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Jani Kaila

Finnish-born photographer Jani Kaila is perhaps best known for the way he combines design and photography in his work. He spoke to Nokia Connects about his love of architecture, his previous life in marketing and his visions for the future of photography.

How and why did you first get into photography?

I worked in marketing for 15 years and it got to a point where I decided I wanted to do something more creative. In 2008 I went on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and I had an absolute certain clarity in my head that I had to study photography, so I went back to university in London to study photography, and I haven’t looked back since!

Since starting out as a professional photographer, I have been combining my love of architecture and design with photography. My exhibition ‘Finnish Design Unwrapped‘ paired images of designers with their products and was last year part of the London Design Festival.

What inspired you to take a photo of something?

I always try to find the natural in the unnatural. For example, a staircase can look like the inside of a shell, or a skyscraper can look like a tree. Sometimes it’s a moment, sometimes something I see I think I see in a different way and I have an urge to capture it. Sometime it’s a composition that takes time to plan and engineer. But I think beauty in nature is the one thing that always inspires me to keep taking photos.

Jani Kaila

via Jani Kaila

Who is your favourite photographer and what is your favourite photograph they have taken?

I have to admit that I don’t really have a favourite photographer, there are so many people whose work inspired me and that I look up to. I have a book of Robert Maplethorpe‘s photos at home, and his utter beauty of taking images of shapes, of flowers, of human bodies is fascinating. His images are classics.

Do you think the divide between digital SLRs and mobile cameras is diminishing with the launch of devices such as the Nokia 808 PureView?

The problem with SLRs is that a lot of people who have them don’t know how to use them. Getting to know your camera takes time, energy, and lots of mistakes, and most people simply don’t have the patience. The simplicity of a camera phone is the promise that you can take the same type and quality of images with little to no technical knowledge.

Devices such as the PureView are definitely closing the gap, and they are also changing the nature of photography from something planned to something spontaneous. The personal relationship people have with their mobile phone is also important.

Jani Kaila

via Jani Kaila

That’s it for this week’s Innovator of the Week. If you know someone (or you ARE someone) whose talents you think we should be showcasing here, then let us know in the comments or @Nokia_Connects!