Learn more about this lady behind the lens5 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
There is so much beauty in the world that is hidden in forests, skyscapes, and oceans but how would you know about them all without beautiful, show-stopping images of flowing landscapes and lush jungles? Wildlife photographers allow you to access the magnificence of nature and our planet’s co-inhabitants. It’s a job that involves a lot of patience, perseverance, and grit.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award is the largest photography competition in the world hosted by the Natural History Museum, London.
Photographers under the age of 17 submit entries for consideration towards the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award.
We begin our weekly series of interviews with trailblazing youngsters on World Children’s Day with Liina Heikkinen, the winner of this year’s award. Owliver flew all the way to Finland to learn more about this extraordinary person behind the lens.
How did it all begin?
I was eight years old when my dad, mom, and elder sister were photographing a pair of whooper swans. In our family, we have a tradition that when you turn ten, you get your very own camera. Since I was only eight, I had a small pocket camera. I didn’t get any good pictures, so I went to complain to my mom about it. My mom told me to go tell my dad. That’s when my photography career began
What was her biggest recognition and how did it feel?
Winning the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 was a big deal. I was out with her father taking pictures. We were photographing all day and noticed that a mother fox had brought in a Barnacle Goose for her cubs. Two of the cubs began to compete to eat the prey. That fox in the picture won and took it to a rock hole and began to eat it.
What keeps her going?
I have always had my family’s support and I know that I have it in the future whether I choose to stay in photography or anything else.
What concerns her?
I am very concerned about the current situation with our planet. Neither youngsters nor adults realize that the planet and the animals are in serious danger. I can only hope that the adults don’t leave our planet any more broken than it is now, because it will be difficult for the next generation to undo that damage.
Her message to aspiring young photographers:
It’s always hard to get started because photography requires time and effort. I always say patience is key. Things don’t happen right away. You have to work for it and try again if you don’t succeed. It took me almost ten years to achieve this amazing victory. Don’t give up and keep your head high!
Liina’s work shows her love for wildlife and the world she co-inhabits with them. Shekhar Dattani, a noted photographer and a panelist for the Award, called Liina’s award winning image a ‘great moment of natural history’.
Owliver cannot wait to see more such moments emanating from her lens.
Play with Owliver:
While we are all inside our homes, why not capture the beauty outside through our lens? Just use a phone!
Wait in the balcony or your garden or look through the window to find a moment exhibited by a bird, a stray animal, insects etc.
If you have a pet, follow them and observe the moments in their day. Then, find the perfect chance to take a picture.
Owliver will love to see what you capture! Just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Trailblazers is a weekly column that celebrates youngsters who are inventors and experts in their fields)