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Capturing the essence of Aino

Searching the city for the perfect setting


Ralf Åström has photographed Aino collections for the last decade. At first all of the sessions took place in his studio, but in the last three years, the process has increasingly moved outside into the open air. Åström has welcomed the development.


“THERE ARE FEWER RISK FACTORS IN THE STUDIO OF COURSE, but I still feel it is much more inspiring to shoot outdoors. Where we would earlier focus on framing our products against a white or grey backdrop, we now seek locations and scenery that help add a certain mood,” Åström says.

While photographers can’t control many outdoor circumstances like weather and natural light, just being out in the open can the artists more license to use their imagination. Sometimes a good stock

of creativity and adjustments are necessary, and not just in the quest to find a nice milieu.


“We’ve photographed our Aino summer collections through rain and storms. There’s a pretty big threshold to postpone the shoot just because the weather isn’t ideal, as the models, makeup artists, stylists, clothing assistants and photographers have all been booked for that particular day,” Åström says.

“You can’t let the bad weather be seen in the photos, however, and you certainly can’t let it be seen in the clothes. When it’s raining out, the model has to be under an umbrella at all times, except for the moments when we are shooting, because the garments can’t get wet. Add some hard winds to the rain and summer clothes don’t fit like they should and nothing is ideal,” he laughs.


Light is paramount

Fashion photography often utilizes mobile studio lights when shooting outside, but even so natural light is of primary importance. If the weather is cloudy and uniformly grey, not even lighting can make the image exude a warm summer vibe. At last summer’s shoot for the 2017 summer collection, the team scheduled the session for four in the morning in an effort to catch the right light. Unfortunately, the weather was cloudy and the landscape appeared virtually stripped of colour.

“We chose the Helsinki city centre as our location, and this was another reason we arranged to have the session so early in the morning. So on the one hand,

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