DAUGHTER OF LOUHI
A while back, I collaborated with new talented people: designer Anne-Mari Pahkala , model Emmi K from Fondi Models and make up artist Elisa Koivuniemi of Monster Beauty to produce the second image for my Kalevala conceptual project. This project is about depicting the famous gods and heroes from Kalevala - a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology. I used to read Kalevala in my youth and despite finding it very difficult to understand, I slowly grew to appreciate it as part of my national identity.
This image describes one of Louhi's daughters. Louhi is described as a powerful and evil witch queen ruling over the north, known as Pohjola, and she has several daughters who are thought to be among the most beautiful in the realm. Many of the heroes of Kalevala make desperate attempts to win the favor of Louhi in order to win one of her daughters (the most famous involving the creation of Sampo, an artifact that brought riches to its owner). Needless to say, their beauty is legendary.
Here are some key elements that I wrote down when planning this image:
- The model needs to be super beautiful and have distinct scandinavian features (pale skin, blonde hair).
- The dress should also be beautiful but also delicate and fragile to describe vulnerability and innocence. I can't think of anything more fitting than a dress made entirely of white paper!
- Louhi's domain is in the far north so the background needs to show a winter scene.
- The characters must look heroic and godlike so I will depict them as giants in a Scandinavian environment.
Here are some behind the scenes images, tests shots and goofing around from the shoot day:
Here is the final image, the result of several hours of editing:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JUKKA ALASAARI
Commercial photographer, videographer, retoucher and adventurer from the Nordic country of Finland.