Warrior in the Snow - Story of an artistic photo

It’s not all about the camera! Here is the story of how an artistic photo started from a basic idea and how it grown into something developed.

It was just las Sunday, when I was showing these unpublished photos to a few students. One of them said: “I want to learn how to do this kind of photography!”. Well, I said, the most important thing is to have the braveness to go into the cold snow and just do it!

This is one of the final photos we took with Mia. You can see the Wonder Woman costume with the props under the furs to protect her from the cold.

This is one of the final photos we took with Mia. You can see the Wonder Woman costume with the props under the furs to protect her from the cold.

Inspiration does not come out of nowhere. My uncle became a successful doctor and my aunt a boss at her postal service office. They worked hard and for a long time to achieve it. What do I do? I spend a big deal of time imagining stuff in my head. I’ve met my friend Mia a while (a few years) ago. Even though she’s gorgeous in front of the camera I didn’t ask her to model for me until I knew what I wanted to do.

The first portrait I took of Mia last year. Out of the blue, we agreed to take some photos and she happened to have some body painting made by another photographer.

The first portrait I took of Mia last year. Out of the blue, we agreed to take some photos and she happened to have some body painting made by another photographer.

At the end of last summer, I discovered this this little path with street lamps and trees that go into a small beach, next to the wedding venue where I was working. There I asked the couple to walk and I took photos of them while moving. The path and the lights were beautiful and inspiring.

One of the photos from Annina and Henri’s wedding last Summer.

One of the photos from Annina and Henri’s wedding last Summer.

I guess it’s typical of me, that I like fantasy characters, I thought of superheroes when they are running while changing their outfit or appearance. The most well know example is Superman. But Superman, Superwoman, Ant Man, Super López (a Spanish parody hero)… Anyone would do.

Image from Superman II (1980)

Image from Superman II (1980)

Thinking about it I realized how Mia would fit so well to perform as Wonder Woman and she was like: “Let’s do this!”

It took a while to research from internet for suits and props, and then buy them and then wait for them to arrive. Winter came. Before the snow came, I discovered an old trenches area, which the Finns used during war times. I was with a mountain bike club and I heard about it, so I decided to investigate and find the place. I loved it! The shape of the stone terrain and the deep forest makes it very dramatic and inspiring, so I changed my mind about the place.

Martina & Harald on the day of their wedding in the old trenches, in Mustavuori. This was the first time I took photos there.

Martina & Harald on the day of their wedding in the old trenches, in Mustavuori. This was the first time I took photos there.

Then Mia posted one photo she found from internet. There was a woman similar to her with two wolf-like dogs howling into the air, in the middle of the snow. Gosh, those dogs were awesome! So suddenly having dogs was a priority!

The awesome photo of the girls with the howling dogs found on internet.

The awesome photo of the girls with the howling dogs found on internet.

Looking for husky owners on Facebook I found many people interested. Finally, I agreed to have the dogs from Katja, who was willing to travel a few hundred kilometers for this crazy idea, without even knowing us. But her dogs looked awesome, well-educated and everything. They were perfect for being models.

Katja with three of her huskies during the day of the photo shoot: Snow Angel Artico Encanto, Kuurakuonon Red Hot Chili Pepper On Ice (Antero) ja Mikhmakoen Ariadna (Ariadna)

Katja with three of her huskies during the day of the photo shoot: Snow Angel Artico Encanto, Kuurakuonon Red Hot Chili Pepper On Ice (Antero) ja Mikhmakoen Ariadna (Ariadna)

Katja, though, asked me: “Why huskies?” Well, I have two American hairless terriers. I love them, they are my dogs but… it just wouldn’t look the same.

My two little hairless terriers have to dress up for the winter.

My two little hairless terriers have to dress up for the winter.

But there was one more thing to consider because of winter. It’s cold and the Wonder Woman suit is not much of clothing. Me and Mia started discussing about the possibility of adding fur to protect the character from the cold. Between that and the dogs, we realized that the whole thing started to look more like Conan the Barbarian or Xena the Warrior Princess.

Image from Xena Warrior Princess

Image from Xena Warrior Princess

In the end, the whole thing started from a pretty pose, clean production Super Hero photo shoot to something more gutsy and badass. This is all in the process of half a year going around it over and over and letting it grow and deciding to do just what we wanted. No reservations, no doubt, just freedom of spirit.

So, responding to my student, how to do a picture like this? Well, all of the above and then being ready to spend a few hours in the snow.

Here’s a few of the many photos we took that day, including some portraits of the dogs and some crazy Spanish guy.

Thanks to Mia Siren for being the badass model, Katja Huhtala’s dogs Kuurakuonon Red Hot Chili Pepper On Ice (Antero) and Mikhmakoen Ariadna (Ariadna), Aapo Karhu for the photography assistance and Tinttu Henttonen for the coats.

Photography by truly yours, Alejandro Lorenzo except the of the dogs and me by Aapo Karhu.

Enjoy :)