Fashion Photographer | David Jakob
Meet David, a fashion, portrait and commercial photographer based in Helsinki! Here he shares his journey in this exciting industry and his work - As well as giving us some great tips what not to miss when visiting the Finnish capital.
“I love working with people and telling authentic stories, whether that is in editorial, documentary or commerce. I enjoy fashion photography for its never ending hunger to be extraordinary”
Tell us about your journey to photography!
David: My journey to photography has been a road with a few turns – I started off studying Media Engineering with a focus on Audio Technology. I have always liked playing around with gear and didn’t think of myself as artistic or particularly creative. At the university we got introduced to photography and video from an engineering perspective and I started creating videos for fun, mostly being interested in creating a clean image more than a compelling story. Growing up in Germany, I’ve become a bit of a hopeless perfectionist and it has taken me a few years to let go and focus more on story and emotions instead of technicalities. Imperfections make things believable and authentic. Knowing the tools is only the foundation, after that it is good to focus on what is actually important. During the past years I’ve put more time and effort into still photography, as I feel it is one of the most simple and compressed ways to tell a story. These days I work 50/50 as a Director of Photography (DoP) and as a still photographer – both worlds fascinate and inspire me in terms of storytelling, lighting and composition.
Tell us more of the type of photography you enjoy shooting - what projects do you normally work with?
I love working with people and telling authentic stories, whether that is in editorial, documentary or commerce. I enjoy fashion photography for its never ending hunger to be extraordinary. In my portraits as in life, I like to listen and find a certain calmness in my subjects – that’s the moment when I most connect with them.
What equipment to you use?
My general work horse is a Nikon D810 with a set of primes. Most of my personal projects are shot on medium format film – these days it’s a Mamiya 645 Super, but there’s also a Pentax 67 on my shelf. Lately I got obsessed about colours and a well exposed film just gives me those lifelike tones which I’m often craving from a digital sensor.
What has been your most exciting shoot so far?
I am part of a book project funded by the Finnish Kone foundation where two authors and myself travel Finland’s neighbour countries and explore their public sauna culture. Last summer (2018) we travelled for roughly two weeks through Russian Karelia and got to experience the local banyas (saunas) and meet their visitors. Documenting this project has been the most exciting photo assignment for me so far and the project is still ongoing – this summer we’re planning to visit Belarus. Full steam ahead.
What is your biggest achievement up to date?
That’s a tough question, I’m not a guy for awards – I suppose my biggest achievement is that I was able to make photography my profession and that I get the chance to collaborate with so many talented and creative people.
What do you normally do on your day off in Helsinki?
Cycle along the shore, islands and parks and go to a public sauna in the evening.
Give us your top things to do in Helsinki!
Talvipuutarha (Winter Garden) -I love to visit the public winter garden, that’s one of the places where I can just let my thoughts drift and relax after an exhausting week.
Eat a salmon soup at Marja Nätti’s bistro in Hakaniemen Halli. Most people have an opinion on where to get the best creamy salmon soup, for me it’s that one.