I think it’s really important to be honest. Especially when you try to explain core values; matters of the heart. So by writing this I hope I am able to do just that. Be rigorously honest.
Photography is a form of purification for me. It’s spiritual experience. By taking photo I’m able to express something deep inside me what I cannot by other means. There is this thing inside me, like this tiny stone, that leaves my body when I press the shutter. And it makes me free.
About my work, those who don’t know, I can tell you this. It takes a lot of effort. You wouldn’t believe. It’s like digging up these huge stones from the soil. You know, my father is a farmer, and he taught me how to clean up entire field from stones. Much like him, I am preparing my grave. He brought a shovel. I brought a camera.
I was born naked to this world and my mother held me against her breasts. So I became alive. I became Jaakko. Without my mother’s love, I would not exist. There would be no world of Jaakko.
So why nudes then? Wouldn’t taking picture of a butterfly be sufficient? It might, and that is actually another kind of nude photography..
In my case, I just happen to love women. I feel comfortable to be around with them and it’s definably easier and more fun than taking photo of an insect.
I used to hang out in bars and one of the most common question I was asked regarding my photos was “did you get a hard on?”. I try not to mind, and I sometimes just laughed and said “Of course!”. But in my heart I guess those comments always hurted me. These people have no idea.
So let me return a question. Imagine you climb on a mountain during night and see this huge aurora. Seeing the huge colorful curtain vibrating before you, you feel like you are looking at cosmos, and it stares back at you. You weep in astonishment. Do you get a hard on?
Of course there will always be people who can’t understand photography. My photography is not meant for those people. And quite honestly I don’t care. Life is amazing journey, and one day we will all die. We are born to this world with love, and we will die knowing love.
Jaakko Saari in Yokohama,
October 10, 2014