Do you leave a shadow when you are dead?

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 in MediaStorm, Multimedia, personal, Photography | 2 Comments

“Dad – do you leave a shadow when you are dead?”  asked my six-year old daughter last summer. And I was blown away with the question. Seriusly, what an incredible question to hear from a six-year old.

You have to see it in the context:  late August, sun setting as we walk back to the house her hand in mine after a day of sailing, long shadows forming in front of us. As beautiful as a late summer evening in Finland ever gets. And more context: some weeks earlier we had buried her grandfather into the sea (and he had been a keen amateur photographer) – and thus I somehow saw where the question was coming from.

Frankly, don’t remember what I answered, but I guess I tried to explain that I wish we did leave a shadow of some kind – and that the love, memories, images in our heads would last forever…


About two weeks ago MediaStorm published Philip Toledano’s “The Shadow Remains” (here’s a link to the trailer). One day I will show that piece to my daughter and tell her that this is the answer to the question you asked me when you were six years old – told in the most beautiful manner ever.

With the publication of “The Shadow Remains” and “Rite of Passage” by Maggie Steber MediaStorm started a new era in multimedia publishing: they started charging for their work. The info release written by Brian Storm explains the logic and reasoning behind this move. I will not discuss it further as Brian explains it fully – and those of you who read Finnish should read Tatu Blomqvist’s post in DocImages where he discusses this more extensively.

I think it’s the right move. It’s the only possible move and I am sure MediaStorm will lead the way in this transition into pay per content – or as they call it:  Pay Per Story -model.

Their productions are viewed by millions of people and if they manage to convince even 10% of their loyal readers to pay for their work (a price equivalent to half a cup of coffee) they have a working business model.

I have no doubt they will succeed in this. Why? Because of the content. It is so good, it is so well done, it is so captivating… It just makes you think, rewards you both intellectually and emotionally,  every time. They have proven their value, and I am sure people have no problem paying for content they have learned to trust and to respect as the best there is in the world. Hell, we pay 10€ for movie tickets, 1.99 USD is no problem when you want to see the best multimedia in the world.

What we do is all about content. In life, in photography, in everything. That’s all there is to it.



In Memoriam

There is another reason I was reminded about this during the past days. I am covering the EC in Athletics in Helsinki  – and I should be writing about sports photography. But two days ago the mother of one of my best friends  – somebody my children called Grandma – passed away totally unexpectedly, only some weeks after we had buried her husband. Somebody who had been in my life since my teenage years, always there.

After I got the phone call I was trying to do my work the whole day the best I could when my wife calls me with more sad news: a friend, a professor in the university I had had the honor of knowing for a quarter of a century had also passed away. I have always said: he was the best teacher I ever had and I never attended any of his classes. The lessons he gave me were about the essence of life – mostly by the example he set himself.

Have you ever tried to shoot 100m final thru a wall of tears… I tell you:  it’s not easy. And I can say now: been there, done that. Don’t ever, ever want to do it again.

But: the shadow remains. I am forever grateful for the moments shared with these two beautiful, exceptional persons. Thank you Tim, thank you Eeva – it has been an honor knowing you. You will be missed  very, very much.



  1. adam
    November 27, 2012

    There’s your answer…. those shadows are still there. And they no longer even fade when the sun drops.

    My brother was killed when I was 16, he was 19, and those reverberations are still present: perhaps thought of with a smile more than a tear as the years pass.

    And, yes, a phenomenal question from a six year old… :)

    • kkuukka
      November 27, 2012

      Man –

      I am sorry (for what it is worth), didn’t know. Nice seeing you again here. That pint is way overdue…


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