Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting my website! I'm very happy to meet you. Let me introduce myself, my name is Merja, I'm a passionate hobbyist photographer living in Paris.
I'm originally a small town girl from Finland, up in the north of Europe. I have always loved big cosmopolitan cities, but in the beginning, Paris was an acquired taste for me. I profoundly loved London and would have preferred to make my life there (an English Rose still blooms deep inside me). As life never goes as one plans, I found myself in Paris instead. During my very first months, I knew hardly anyone here and spent my weekends just aimlessly strolling on the streets, witnessing everyday scenes in different parts of the city. Paris in the daylight and Paris by night really became part of me. I fell head over heels in love with the city and decided to stay.
In those early days, I did not have a camera on me. Instead, I was collecting memories that are still vivid in my head and from which comes a lot of my inspiration. I have always been an avid reader and all of a sudden, I was making up these stories in my mind, based on the scenes in front of my very eyes. All of them are still written on my mental memory card. At that point in my life, I did not have the words to describe my inspiration, but today I can definitely say that it was the beauty and wonder of a buzzling city with all its cultural heritage. The constant play between light and shadows and the way the light reflects in our City of Lights. The most ordinary things became extraordinary in my hungry and admiring eyes. I believe this period truly helped me to cultivate my observational skills and perception.
Later on, I met my French husband and even later on, we had our son. The first DSLRs arrived a couple of years before his birth, so I was perfectly ready to witness the one billion things this Wunderkind accomplished in his early years. My camera was constantly on him. He took it graciously for many years, but a couple of years ago his cup was full. It was at that point that I discovered my passion for street photography; it was like a trip down the memory lane. I was seeing Paris again through the smitten eyes of my early years here. In the meantime I had acquired the photographical skills necessary for realizing and capturing my vision of Parisian life.
Paris is a poem and instead of words, I want to show it to you in images. I have lived here long enough to be considered a local, but I still have the feeling of an outsider looking in. I would like to describe my genre as fine art street photography, because I do not necessarily consider my work as documentary. I want to convey little glimpses of life, stories and poems inspired by real people in a real city, but with a little touch of imagination.
I would like my photography to come through as observative, poetic and captivating. But it is not for me to decide how you will perceive and interprete it. The beauty in all this is that each and everyone of us sees images differently, based on our own life experiences. I would be interested to know which is the story that you read from my images. It is all in the eye of the beholder. I have this little habit of giving titles to all my images; I do know that images should speak for themselves, but I cannot help myself, for me it is an important part of the pleasure and a way of expressing myself. I sometimes even shoot with the title already in my head.
Since August 2016 I'm a proud member of Click Pro, a modern network of highly skilled professional photographers and independant artists. My work has been awarded in the digital image competitions VOICE 2015 (Best in category Street with "Lost in His Reflection") and VOICE 2016 (Best in Category Street with "Evening Blues in the City of LIghts' and Finalist in Category Color with "Amarillo" and Finalist in Category Night and Low Light with "Reflecting Beauty").
In addition to photowalks and people watching in the cafes, I enjoy family time watching movies, reading, cooking and eating out in restaurants. I share the passion of traveling with my husband and son, and as we have family and friends abroad, we are on the road on every vacation.