m suffering from a lack of free time at the moment so I’m not commenting on that many blips any more as it takes quite a lot of time and I feel a bit sorry about that. I have also linked some of my blips to my own mystery geocaches which is another dimension that allows me to connect with people.
YOUR JOURNAL & PHOTOGRAPHY
What are your favourite subjects for photography? Why?
I have noticed that I like to take landscape and lakescape photos and to find large views and big lines. But, mystical nature photos, where I play with depth of field, are one of my favourite subjects; I love beautiful things and like to share and delight others with those if I can.
Documentary photography of local life is one of my favourite subjects because those photos will be the most valuable to me over time. I have already had the honour of getting a few of my photos in the archive collection of the local South-Karelian Museum and Finnish National Museum.
What do you look for in a photo to save in your journal?
I make my decision based on my mood on that day or some special event or encounter during the day. Sometimes it’s hard to choose when there have been so many good moments. But for me, the message and story of a photo is the most relevant factor, not the technical quality.
Blipfoto is a unique platform compared to any other social photo-sharing web-based service because of the positive spirit of the community and real-life photos around the globe. They’re such valuable factors for me and I’ve really liked that whole concept since beginning my journal.
Photography has become a way of life for me, thanks to Blipfoto!
What’s the biggest challenge with daily blipping?
None, really. Well, maybe sometimes — to choose which photo among too many options! Some people fret about the lack of inspiration in their photography; to me, the world around us offers an endless number of topics every second and I can end up having to spend a bit of time whittling them down to one!
What does the Blipfoto community mean to you?
A way to find and meet new interesting people, virtually and around the world, through their photos. And perhaps, to share thoughts too. Most of all, I love to learn and see the everyday life of people in other cultures.
What motivates you to keep blipping?
Blipping is fun and a way of life for me and an excellent way to maintain a personal diary that has become a very valuable archive. No matter how good the posted image is, every single photo is a memory of your life for the future. (Of course, that content should be also printed on paper as a backup!)
What would you say to other blippers or people who are considering signing up.
Don’t think anymore! Join us!
Taking photos every day develops your photography skills really well and viewing photos of other blippers extends your understanding of Earth and other cultures which I see as very important on these days we are living now. It’s also worth having paid membership to keep this great platform of positive energy up and running!
Jukka’s Top 10
Finally, enjoy the serenity, stunning beauty and Finnish lightheartedness brought to you by Jukka in his Top 10 film. Watch it here.