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Signature artist of the month

June 2016

Photographer & Videographer
Rasmus Jurkatam & Janek Toomikas
CELEBRATING THE STRENGTHS, TALENT, AND PASSION OF OUR ISTOCK ARTISTS.

Whether they're traveling the world or shooting right in their home of Estonia, photographer Rasmus Jurkatam and videographer Janek Toomikas work as a team to capture authentic, meaningful moments. Learn more about June’s Signature Artists of the Month.

STORY

ISTOCK SIGNATURE ARTISTS RASMUS JURKATAM AND JANEK TOOMIKAS
Rasmus Jurkatam and Janek Toomikas have a lot of similarities — they are both film fanatics, have grandfathers who were amateur photographers, and share a love of travel. But there’s one thing in particular that unites them more than anything else: a strong passion for visual language.

“Visual stories have inspired me my entire life,” Rasmus said. “I am always trying to improve and take better pictures. I don’t have to look for external motivation, it just grows inside me.”

Together, Rasmus and Janek make up the team behind iStock by Getty Images portfolio VisualSpace. The two met while in college but it wasn’t until several years later when they reconnected and discovered they were each working with imagery — Rasmus as a photographer and Janek as a videographer — that they decided to join forces.

“We’re definitely stronger as a team,” Rasmus said. “We spend all day together bouncing ideas off each other and giving feedback. It’s easier for us to succeed when we work together. Photography and video are such different formats so since each of us is specialized in one, we’re more effective during shoots and can provide people with more content.”

BRINGING MOVEMENT INTO STILL IMAGES

“Visual stories have inspired me my entire life. I am always trying to improve and take better pictures. I don’t have to look for external motivation, it just grows inside me.”

DISCOVERY IS A CENTRAL THEME TO THEIR STUNNING WORK
Rasmus and Janek both hail from Tallinn, the charming, cobblestoned capital of Estonia. Being from such a small city has embedded in them a voracious appetite to see the rest of the world.

“We love to discover new places, we want to go everywhere,” Janek said. “It’s much easier to ask us where we don’t want to go than where we do want to go. We usually take three or four big trips a year and we’re always shooting.”

Each of them started out in street photography, so when traveling, they naturally gravitate toward this style and like to simply wander and explore.

“We both want to have as authentic an experience as possible,” Rasmus said. “People really inspire me so I love walking the streets and just communicating with the local people.”

IMMERSION IS PARAMOUNT TO CREATING AUTHENTICITY
When asked what their favorite destination is, without hesitation, they both enthusiastically proclaimed “Japan,” which they travelled to for a recent iStockalypse in Tokyo.

“It’s a totally different culture and experience for us. Japan is such an unusual and fascinating place,” Janek said. “There is a unique symmetry to the people and architecture. When I frame the crowds of Japanese people with the background of the city and streets I see something I haven’t seen anywhere else. It’s the combination of the cleanness, the minimalism, the geometry, the architecture and the posture of the people that provide a very unique style to imagery.”

As a result of their frequent travels, their portfolio represents a wide range of people and cultures.

“When you live in a little country like Estonia and you go outside and see how many different things there are in the world, you realize that the world is built on diversity,” Janek said. “It’s important to reflect this and embrace the different kinds of people that exist.”

Through their lenses, Rasmus and Janek hope to show the world from a new perspective and help people recognize that it is our differences that unite us.

COMMON EXPERIENCES BIND ALL OF US

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“When we were traveling in Tokyo we organized a shoot in a restaurant kitchen.

They didn’t have any images of the kitchen to send us beforehand, so we had no idea what it looked like. When we arrived we found out that the kitchen was about 2 square meters—it was really tight and dodgy looking. We had our doubts from the start, but we still decided to go forward. Now looking back it was a good decision and the images have a really authentic look contrary to the clean and shiny looks kitchen images typically have.”

A good image can work anywhere
With such high-quality photography in the iStock Signature collection, it’s easy to make our images fit your needs. It doesn’t matter what industry your business is in, when you find a good image it can work almost anywhere.

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