All images by Mika Suutari. Used with permission.
Insomnia is a problem that plagues lots of people; but some photographers tend to use it to their creative advantage. In Mika Suutari’s case though, she doesn’t suffer from Insomnia–but her dark photo series is simply called just that because it made the most sense both in terms of looks and specific subject matter. Mika hails from Finland and tells us that she’s a self-taught photographer who learned by picking up a DSLR. Her love of nature photography eventually gave way to using the world as her canvas of self-expression.
Phoblographer: How did you first get into photography?
Mika: I am a self-taught photographer. I started taking pictures in 2007 when I bought my first digital SLR camera. First I only took nature photographs. I didn’t retouch or alter the images in anyway. I didn’t want the picture to have anything that is not a natural part of the nature.
Phoblographer: We’re assuming that you suffer from insomnia, correct? How does it
inspire you to create scenes like these?
Mika: I’m not suffering from insomnia, it’s just the name of series. I have had difficult issues in my private life and maybe that show in my pictures. Photography is, and always has been, therapeutic for me. It has helped me get through some difficult periods in my private life.
Phoblographer: Where did the ideas for the scenes stem from? They seem almost alien-like.
Mika: I love sciifi, horror and fantasy movies, I listen also very dark and heavy music.
I have always wanted a mystical feel to my pictures. In the last few years I have mainly taken pictures at night, early morning or late in the evening.
Phoblographer: How much of the work is done in-camera vs in Photoshop?
Mika: It depends … some images are almost ready with the camera. and with some images i do many versions before it is finished. sometimes the i post-prossed image over and over again and it is never ready.
Phoblographer: In each scene, the figure is alone. Every photographer tries to express themselves with their imagery and art. What are you and this lone figure trying to get across to the viewers?
Mika: I take pictures for myself. I look at my pictures and see myself and a lot of my feelings in them. Others process their feelings by talking, painting or making music. Photography is that for me. Some of my pictures have deep personal meaning to me. And I am very happy when people like them.
Phoblographer: What made you choose the locations?
Mika: I chose a place close to home and I try to keep my eyes opened all the time. I look at a lot of pictures on the Internet and sometimes I find places from there.