Cover Story: Sun Shower
Photographer: Jeff Hakojarvi
Model: Amber Gillespie
Hmua/Stylist : Amber Gillespie
Location: Wallaby Ranch, Davenport .FL
My name is Jeff Hakojarvi, I have had the pleasure of doing photography since 1995 and can honestly say it is my true passion. There is something about the way that a story can come out of a photo and speak to the viewer in so many ways that has always inspired me to look through the optical view and find the story to be told.
In my journey of finding my photographic passion I have been exposed to so many wonderful ways to fulfill this passion of mine. I started in high school where I took a standard basic photography class and from that point on I was hooked by all the wonders that could be. I then enrolled at the local collage and began taking Advanced Black and White and color photography where I fell in love with shooting in many different styles and the story they could tell. While enrolled, I was fortunate enough to be displayed in a few different exhibits one of which I hold dear because it was in honor of my photography professor and at an art gallery. While the gallery was small and ran by the Art League of Daytona it was my first taste of recognition for something I loved so much. I followed that with exposing myself to any additional workshops I could get into and found myself in Savanah, GAat the Savannah Collage of Art and Design on the weekends taking in everything I could learning and refining my techniques. As a lover of Art in general and a self-proclaimed Picasso ( just Kidding) I would take a basic image develop it in the Dark room and then begin drawing all over the image during the process of developing it. This allowed for me to incorporate the two and make something entirely new which I found fun and interesting.
When I look back at my start of photography I must say that I consider myself very fortunate to have been a guest in the film age as it is an art quickly being forgotten, as well as fortunate to have been into it at the dawn of the digital age. This has allowed for me to have a perspective in both realms and I often still try to mimic the same kind of film results in the much clearer would of digital.
Over the past 11 years I have loved taking photos of anything I found interesting such as landscapes, architecture, animals, people etc. and around five years ago I started doing family shoots and weddings. While this is great it wasn’t feeding my artistic need, then I found fashion shoots. This is where things started to evolve for me and I have spent the past 3 years focusing in that direction. I find that I am most drawn to whimsical, surreal, steampunk, and of course the dark beauty styles most, however I do enjoy the Glamour styles as well.
In the past few years I have had the pleasure of being published in numerous Model magazines and this type of photography has since become a pillar of expression for me. I find that in the Fashion type shoots I love the wow factor that can be obtained in these images, whether that is the emotion the photo speaks to or the story being heard from the viewer. My goal is a simple one and often can be the hardest. That is to provoke the thoughts of the viewer to feel the emotion, whether it is days past, love, loss, or life on a fantastical journey of the mind. In the end if I have accomplished this then I have met my goal. In closing thank you for taking this journey with me and I hope my images as much as I do.
She steps into the world of showers and clouds; the ground is wet to her bare feet. She is unsure of whether she should go out and venture into this world of gray clouds and soft raindrops. As she stands alone in the doorway a debates this decision the clouds give way and the sun calls to her. She no longer finds the rain to be abrasive on her skin and decides to make her way out into the warm rays of the sun.
She wonders to the side of the house where there is a staircase that leads to a perch, the perfect place to view this now beautiful land of sunlit glitter. As she looks out to see the sun skip across the raindrops resting on the leaves of the trees and steam rising off the ground form the warmth of the sun she spots an old swing hanging from an even older tree. I wander what stories have been shared throughout the years on that old swing. She thought to herself. Without hesitation, she goes, and there she spends her afternoon pondering about days past, what they were like, and who they may have been. Curious of a time forgotten.
My goal in taking the images was to portray the hesitant, the curios, and the carefree. I strived to catch the sunrays in her hair and add the element of softness to the seen. I feel that the old Oaktree, cottage, and swing give a visual element to the images that take the natural beauty of the surrounding and combine them well with the beauty of the clothing and model. In the editing stage of this I tried to keep the film feel to the images with an appreciation to the clarity that digital offers. I found myself feeling like these images had an almost dreamscape type quality.