Hi! My name is Marko Marin and I'm a 33 year old amateur photographer from the art town of Mänttä, Finland.
So where to begin? Well, I was pretty much a depressed, social wreck about ten years ago and I was actually like that for the most of my life. I have always been open about the subject, since I don't like that people hide these things because they feel like they have to be ashamed of their mental health issues and wear the bad stigma that goes around with them. If you have a broken arm, you go to a doctor and you fix it. You have a problem with your brain and mind, you go to a doctor and you fix it. The stuff with the mind just takes a little bit more time. For me it has always been that simple. I've had it all: depression, anxiety, panic attacks, social issues etc. The list goes on and it took about ten years to get to where I am right now.
I fondly remember that when I was a kid, I was fiddling around with my families film camera and it was often said that I took more straight photos than anyone else so I suppose that counts as a decent start. Around 2008 was when i first started thinking about whether I should give this photography thing a real try since I have always been a visual thinker. So I got myself an Olympus E-520, that didn't last very long. I didn't have the patience nor the energy to learn new things while I was battling with my (at the time very difficult) depression, so that came and went. About five years later during the summer of 2013 something clicked again, I was playing around with my cellphone's camera and I don't exactly remember which photograph I took but it gave me that little spark again. I remember thinking: Well, let's give this another shot because that was a really cool photo and all it needs is that extra punch that a DSLR could provide! Also I was mentally feeling quite a bit better, I had the energy and I wanted to do something with my time during my long sick leave. A month later I bought myself an entry-level DSLR Nikon D3200 with the usual kit lenses.
At first I was anxiety filled and a very shy photographer. Actually I still am sometimes - especially when shooting people and messing with my lights or other stuff, I don't quite know how to handle that yet. I'm very much what you would call an introverted personality and back then the first step to go out and start taking photos was a huge one, but slowly I started to take more and more photos and I was also really enjoying the process. I got used to the things like meeting new people, getting the exposure, someone checking out what camera I am using and so on. Diving into the social side of things is now much easier and photography has definitely helped a lot with it. At the same time I was constantly reading about composition, focal lengths, prime lenses, portraits, Photoshop techniques etc. These days things haven't really changed, I'm still trying to learn new tricks, improve how I do things and test my skills in different areas of photography. Sometimes you fail and quality varies, but as always you can learn from your mistakes.
In 2015 I switched my camera body to Nikon D7200 and my lens collection includes Sigma 10-20mm, Nikkor 35mm 1.8G, Nikkor 50mm 1.8G and Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro. Right now I'm patiently waiting for my new Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art to arrive. I also have Godox softboxes, Nissin speed lights and Yongnuo transmitters.
So what has been going on during 2016? Well, I get paid more often these days so that is always nice and in April I decided to send my first application for a grant for photography equipment purchases. During the summer I was working at the Mänttä Art Festival as a man of many trades, while serving visitors etc. I was also the resident documentary photographer and that kept me busy for all the warm months of the short Finnish summer. It was fun to meet all the artists and take lots of photos of really cool artwork while over 17,000 visitors came and went. Finally last month I had my very first photography exhibition in a local gallery. So overall it has been a really fun year and hopefully I am getting better and better with things. Hard to say where this road leads next, but I am sure it will be interesting.
Now on the the photos I chose! The first two are from 2013 and 2014. Quite frankly they are pretty much just quick snapshots, not much done with any of the building blocks of photography or the editing afterwards. The first photo is just a simple shot of a harvester at work with center composition and it's not very interesting to me. The second photo is my very first try with a model. It was already past the best time of the summer evening so it was getting dark and cold way too fast and my directions were pretty nonexistent, other than just stand there and look pretty.
The last three are from 2015 and 2016 and hopefully one can see a huge difference.
If you want to keep up with me and my work you can always find me at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/markomarinphotography/ and also from Instagram http://www.instagram.com/markomarin1983/.