This week we are talking with Antti Karppinen, an internationally awarded commercial photographer, digital artist, and retoucher from Finland.
Airship Ambassador: Hi Antti, thanks for joining us!.
Antti Karppinen: Hi there, thank you for having me here!
AA: I’ve only recently become familiar with your work when I read your post, Steampunk Friends for Life, about a steampunk photo shoot you did at Maunsel House. Was this your first experience with steampunk?
AK: As a photoshoot my first, but definitely not my last take on Steampunk. I’ve always liked the look and feel of Steampunk images, costumes and the whole theme.
AA: What is the attraction of the steampunk aesthetic for you?
AK: I think I mostly like the details and the style. All the outfits, props and small details look amazing. And the overall feel like being in a movie is the most attractive.
AA: What was the motivation for creating this particular shoot with Paul and Danielle (Hyper Hamlet and Tink Hamlet)?
AK: I just found this couple online, saw their Steampunk themed wedding photos, and I was sold. I knew I can bring something different in to the table with my way of telling stories with images.
AA: How did the whole project come about?
AK: I knew that I will be moving to Cardiff so I just browsed the web and stumbled on this one website with coolest wedding images. I saw this couple with really detailed Steampunk costumes and I just decided to contact them to see if they would be willing to model for me. Things started from one Facebook message and just expanded later on in all different directions.
AA: What kind of research and prep work went into creating the shoot?
AK: Well I like always to plan the shot carefully and try to previsualize things. I got a lot of inspiration from other Steampunk themed images and started to make my own board in Pinterest.
AA: What was the photo shoot design process like and how long did it take? Aside from ‘steampunk’,
was there a central theme?
AK: Since I love movies and movie posters I tried to get some kind of movie theme into images. The exact locations and poses couldn’t be planned beforehand, since I hadn’t been into that mansion before. I decided to take pretty light gear with me and just keep the vision of a movie set in mind, trying to achieve the look I wanted.
AA: What benefits and limitations did using steampunk as the aesthetic present in creating the images?
AK: I think the benefits are in the abundance of small details and the outfits. Authentic looking elements will bring so much to the table.
AA: Aside from the fantastic decor and items in Maunsel House, what steampunk elements were specifically included, either for setting or for ‘feel’?
AK: We had few props with us, the most of them were done by Hyper Hamlet himself. One of the prop guns was the “Righteous Bison” crafted by Weta, most often seen in Team Fortress 2 game.
AA: When people see the images, aside from the artistic components and merits, what would you like for them to take away from them?
AK: Even though my images are based on photography I try to create a bit of painting like retouching for them. I love telling stories so I would love people to look at the images and imagine the story behind them.
AA: Authors and artists often talk about how elements of their own lives make their way into their work. How did this play into this shoot?
AK: I think with this shoot it is mostly about my interest in movies and movie posters. I have this dream that one day I will be creating movie poster images for these big entertainment companies. You never know what will happen in the future.
AA: Where did the various outfit pieces and props come from?
AK: Some outfits were bought around the world but most of the detailed props were designed and hand crafted by the couple themselves, mostly by Hyper.
AA: What were some memorable, or infamous moments, during the whole project from inception to the final shot?
AK: I think seeing the mansion for the first time was just awesome. And of course seeing the couple getting their outfits on and transforming into these steampunk characters.
AA: How did this project compare to other projects? What are some key differences?
AK: When I’m doing my own projects, not commercial work .. I’m at my best. You have total freedom of doing the images YOU want and you can put all your own vision into play.
We will break here in our chat with Antti Karppinen.
Join us for the conclusion where he talks about the photo shoot itself, Maunsel house, and general reactions.