Twenty-one year old Ossi Saarinen combines his photography skills with his love for nature by capturing many wild forest animals in Finland’s magical forests. From young fox cubs to small bears, from squirrels to snow owls, this brilliant wildlife photographer captures them all with his camera. He gains their trust by spending hours and hours in nature and manages to get personal with the most shy creatures.
Finland is the perfect home for a broad range of species with its untouched nature. Saarinen spends hundreds of hours in the forests, tundras and at the lakes, waiting patiently without moving for hesitant animals to appear and sometimes goes home without any luck.
Saarinen’s favorite creature to capture are foxes. “Young fox cubs especially. I find the life and behavior of these smart animals very interesting”. By spending days in nature, he follows the life of these cubs and sees them grow up. Saarinen feels very lucky and privileged to be able to witness the beautiful foxes in their thick orange fur.
We had the honor to interview Saarinen. Read his answers below to see what it is like to come so close to wild animals.
Your photos are exceptional. Have you always felt drawn to the animal kingdom?
“I’ve been super interested in nature and especially animals since I was a kid. I realized that with a camera I can save and share those amazing moments and feelings I experience in nature.
Wildlife photography is very challenging which makes it even more interesting. Sometimes it means hours and hours of waiting with no result but when I finally get the shot I wanted it’s all worth it.”
That sounds like such an adwarding feeling. Your photos seem to be taken from very close to the animals. How did you get them to trust you?
“I spend a lot of time with them. I start carefully from a far distance and then slowly, day-by-day, I try to get closer. I learned to know how the animal behaves and reacts to my presence. No sudden movements or loud noises. Over time they start trusting me more and let me closer.”
You must be very patient. When is it you first got interested in photography?
“I took my first photo with a DSLR in the beginning of 2015 and fell in love immediately. My first photo was of a bird in my backyard. I started with all kinds of photographing but ended up shooting nature and mostly wild animals.”