An Interview With : Joonas Linkola

3/25/2017Jake Ryan

It happened again. I spent my day scrolling through Instagram and suddenly become insanely jealous. I was jealous of all of the amazing places Joonas Linkola has been visiting and photographing. 

Joonas is a 25 year old from Finland and he takes some absolutely incredible photos. 

I recently had a chat with Joonas, see what he had to say. 
Hey Joonas, tell us a little about yourself. 
I'm a smily lad from Southern Finland. I'm keen on living on the road and asking tricky questions. Now being 25 years old I've lived most of my life in Finland, but also in Australia and France. I've endeavored many things in my life, and could say that I posses several skills, but I'm not the best in any specific area. At the moment I'm finishing my Master's degree in a technical university, majoring in user-centered design. Don't ask. I try to spread good vibes around me, and most of the time it's working. Still, my philosophy of life is: "It's essential to understand, even though it would be impossible to accept."

Your photos are incredible. How long have you been taking photos?
For about two years now. I really got into photographing as my friends took me on a roadtrip to Lofoten, Norway. In the beginning I had a Panasonic GH4, which was a terrific travel camera. However, I really don't see myself as a professional photographer, but instead a photography-loving adventurer, producer and storyteller. I don't know if it makes any difference, but it's my own way to see myself.

What equipment do you use? 
At the moment I shoot with Nikon D810 and a variety of lenses. I just bought the Sigma 35mm Art, which is super fun and gives challenges me to move more compared to, for example, my Tamron 24-70mm 2.8.

You have captured some amazing moments, what’s your favourite thing to photograph? 
Photographing itself is neat, and I don't have any specific favourite objects. Still, the fun (and the challenge also) about nature photography is that I'm not really able to control the light or the environment, as in the studio. Nature changes, moves and grows, and I must follow.

Do you make your living through photography?
Partly yes. My profession has long been linked to social media and content production, and photography is indeed a crucial part of it. However, at the moment I am a business developer at an operator as well, because that's what I've been studying at university. 

What advice do you have for someone wanting to start out in photography?
Find some idols or anyone who you think is doing cool stuff with camera and ask to join their projects or trips. Observing and asking in real life is a great way to learn fast. Also if one finds inspiring work, for example, from Instagram, just try do the same! There is nothing to be ashamed of mimicking in the beginning, or even when one is already skilled.

You’ve grown a fairly impressive following on Instagram, has this brought any opportunities your way?
My Instagram channel is one kind of a brand for me, or a product and CV at the same time. It enables me to showcase my visual outdoor products quickly and also collaborate with other companies as a Instagram marketing tool. Opportunities come and go, most of them are less interesting and some are priceless. The best of Instagram happens outside of the app, and by that I mean the community. It's a real joy to network with other creatives and outdoor enthusiasts. In the end, Instagram is just one of the things I do for living. For example, today I conducted a small market research for my employer.

It seems you’ve been to some pretty impressive places, what has been your favourite destination so far? 
I have an addiction to the Northern geography. Colder weather, wilderness and no tourists, please. Northern Scandinavia is on the top of the list, for sure! 

What inspires you?
Productive and creative people who have their dreams and don't give a shit about what others say. Also, I feel alive when me and people around me laugh together. Love and laugh and endless resources for energy and inspiration.

What else do you enjoy doing?
I really like teaching. I have been teaching kids in schools for many years as a subtitute teacher, and it's one of the most gratifying jobs I've ever done. I also would like to more help other individuals in their social media career. Interacting with others face to face keeps me going. :)

And finally, what do you have planned for the future? 
After a quick visit in Namibia, Africa, I will come back and finish my Master's thesis in Helsinki. After that I proceed with social media content productions for a few super cool clients in Finland. This year I also aim to live on the road for another three months, mostly in Finland and Norway, but also exploring in Austria and Northern Italy. As a producer, I really want to focus more on video and text as well. Let's collab let's go!

Thanks Joonas for answering my questions. 

Make sure you follow Joonas on Instagram HERE

All photos in this post belong to Joonas. 

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