Fashion Photography. It’s a BIG thing right now. Social media accounts have become the modern version of business cards for major brands. So talented photographers are being sought around the globe. But how can they step up their game while breaking the norm of bikini pics and naked models?
We did a photoshoot with our long-time partner and friend, and self-taught photographer, Laura Iikkanen. We love her amazing personality and her background that is not typical for many fashion photographers: she has worked seven years in the modeling industry. We wanted to know, does that help in her work field now and what does it take to be the next “IT- photographer”. We also asked what tips she has for young girls wanting to become models and what is the industry like nowadays..
How are you Laura?
Very good, thanks! I have many interesting projects coming up and the best thing is that summer is coming, yeees! So I can’t help smiling.
You’ve been with Fedited since the beginning, and we wanna thank you for that! We’ve both gone grown a lot in a year – how does it feel at this point?
Thank you guys, it’s been such an honor to work with Fedited! The last year has been really about learning… and so much has happened! My journey in photography has been challenging, but at the same time very rewarding. I wouldn’t change a day. A year ago, when I did my first editorial shoot, I didn’t expect to make it this much further with so little effort.
Ages ago I had a dream about living my happiest life when I’m 27 (and I do believe in dreams!) – the dream didn’t tell me how this would be showing in my life, though… So I expected that I’d probably be married by now or win the lottery – not either of those has happened (YET)! But now as a 27-year-old I know that was a sign for letting me know how good of a start I’ll have in achieving my dreams.
“I didn’t expect to make it this much further with so little effort.”
You’ve captured entrepreneurs, young models, designers and celebrities on your lens: Are you starting to figure out your niche, your favorite subject to shoot?
Yes definitely. I’ve actually had that image in my head from the beginning of what I was willing to shoot, the creating process has been challenging, when I didn’t have enough knowledge or connections.
The start was mostly that I was shooting everything and trying different styles. But now I’ve started to found my own style as a photographer. I love to shoot everything related to fashion and travelling, those are the subjects that mostly will be seen in my portfolio. It’s a fantastic feeling when I’m already at that point when I’m able to be more selective of who or what I’m shooting, and I can show my own style more freely.
It’s not important to me if I’m shooting a celebrity or the hottest supermodel of the moment – I just want to create sensitive and beautiful images that create a good feeling for the viewer.
Being a photographer can be quite challenging, especially if you want to do it as your day-job. How do you feel about the employment in the industry and do you feel like there are some kind of limits in it?
The competition today is really harsh and you need to be able to stand out from the crowd.. in a good way. Social media plays an extremely important role in this, and it takes time to open the right doors.
I still feel like I’ve had a very good start in this industry during this year. I’ve created many new connections and been able to shoot some wonderful people. I’ve also thought of proceed slowly and develop myself as much as I can before I quit my day job. If I take too much pressure of succeeding at this point, I’m pretty sure the whole thing will crash.
“You can take nude photos with high class and style as well!”
What photography job would you refuse to do?
Funeral. I don’t get why anyone would want to capture the “party” where everyone is overly sad. I’m also very strict about having a good taste in my photos – not pornographic even though the model was naked. You can take nude photos with high class and style as well!
You’ve also done modelling for many years. Has it helped your work as a photographer, or made it harder?
It’s helped for sure! Being a model, I already had some contacts who I’ve recently worked with, and with my own photoshoots I’ve learned more about producing a photoshoot. I also believe that it has been a lot easier for me to connect with young models when I have shared my own experiences and tips from the industry. The trust between the photographer and model is super important.
What kind of tips would you share with girls who are willing to become a model?
The first tip: Don’t ever pay hundreds of euros for a model portfolio. You should at first visit the biggest model agencies. They will give a realistic opinion about your chances and if it’s positive, just go for it! If the agency sees potential in you, they’ll take the first testshoots for free and start booking you jobs. The competition in the industry is harsh and don’t give up after negative decisions. You need to have the attitude of not letting others’ opinions depress you, and you need to learn to receive critique.
Where are we going to see Laura Iikkanen Photography in five years?
In five years I’ll be doing photography as my day job. I wish for many doors in the fashion industry to open for me, so that I could be mostly doing fashion photography.
Your biggest dreams and fears?
My biggest dream is to live in the middle of the hectic city of New York. My biggest fear is to lose a relative.. or my health.
Don’t dream, but live your dream.
Thank you Laura for the amazing photos! Book Laura for a photoshoot by emailing her: firstname.lastname@example.org