Kuusamo Nature Photography started with two passionate nature and wildlife photographers who wanted to create opportunities for others to learn and improve as photographers of nature. Now we are a team of professionals, who wish to follow Hannu Hautala in his legendary footsteps – and make our own.

With our network of over 30 hides we can offer bird photography opportunities practically throughout the year. We have bird watching and bird photography day trips, landscape photography excursions, and workshops for all skill-levels.

Nature photography tours in Kuusamo

Kuusamo is one of the best known locations in Europe for nature photography – a paradise for nature photographers, Europe’s capital of nature photography. Its ”mayor by virtue of his office” was Hannu Hautala, our grand old man and a world-class pioneer of nature and wildlife photography.
Kuusamo is in the northeast Finland, close to the Russian border, with the Gulf of Bothnia in the west and the White Sea in the east. Kuusamo has a widely varying topography, and considering its high northern latitude, an exceptionally high biological diversity. Thanks to the lime in the soil the flora of the area includes such rarities as Calypso bulbosa, Lady’s slipper, Mountain avens, Alpine arnica to name a few.
Kuusamo specialities include owl species such as the Hawk Owl, Great Grey Owl, Pygmy Owl and Tengmalm’s (Boreal) Owl. Other interesting birds in Kuusamo are the Black Grouse, Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse, Willow Grouse, Red-Flanked Bluetail, Rustic Bunting, Little Bunting, Waxwing, Smew and Black-throated Diver.

Kuusamo Nature Photography arranges nature photography tours specializing in birds and landscape. For the past 10 years, we have been offering bird and nature photography courses and workshops.  With an extensive network of photo hides – over 20 hides for different bird species, such as the Golden Eagle, Black Grouse, Capercaillie, Osprey, Owls, Woodpeckers – we take the needs and wishes of wildlife photographers seriously. Our team has almost 20 years of experience in bird guiding in and around Kuusamo.

Together we arrange nature and wildlife photography tours and guided birds excursions for small groups all year round. To contact us, write to info@KuusamoNaturePhotography.fi

Mikko Oivukka

email: mikko@KuusamoNaturePhotography.fi

I come originally from Kaarina in the Southwest of Finland, where the nature club at my school introduced me to the world of birds. Over the years my favourite hobby became a way of living, bringing joy everytime I was outdoors. 2014 saw me enroll on a course organised by Finnature and Kuusamo Nature Photography in a joint project with the Liminka Municipality, training to become a bird and nature photography guide. I eventually moved to Kuusamo in 2017 and started as a birding guide.

My first DSLR dates back to 2003 but back then my bird photography was on a purely amateur basis.

I find it important for children to develop a good relationship with their natural environment, and work actively to make it happen. For my work with children and young people, BirdLife Finland awarded me in 2015 as the Field Trip Guide of the Year.

In the kit bag: For birds, I opt the Nikon D500 + 200-500 f/5.6 and for landscape, Nikon AF-S Nikkor DX + 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR. I find myself using my iPhone 11 quite a bit in landscape photography, especially for sharing in the social media.

Olli Lamminsalo

email: olli@KuusamoNaturePhotography.fi

My nature photography intrests are wide and varied these days, but I started with birds, my fascination started in the late 60s. I first came to Kuusamo in 1990 to take part in a bird rally, and the nature, landscapes and taiga birds especially made a lasting impression, so much so that in 2003 I moved here.

Leaving Helsinki behind and my life is commerce, I started a new life in nature photography. I’m a Canon guy, especially drawn to the winter landscapes, the wild and fantastic snow-loads on the trees, the freezing nights ablaze with northern lights (aurora borealis). And I’m still happy to see birds in my viewfinder.

In the kit bag: Canon EOS-1 D X is my primary camera body, and Canon EF200-400mm f/4 with the built-in 1.4X my go-to bird lens

Jarmo Manninen

email: jarmo@KuusamoNaturePhotography.fi

I’m from South Savo but moved to Kuusamo more than 10 years ago. My nature photography began in 1992, and I’ve photographed professionally since 2008. The beautiful landscapes in the Northeast, and the birds in the area are my main focus. I started guiding in 2014, taking pride and pleasure in getting to show the northern landscapes, birds and other wildlife to photographers.

Photo competitions are part and parcel in a nature photographer’s profession, and occasionally one succeeds. Over the years I’ve had 14 photos awarded in the Finnish competition Nature Photo of the Year. In 2020 I won the Landscape category. My images are used in books and magazines, the latest title is Katoava talvi, a book about the impact climate change has on northern flora and fauna.

In the kit bag: Primarily I use the Canon EOS R6. For landscapes I like the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II while the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II is my choice for most other target, although sometimes it works on landscape as well. For northern lights, it’s the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM ART.

Tapio Seppälä

In 2011 I migrated to Kuusamo from my native Tampere region to start studies in photography at the Kuusamo College. I got into photography at the age of 15, and have photographed more or less actively ever since. In Kuusamo, I’ve mainly photographed birds, and lately I’ve been getting into video.

My work centers on designing and building the new hides, plus maintenance work, hauling the hides to the sites and running the feeders. Hides have evolved significantly in the past 10 years. The combined, and thus extensive experience in nature photography gives our team the bedrock to stand on when designing our hides to be as photographer-friendly as possible, and light enough so that we can re-locate them from one site to another when necessary.

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