To my mind, a career in editorial photography is akin to living the dream: you hang out at home in your pyjamas waiting for a phone call informing you that you’ll be sent halfway around the world to photograph some enormously talented, charismatic character, and be put up in five star hotels and business class all the way. I recognise that more than likely the opposite is true: it’s a skanky mouldy flat, you’re put on the number 55 bus to shoot somebody who lives down the road, and there’s neither a five star hotel nor a plane anywhere in sight. Still, the breadth of brilliant people to photograph is there, and that’s enough to incite envy in even the most satisfied of people.
Take Jussi Puikkonen, for example. Born in Finland but based in Amsterdam, Jussi has photographed some of the most dynamic, creative, talented and just downright weird personalities that contemporary culture has to offer. From fashion designer Iris van Herpen and musician Pekka Kuusisto to dancer Sini Länsivuori and singer songwriter Sébastien Tellier, he has hung out with and captured the essence of each of them. On top of that, he’s documented funny old men hanging out in saunas in a piece about Finnish Sauna culture for Das Magazin, and seal hunters in Spitsbergen, Norway for Code Magazine. Even more impressively, every single one of his subjects looks to be having the best time. Which is no mean feat for a photographer.
Here’s a series he made for Bloomberg Businessweek capturing Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, who was responsible for creating both that giant Rubber Duck which has been sent sailing though London, Sao Paulo, Pittsburgh, Beijing and Japan, and the Hippopothames, a 21 metre-long wooden hippo which took a dip in the Thames. Unsurprisingly, Jussi, Florentijn and the duck look like they had the best time. Jealous yet?