The Finnish Photographer of Rock

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Ville Akseli Juurikkala is the most important rock photographer in Finland nowadays. His work can be seen in recent albums and official promotion material of top Finnish bands such as H.I.M. Nightwish, Hanoi Rocks, Apocalyptica, The Rasmus or 69 Eyes. International stars such as American actress and musician Juliette Lewis or Colombian singer Juanes had been also targets for Ville´s shootings. Discover with us a bit more about this fan of rock music who decided one day to exchange the electric guitar for the camera. 

Ville,you are mostly known for your work with rock bands. Are you a rock music fan yourself?

I used to play guitar and sing in various rock bands since I was 10. I was very serious about it. One of my bands even played in Tavastia. Then I got into photography about 10 years ago. And I liked more than playing. The band had to go. And I’ve never regretted that I did it.

It looks lately that every top Finnish music artist must be photographed by you. Is this the best moment of your career?

This is the best moment on my career by far, of course.  Five years ago this was my goal, what I wanted to achieve on my life. But then everything went just faster than I thought. And now I think that this all was just the start.

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Who takes the decisions before planning a photo session? It is done what you want, what the artists want, or you try to find a middle point?

All mentioned above, but I’d like add the client (record company A&R) on the list as well. But this all it depends so much about the band and the record company and all. There’s no one way.

Do you need a lot of preparation before a session, or do you enjoy more to take pictures on the spur of the moment?

I enjoy taking pictures on the field but sometimes it’s really nice to create ideas beforehand with the band.

Is there any particular picture you have taken that you feel especially proud of?

There are many, you should always be proud of your work, what ever you do. But it’s really impossible to raise some of them above others. One really good is that where Jussi 69 has collapsed on the floor of Tavastia after the show. It is “very rock’n’roll”… and very real.

You published during last year Route 69, the book you did with pictures of 69 Eyes during their American Tour. How was the experience to be on the road with them? Are you a friend of the band?

It was great to tour with them. We had a lot of fun, maybe even too much some may think. It was crazier than with Nightwish. I’m still good friends with those guys, especially with Jussi.

Do you do other projects apart from your photography side?

I’ve done 2 music videos. Hanna Pakarinen: Black Ice and 51koodia: Mustat sydämet.

You have been on tour with Nightwish. Can you tell us a bit more about the project?

It’s going to be a somewhat like the Route69 but this will concentrate not only on the band but also on the things behind, the roadies etc. On their Europe tour they had 56 people working for them, 3 busses and 4 trucks. It’s interesting to show some of that side as well.

Usually Finnish artists are quite down to earth, but has there been any artist or band that turned difficult to work with? And the easiest one?{mosimage}

Actually I was surprised the way that this one American rock band treated me when I was touring with them. People might think that they are some kind of big divas since their albums are selling millions. But then actually they treated me a lot better than any Finnish bands I’ve worked with.

What are your challenges for the future?

As I told I was working with this one American band right now. I’m sorry I don’t want to tell you the name before everything is sure. And we still have negations going on. I had one week trip with them on their UK tour and all went great. They asked me on their US tour later this year but I don’t want to tell too much before it’s all certain.

Do you have any advice for those young photographers who are starting now and could read this?

Use your soul. Let it help your eyes in your work. Don’t pay too much attention on how to use photo shop or things like that. That’s not what great photography is about.  

All Photos taken by Ville Akseli Juurikkala and extracted from his personal website.

For more information visit:

http://www.villejuurikkala.com

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