All about balance. A talk with photographer Eeva Suutari
Eeva Suutari is based between Milan and Finland. She works as fashion, documentary and street style photographer, all round the world.
It is all about balance for me. When shooting reportage/documentary I have to understand that I cannot create, or “fake” a situation. It is all about documenting what is real, what is actually happening, and about being in the right place at the right time to capture that moment with my camera. My style is to be as invisible as possible, which can often be very demanding in environments such as Pitti where many people are extremely self-aware. It makes it more difficult to try and find the moment, as opposed to creating one- as I would do in a normal fashion photoshoot- but the result is worth it, and the happiness from capturing a successful shot is much greater.
Pitti is an event where I get to showcase the most balance between fashion, documentary and street photography.
I got my first camera from my grandfather when I was in my early teens; photography was a dear hobby of his, and we would wander the streets of Ukraine documenting life on film together. But it was a long path towards realising that photography was my calling, as I didn’t previously think I could take it seriously. It took me many years, a massive burn out from my retail career and guidance from a Finnish fashion editor, Mia Dillemuth, to finally quit my job. Mia has advised me from the beginning of my career. Pitti has also had a huge impact in my career. I used to go there for work and take personal photos there for fun, but over time it began to escalate after posting images in my social media and gaining recognition from them. Now I have been doing this full-time for 1.5 years, and it has been absolutely amazing. Currently, I travel frequently but divide my time mostly between Helsinki and Milan. I appreciate the freedom that is involved in photography. I don’t have to do this for any other reasons but pure love towards the craft. I appreciate the endless beauty of people and places that I get to experience through the freedom that photography gives me.
Pitti will always have a very special place in my heart, so the experience is always great. I love the light in Florence, all the new information and inspiration, as well as getting to meet my friends whom I tend to see only twice a year there. The J.W. Anderson fashion show was spectacular- the location obviously played a huge part for me, but I also liked the collection a lot as it was very wearable yet fun. The special events at Pitti also never disappoint and are the highlight of the event.
For me it is all about observation and focus. I isolate myself from everything else,
To understand the moment and observe people is essential to my job. I think you have to love people if you want to capture people, as that love creates a strong photograph. I am still a newcomer myself, which scared me at first due to the amount of photographers around. I think nowadays you cannot be only a photographer- a lot depends on your social skills in addition to your talent, and I see that this is beginning to matter more and more. Since photography has become so easily reachable to people, the competition has grown and you have to find ways to make yourself visible- and the biggest outlet for that is currently social media. I think today a photographer has to be so much more than just a photographer in order to succeed