"It's fun to create imaginary and fictional sceneries, which are like small movie sets"

Sonja L

Photographer

Helsinki, Finland


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

my pictures.


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.