What I love the most about photography is that when I have my camera in my hands, I forget all the problems and stresses in the world. The work of an engineer is quite stressful, so it’s important to get your thoughts out of the job. Photography has given me a whole new world, and it’s a lifelong learning experience – that’s what motivates me the most. It doesn’t feel like work; it’s a lifestyle. I constantly wonder how this or that would look through the lens. That’s why I have a camera with me all the time.
My name is Tanja Lauri-Oja, and I’m a civil engineer and photographer from Finnish Lapland. I live near the Arctic Circle with my husband and three kids. My company is Arctic Feeling, and it’s based in Lapland too. I chose my job because I have always been interested in construction and architecture. So, it was natural to apply in that field. Photography was my hobby at first, but I made it my second profession. Someone wise once said that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. That’s so true.
I was born in Kiruna Sweden, but I was a little girl when my family moved back to Finland – both of my parents are Finnish. Since then, I have lived here, with the exception of study time. So I’m an authentic Lapland-girl, and the nature here is my inexhaustible resource and landscape of my soul. I never want to leave these landscapes. Well, maybe just to travel and shoot around the world. But my heart is always here.
I have always been the one who teases people with her camera. Since my childhood, my dream was to become a photographer. But it took a few years until my dream came true. However, I think the timing was perfect. Nowadays, I have more time to feed my creative side. Nature photography is definitely my biggest passion, but I also love to work with people. Photojournalism is also my thing. I love to tell stories with my pictures; hopefully, they evoke emotions in the viewers as well.
I have many favourite photographers, but I need to mention Vesa Tyni from Finland. He has the style I like: portraits with simple lighting. The person is the most important, not all kinds of tricks. Next summer, I will have the opportunity to attend his course, so I’m looking forward to it.
I have a Canon 5D Mark IV for my photography, and I think it’s the best camera I have ever had. All my lenses are from Canon too. I’m planning to get a spare camera and that could be mirrorless; I would like to test it.
I have several favourite photos I’ve taken. I photographed one couple in my school work, and I think I managed to reach out the perfect moment when time has stopped and there was just ”you & me” and this silent moment. The models were perfect. Another photo I love was taken last summer – I was awake all night to get the perfect shot of the morning mist. And I was lucky; the mist and the morning sun were magical together. The landscape was like a painting. After dozens of pictures, I just sat on top of the hill and sighed. Lapland is magical.
I just started my new photography company called Arctic Feeling, and I’m pretty excited about it. Arctic Feeling is simply my channel to import the beauty of Lapland and life: arctic moments, arctic feelings, and hopefully lots of emotions. I have worked as a photographer for a couple of years, but now I have found my own road.
With Arctic Feeling, I photograph people, products, nature, and everything else you can come up with. I can help other companies renew images on websites, and some companies have ordered nature pictures for new brochures. My new website will open soon, and there is also a web-shop where I sell image products, such as calendars, posters, and postcards. I am currently designing many products.
In the future, I am planning to do many things with my photography, mostly new products and photojournalism projects. There are many stories to tell; I just need to wait and see what’s coming.
I can see many similarities between my photography and my work as an engineer. Both are technical work, but you can’t manage either without creativity. An engineer’s job has a lot of schedules and budgets, but every day, you have to cope with many issues and sudden situations. You will not survive without creativity or courage. And these things are also needed in photography and entrepreneurship. Both jobs also require precision. When you work with people, you have to have team spirit too.
My advice to anyone interested in photography is to be creative, be bold, and believe in your own style. When you yourself believe it, others will believe in you. Your passion will be seen.
There is always more than tech. There are always various passions, various innovations, and so on. The world is big, but thanks to technology, we can share everything we want. And we can learn and enjoy other people’s passions too.
To check out Tanja’s website, Facebook, and Instagram pages, be sure to check the following links:
https://arcticfeeling.fi/ (Website Available Soon)