Can you tell us about your artistic style and concept?
My still life photography is about mundane and ordinary moments and objects, but with a quirky twist.
Sometimes my photos are close to self-portraits, but most commonly without an identifiable protagonist.
Exaggerated and intense colors, abundance of details and a little bit strange, disturbing atmosphere are
characteristic to my artistic style. I like to combine elements from pop art, cinema, fashion and food
photography, vintage advertisements, and retro aesthetics. My artistic style is a carefully considered mess
of beauty and decadence, with stuff like flowers, cakes, accessories, decorative objects, lipstick and false
nails, colorful cocktails and half-smoked cigarettes… For me, photography is about visual joy and
storytelling, it is fun to create imaginary and fictional sceneries, which are like small movie sets.
50’s and 60’s American advertisements and suburban lifestyle, old-fashioned cookbooks, vibrant colors of Technicolor films and mysterious ambience of neo-noir movies
Where do you get your inspiration?
I take inspiration often from the visual history of past decades, like 50’s and 60’s American advertisements
and suburban lifestyle, old-fashioned cookbooks, vibrant colors of Technicolor films and mysterious
ambience of neo-noir movies. Also fashion, secondhand and antique shops, grocery stores, neon signs, still
life paintings, photorealistic art as well as music and music videos (especially 80’s synth pop) inspire me.
Tell us about your technique?
I photograph mostly at home, where I build a needed lighting and scenery for each picture. I shoot
digitally, but I like if the result looks vivid and a little bit film-like with some noise, shadows and textures.
Afterwards I edit colors and contrast enough to achieve the right brightness and specific unnatural vibe into
What other interests do you have besides photography and visual arts?
In addition to art and creative projects, I like reading and studying new things about socities and cultures
of the world. I’m interested in multidisciplinary and ethnographic research, cultural heritage and 20th
Century’s history. Furthermore, I love nature, outdoor sports and spending time at my family’s summer
cottage by the lake. One of my hobbies is to explore maps and make excursions and road trips to places
unknown to me. I’m intrigued by uninteresting and forgotten places such as the outskirts of cities, random
suburbs and neighborhoods, quiet small towns, industrial estates, road side stops, old service stations… I’m
also planning a photography project related to this theme in the near future, but let’s see what happens!
Sonja L., a photographer living in Helsinki, Finland.
Born in 1987 in Nurmijärvi, Southern Finland. Have also lived in many other regions in Finland including South Savo, Lapland and Southwest archipelago.
Studied folklore studies and area and cultural studies at the University of Helsinki between 2010-2016 and finished a Master’s degree in folklore studies in 2016. Have also studied political history at the University of Bologna, Italy.
Have always been into visual arts, but photographing most actively since 2013.
Photography projects and exhibitions
2020- Neon retro series. Lumas Gallery, worldwide. A limited edition of hand-signed Neon retro photo prints is currently available in Lumas galleries worldwide and in Lumas online store: https://www.lumas.com/artist/sonja_l/
2020 Artificial Flavour. Exhibition at the Free City of Kalasatama, Helsinki, Finland.
2019 Cocktail Pop. The exhibition was part of Lahti Fringe Festival program, Lahti, Finland.
2018 The Mask. International group exhibition at Millepiani, Rome, Italy.
2017 Technicolor mess. Exhibition at Cafe Bar No 9, Helsinki, Finland.
2016 Pop Splendor! Pop up -exhibition in Hirvensalmi, Finland.