(Kuva yllä tänään ilmestyvästä Kamera-lehdestä 12/2012, jossa pieni haastettelu). Kirjoitan tänään englanniksi – toisella kotimaisella kuten aina sanon. Perustelen tämän jutun lopussa.
Remember Jaws? “Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water again…?”
I think this was the opening line of the trailer… Anyway, what can I say? I wrote in the beginning of my previous post that what really disturbs me is the lack of feedback… The past couple of days have – well, if not proven me wrong, but then at least compensated for it exponentially.
First: thank you all for the honest, lovely feedback to my previous post. I’m totally blown away by the reaction. It’s been read by over 15 000 people – and shared by thousands. My wife who is a journalist in our local paper in Porvoo got a nice email from Itä-Uudenmaan pelastuslaitos (our local Fire- and rescue dept.) thanking for the feedback (I posted it in the comments). Plus the emails, phone calls, SoMe commentary, etc. I am totally mesmerized.
Naturally I hoped my sincere thanks would be read by as many as possible – but I was not prepared for this. See it in perspective: this is a country (and language) of less than 6 mil. people. Half of the population of Manhattan… Totally amazing number of people reacted to it.
I am news professional and one of the unwritten “rules” is that good news is not news. Nobody cares about good news. Looking at the stats of this post and how people have been sharing it, I beg to differ. People do care.
For years (like twenty years ago) I had a piece of paper glued on my laptop. A quote from Roy Gutman, who just then had won a Pulizer: “The story that matters is what happens to people”. Looking at the the commentary of the previous post, I am reminded of this.
Another quote comes to mind – this one by Robert Chang, a CG artist I used to follow actively some years ago:
”We are only human, fragile and flawed, but in our moments of radiance we are capable of such profound beauty. It is those moments of radiance that makes this life worth living.”
I find my “moment of radiance” reading the commentary of the previous post. One more time: I thank you all.
Second set of feedback: got an award yesterday. Sure, have gotten some before – and it always feels nice, even great – i.e. that what you do is appreciated. And yet, this time is different, it is huge. It is a great, great honor. I am sorry, I totally lack the adjectives…
The award is given by Finnfoto, which is the mother/umbrella organization (so to speak) of all our photographic organizations, including press, nature, advertising, etc. photography in this country,
And I did not get it because I snapped (God I hate that word…) a nice picture or entered a competition of some kind. The award is given for a person who has “substantially influenced the development of Finnish photography and created possibilities for greater understanding and appreciation of photography” (my translation). I was honored by this award for defending the rights of photographers, their right to maintain and control their own imagery.
Looking at the list of names who have received this award in the past (all 15 of them) leaves me speechless. Some of these are household names as photographers, some of them are names on the back of photography books on my shelf.
I know: I turned fifty this year, but I feel like a fifteen year old rookie next to these icons of our photographic history.
I am deeply, deeply honored.
I just want to share (today I am allowed to bable, right?) two funny things which happened yesterday and the day before.
First, Finnfoto sends a press release a day in advance, with EMBARGO until 12 o’clock tomorrow written with red ink.
Well, naturally, lot’s of my friends work in the media. So my Facebook Wall starts immediately having “Congrats”-messages from e.g. Journalisti (trade newspaper), STT/Lehtikuva (the biggest news/picture agency) and Journalistiliitto (our union). I’m all smiling, pleased and happy… but respond immediately: “…like, I am sorry but I thought there was an embargo until tomorrow..?” and everyone goes like “oh shit, damn….”
Kinda funny, makes you feel good when your personal friends, competent and professional news people just get so carried away that they – just for a moment -drop their professional guard. No, it was not negligence, it was just plain funny and I so laughed aloud (and appreciated it) when I saw it. (You can actually see some of that correspondence on my FB Wall…)
Then yesterday, when the news was released :-) : I was desperately trying to edit a series of pictures to my client. Working on assignment I only had my 11″ Air with me. And it has a small screen. And I had notifications turned on… And call me vain, but I did not want to turn if off.
I had hard time seeing the pictures on the screen because my computer went “beep, beep, beep….” and every two seconds there was a message from a friend (or a new friend) congratulating. It was so funny, people around me in the press room must have thought “turn that damn computer volume off and what on earth are you smiling about”…
Anyway, I guess that was the 15 minutes of fame we always talk about… But tell you this: I enjoyed every second of it.
Those of you who read Finnish I would like to refer to a column I wrote for Journalisti, published today. When it comes to media and our future in it as photographers and media professionals, I strongly believe that we are on a brink of something totally different. Not necessarily an abyss, but something which we have to prepare for and take an active role in. And to do it now.
Please forgive me (or maybe you just say “Thank God…” :-) ) I will not pursue this theme further today. I will in the future, trust me. Today I will just enjoy… well: life.
And today it feels good. Really good.
Kirjoitin yllä englanniksi, kuten yleensä tässä blogissa olen tehnyt. Kielivalinta on kysymys, jota en ole pystynyt ratkaisemaan ja siihen tuskin on kaikkia tyydyttävää ratkaisua.
Toisaalta olisi hyvä kirjoitaa suomeksi – lukijakunta olisi varmasti laajempi ja tyytyväinen. Mutta: puhuessamme esim. tekijänoikeuksista tai monista alaamme liittyvistä asioista ja epäkohdista on selvä etu, että puhun myös maamme rajojen ulkopuolisille lukijoille. Tiedän, että jotkut tämän blogin jutut ovat erittäin luettuja myös muilla kielialueilla ja että joihinkin juttuihini viitataan myös aika paljon. Hemmetti, onhan jopa LA Times pyytänyt blogin kommenteissa anteeksi idiottimaista käytöstään. :-)
Konkreettinen osoitus tuli myös viime Vuoden Lehtikuvat palkintogaalassa, kun ruotsalaiset kollegat tulivat tervehtimään ja sanoivat: “Kiitos, sinun blogisi on se lähde, josta tiedämme mitä Suomessa tapahtuu…” Vaikkei tietysti pidä paikkaansa ehkä näin, mutta minun on pakko ottaa myös tällaiset näkökannat huomioon.
Olen ajatellut, että kirjoitan jatkossa ristiin, kieltä vaihdellen, niinkuin oikealta tuntuu. Puhtaasti tekniset, pohdiskelevat jutustelut toisella kotimaisella, mutta asiat joissa selkeästi viittaan meidän omaan mediaamme etc. sitten tällä äidinkieliosastolla.
Toivottavasti lukijani ymmärtävät tämän – ja kommentointi on aina tervetullutt luonnollisesti aivan millä kielellä itsestä hyvältä tuntuu.