I’m a passionate Canon man living in Kuusamo, where I get to photograph all aspects of nature. I’ve been interested in birds since 1960’s and have kept records of my sightings since 1971. When I lived in Helsinki I made a lot off trips to Kuusamo area. Every year the trips got longer and longer, until I finally moved to Kuusamo in 2003.
Until 2007 I photographed mainly birds, but when I got to guide a National Geographic photographer Peter Essick in Oulanka National Park for 6 weeks, I learned to photograph everything else in nature too. In recent years I’ve been focusing more on landscape, especially on winter landscapes in Kuusamo area. I still photograph a lot of birds too, but mostly photograph them as part of the landscape nowadays.
Mikko Oivukka, office manager, principal guide
I was born in 1979 and got excited about the birds at the school bird club when I was nine years old. Ever since I have been birdwatching in south-western Finland (Turku area). The Baltic Sea and it’s beautiful archipelago have been close to my heart all my life and I still visit there often to observe bird migration. In September 2017 I moved to Kuusamo and started to work for Kuusamo Nature Photography as an office worker and a tour leader.
I got my first Nikon DSLR camera in 2003 and started photographing birds and landscapes as a hobby. I am also an active voluntary worker for BirdLife Finland and participate many different bird projects: bird ringing of owls and other raptors, bird counting projects to prevent the reduction of the populations and kids clubs to give children the possibility to find birdwatching. I also write articles for various publications.
My passion for traveling and birds has given me thousands of unforgettable experiences all around the world. The year 2008 changed my life when I participated in a voluntary project of nesting Montagu’s Harriers in Spain and met my Panamanian wife. Over the last ten years, we have stayed long periods in Panama and Costa Rica, which has been a big dream come true.
In 2018 I started studying to become a Nature tourism activity producer to be able to organize more exciting birdwatching and photography tours in Finland. Off-season you can also find me the front of the screen doing web design and social media marketing.
Jarmo Manninen, tour leader
I’m a professional photographer and I living in Kuusamo. I have lived here for the last 10 years. Nature photography hobby started in 1992 and a professional photographer I have been since 2008. I have been a guide for photographers since 2014. My main subjects are birds, animals and landscapes. I’m especially fascinated by northern nature, but I’m also photographed a lot in elsewhere Europe. My photographs are being published in many magazines and books and also received awards in several nature photo competitions both in Finland and abroad.
Paavo Hamunen, tour leader
The fascinating course of nature, its forms and abstractions offer an endless source of subjects and elements for Paavo’s photography. The details in the world of plants, diverse forests, the photography of birds and landscapes also through video and the world of sounds are examples of Paavo’s professional strengths.
It is no wonder Paavo is a popular instructor in the field of both photography and strong software know-how as well as in carrying out of photo exhibitions. The strong experience combines with professional skills and creativity. To supplement his long and rewarded career as a photographer Paavo seeks new angles for photographing by utilizing the endless possibilities of a camera. As a nature photographer he wants to find unprejudiced and versatile ways of bringing forward the beauty of nature and the uniqueness of the atmosphere of the moment.
Suomen Luontokuvainstituutti (Finnish Nature Photography Institute, SLKI) and Kuusamo Nature Photography (KNP) instruct both amateur nature photographers and professionals in every sector of nature photography. Training and courses cover the techniques of software and camera, the planning and carrying out of picture presentations, books and photo exhibitions from the artistic vision to the printing and technical realization in practice. SLKI and KNP arrange all kinds of course and training activities also when requested throughout Finland.
Nature photography and instructing in it is a vocation for Paavo and he encourages the participants on his courses to find their own creative and unique style and skill of photographing. The languages used on nature photography courses are Finnish and English.
Paavo has been involved in making seven nature photography books either on his own or together with nature photographer colleagues.