Ari Jaaksi  –  Shoot on Film – Friday Focus



by Christopher Osborne.

Finnish photographer Ari Jaaksi, is the charasmatic creator and host of the “Shoot on Film” YouTube channel.

For those of you who don’t know Ari Jaaksi, he is the creator and host of the “Shoot on Film” YouTube channel. Most episodes begin in the same room in Ari’s family house. The footage is rendered in Black and White (with an occasional break into colour to show one of Ari’s colour images). Ari begins by talking about today’s aspect of analogue photography. This is no lecture, this is Ari reflecting on every argument that he puts forward. While Ari is a charismatic presenter, there is no doubt that his reflection is deeply personal and that he makes no effort to hide his feelings from the screen.

Every other episode Ari slides over to the piano and explains a concept in music. The last section of the episode features a selection of Ari’s photographs. Expect to see the good bad & the ugly. And expect occasional appearances from his dog too.

Early episodes of the channel explored gear ranging from a Graflex to a Holga. More recently Ari has quietly migrated to a conversation about what makes good photography.  While this may not be the clickbait topic that drives great subscriber numbers, Ari has carved out a unique offering. This isn’t an academic lecture. Nor is it a session on taking images like the subject of this photobook kind of episode.

Rather, this is an intelligent man reflecting on his successes and failures. A man driven to push himself to become a better photographer.

Expect a dry sense of humour and a wry smile. Ari isn’t afraid to laugh at himself when his musings become too theoretical or his self-challenges too absurd.

I spoke to Ari in his home in Tampere, Finland. Curiously, he was sitting at the same table in the same room that he presents his channel from. I wondered if he was going to interrupt the conversation to play a few bars on the piano, however, sadly he didn’t.

I asked Ari where his creative side has come from. “My mother was a clothes designer and my brother is one of the top two architects in Finland. He has won international awards. I guess that is where it comes from”.

I ask Ari where his photography is going. “I am learning to cut the clutter. Maybe it is an age thing”?. There’s another smile. “I am heading towards images that are more minimalistic. Thinking about it, cutting the clutter is happening to everything in my life”.  Ari turns to the window as he muses over what he has just said.

“I have had two solo exhibitions”. Ari pauses. “These days I could do better. I am taking photography seriously. I want to do it better. I saw an exhibition of Finnish photographer Taneli Eskola. I’m not even close to that”.

“I’m not doing this to get my pictures into significant places. I have no clue what getting better will look like. I have always been hugely goal orientated. And now, I’m not with this”. Ari glances to the window again as he contemplates what he has just said.

“Some of my friends are right at the end of the digital spectrum. They are excited by the latest Canon release. I took pictures with my Ukulele. I am excited about images made with my Holga and with a pinhole camera. They keep telling me to bin the Holga!”.

Images © Ari Jaaksi  2021. You can see more of Ari’s work on Instagram at @arijaaksi and the “Shoot on Film” channel at

You might also be in another Finnish photographer – Katri Lassila. see

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