Signature artist of the month
Satu Knape celebrates her love of people by capturing the beauty and personality of her subjects. This instant, deep connection shows through in her photography, which is why she's the perfect choice for our December Signature Artist of the Month.
Starting out as a self-portrait artist, the photographer’s subjects now consist of a diverse cross-section of individuals, each of whom she relishes the opportunity to meet.
“I’m interested in people and curious about what makes them who they are and what makes them unique,” Satu said. “Photography has allowed me to meet so many amazing people, and that inspires me.”
Satu, who shoots around 300 days each year, aims to capture the personalities of her subjects and bring out their best.
“I take pictures to make people understand that they are beautiful,” she said. “I try to make them feel comfortable by getting to know them and making a personal connection with them. A lot of the people I shoot turn out to be my dear friends afterwards.”
“My friends are very important to me; I consider them family,” she said. “I love that connection between people who love you even though they aren’t obligated to love you.”
Living in Linköping — a small, cold town in Sweden — she tries to be as social as possible. Several times a month, Satu and her two friends throw creative theme parties with tons of food and photo booths.
“It’s a way to be together and make life less ordinary,” Satu said. "We live in a small town and if you want to have fun, you have to invent your own. These parties are vital.”
She feels the same way about the holiday season.
“I visit my grandmother in Finland every year, and it’s freezing cold, but it’s tradition and it’s lovely. We spend the whole time cooking and eating; food is a big part of how you spend time with loved ones,” she said. “It’s my favorite time of the year. You celebrate more, you see friends more, people are more grateful. Everything just seems better during the holidays.”
The warmth and happiness she feels during these occasions is something Satu tries to recreate in her photos all year long.
“I try to be positive and upbeat and I hope that is reflected in my photos,” she said.
While celebration and togetherness are at the core of what she photographs, Satu’s passion for people motivates her to evolve as a photographer.
“People and life continually inspire me,” Satu said. “Life is something you are always evaluating and learning from. It’s very special.”
Satu Knape's photography strives to make us think about the real, human relationships that surround us and make up our daily lives. By taking an unconventional point-of-view with her photography, it forces us to see our world in a different, interesting way.
Each month we give away a free image from our Signature Artist of the Month. Download yours now and start creating your own inspiring project.
We gathered a bunch of friends to partake in the shoot and they all helped us decorate —and eat the cakes afterwards. For the actual shoot, we arranged everyone around the dessert table that we styled.
We had a lot of fun. It was great having so many of my close friends in one house; it felt like a party. It was just a wonderful day of shooting with all these amazing women and amazing cakes.
“I’m interested in people and curious about what makes them who they are and what makes them unique.”