Finnish photographer Joel Hyppönen
The fantastic photographer Joel Hyppönen is a Finnish adventure seeker based in the small town of Hamar, Norway, where he’s living the easy life with his wife and dog after becoming tired of the big cities. His images have the power to convince most people we know, to immediately start planning a trip to Norway!
“After I found the love of my life - Anniken, and moved to Norway I developed curiosity to experience the vast wilderness I was surrounded by. This has been a game changer to me. What started by snapping images with my iPhone has over the past years developed into a serious love for the craft.”
The former marketing consultant quit his fulltime job, and is now spending his time doing what he loves, exploring the surrounding nature hiking and biking whilst capturing the moment with his camera.
Joel has worked for clients in the likes of Montblanc, Fjällräven, Olympus, HSBC bank and many more, and has had work published in magazines such as White Magazine, META Magazine and Nordiske Bryllup.
What’s your daily routine?
For years I have started my days by drinking of a litre of cold water and hopping in a freezing shower for few minutes. Then I brew coffee, read my Bible and get ready for whatever is ahead with good mind-set.
How and when did you start out as a photographer?
Photography was never really on my radar growing up and I think that´s because I was never exposed to photographs that looked interesting enough, nor did I know much about the craft generally. After I moved to Norway five years ago I started using my iPhone camera more and more and eventually got a little starter kit which I loved. For a year I played with that before bought a used Canon 5D III and got more serious and also gained more attention on social media which boosted the process. Now it has become a passion of mine and the more I shoot, the more I enjoy shooting.
Do you remember taking your first ever picture?
I would be lying if I said I remember the very first one. But I remember some of the first ones. Years ago I did a long road trip to the northernmost town in Europe from our hometown in Tampere, Finland with my friends Samuel and Daniel. At the time they were already serious about photography and I was not even interested in it, at the time. As we started reaching the Lofoten Islands in Norway and saw the incredible landscape for the first time, I was so mind blown and started reaching out to my phone to somehow document the beauty just for the memory’s sake. I think that was one of the first moments I knew there was something to photography and beautiful places I had not been aware of before.
Are most of your photographs spontaneous or planned?
That’s a great question. There is so much that goes into a good photograph and you can only control so many variables. Being an advocate of the “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” there is always some research and preparations I do before every trip, but that only enables me to be more likely in the right place at the right time. Rarely everything is planned by every little detail and I think that’s part of the beauty photography has. I always have an idea in mind, but I leave room for flexibility and prepare to react fast when it’s needed.
Why do you love what you do?
It’s a combination of the whole process of my ideas coming alive and getting to meet and work with incredible people and see amazing places around the world. It’s the best job I could imagine.
Which artist of the past would you most like to meet?
I draw my inspiration from many different crafts and types of arts. That being said I would love to meet Johnny Cash, Steve Jobs and Henri Cartier-Bresson. They were masters of their crafts and surely had a thing or two to say about what goes into becoming as great as they were and the legacies they left behind.
In what way does social media have an impact on you and your work?
Social media is mainly a tool for me, but also a thing that has enabled me to meet many amazing people I would have not otherwise met. I am thankful for living in this day and era and try to keep an open mind but still true to whom I am and what I am about. Social media isn’t what is was four years ago and its meaning and impact in my life has changed quite a bit from that. It was a community and now it’s purely a business for many. I like to hold onto both of those aspects and have fun with it and not let it impact much of the way I progress as a creative.
What is your favourite way of spending your weekends?
After quitting the nine to five, a normal week is more just a week for me and a lot of the work isn’t looking at a day of the week and also tends to be during weekends. I try to have as much structure in my weeks and dedicate the first part of the days to work and weekends for my family. We love cooking together, playing board games with friends and go for walks and putting the camera down and just enjoy ourselves.
What has been your most memorable adventure?
This is a hard one. I just got back from a trip to the Italian Dolomites and it was one of a kind for many reasons. The whole Ladin culture was impressive from the culinary to their life in the mountains, which I loved. Another memorable one was my first visit to Russia, which was just so different from everything else I had seen before. If I had to name one, it’s still probably the first visit to Iceland. There is something so special to that place I wish everyone could experience. The little country is so mind blowing and gives you a great dose of excitement just by looking around as you drive away from the capital.
What are your favourite Norwegian spots?
I have several ones I always love going back to. Jotunheimen National Park is not far from home and I have such great memories from there but if I had to name one - it would still be Lofoten Islands. That area never stops impressing and there is so much to see and experience. If you only have a week to spend in Norway, that would be my recommendation.