Tribute to the students of 2021–22

Tribute to the students of 2021–22

For a long time I have wanted to share some moments of my past year — as it has been one incre­dible journey and I have enjoyed it so much. But I have not found the words to do so.

Then one of my students from the spring semester posted this.

Shot and edited by the super talented Ville Sakki from the class of spring 2022 . It is a great compi­lation of all the energy and joy we shared and experienced together. But you probably have to be a finn to appreciate the mix of music…

I teach identical courses of photo­graphy (and video) in the fall and in the spring, typically to a class of circa dozen students. In the past (so I have been told), the students have been youngsters (twenty something) still searching for the direction of what they want to do in life, but things have changed a bit.

Nowadays the students are of a more varied age demographic, I think the youngest one has been around 22 and the oldest 67 years old — with everyone else there somewhere in between. And yet, the connection we have managed to create together has been nothing less than magical. Lots of friends for life have been made, incre­dible moments experienced, lots of laughter — as well as tears — shared.

The reasons for attending and learning photo­graphy vary from person to person. Some just want to do something totally different to what they do for a living, some want to finally do what they have always been dreaming of doing, some want to escape the daily grinding of their long career (or family), some are looking for a new direction in life, some are testing if visual media were the thing they could make a career of. The academic backgrounds are also different, starting from very modest to several university degrees. And so is the level they start from.

And some — if not a majority of them — have taken leave of absence from their daily work for a half a year to do something they have always dreamt of doing — which I cannot but totally admire and respect.

What the students do share is the commitment and passion to learning photo­graphy. And I guess that is what creates the magic I have felt so strongly. And which I think is so well conveyed in the video above.

And it is great to see how some of them have continued their journey. Couple of my former students have started their own small businesses (although I do strongly recommend them to consider if photo­graphy really is a viable business…), some have gotten into a university to study visual media further. (And on a sidenote, I was so happy to hear our biggest national daily just hired a new staffer — my former student and a friend from another school I used to teach.)

I am so happy and proud of everything we have done together and the journey we have shared. And I want to thank the wonderful students for making it happen.

The journey continues.

2 Replies to “Tribute to the students of 2021–22”

    1. Thank you Jim! It has been totally amazing. I told my boss when I started over there that my aim is to make this the best photo­graphy school in the country. I don’t think he took me seriously… until he himself attended some classes… and came to me afterwards: “now I understand what you were talking about”.
      Good to see you — I hope all is good on that side of the big pond?

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