Gaze is Ghost

Laura McGarrigle is a songwriter and composer for Gaze is Ghost . She is from Northern Ireland, currently based in Edinburgh. They have just released their new single 'Home', which you can listen to on Soundcloud.

I was very glad to be asked to work with Laura to create a cover for the single:

Gaze is Ghost by Katariina Leinonen-2.jpg

I must say I am pretty comfortable working with flowers and natural light, but usually (for my photoshoots) that combination occurs outdoors. I find working indoors somewhat challenging, having to take control over the limited environment and light available. Of course, working outside one's comfort zone is essential for learning, and I am very happy I got the opportunity to do that with Laura. The results were rewarding: we were able to create something that suits the cover well, and also fits my photographic ambitions.

Gaze is Ghost by Katariina Leinonen.jpg

After a rather heavy semester, the final semester of my degree, it was also refreshing to be taking pictures for something other than university assignments. It was refreshing to be thinking about photography outside the academic game. I am extremely happy with my final project, Close Encounters, despite all the pressures that can so easily stain the emotional experience of making a project that somebody will grade. It felt really good to be doing something for a real-life purpose, and not a number on a piece of paper. Of course that is a rather black-and-white representation of university projects, but I just feel elated about the prospect of finally being able to make photographs and projects simply because I want to. 


Right now I am going through a period of big changes, the results of which are hard to predict. I know what I am going to do for the next year or so, but I cannot even guess what my plan will be at the end of that year. If there will be a plan. Though the changes will be rather big by definition, as I leave student life behind me, my way of thoroughly reflecting on the things that I do will not go away very soon. Right now my intention is that this blog is the output for that reflection, as it has been before, though of course I do not know what my new practice for writing will be like and whether the new habit will stick. 

Quite honestly the primary audience of the blog is me. There is something I have missed about writing a blog, and after graduating I want to make sure that there are structures in place to keep me engaged with photography. I want to ensure that this website is something more than a dusty, passive portfolio. I want to gain a sense of ownership over the social part of social media, which I have never (so far) felt about other platforms.

What I hope that you as my audience will get from these posts is a sense of a person behind the images and a little more context for the existing images on this website.

I want to write a rather casual blog which reflects the contemplative nature of my practice, and how I value transparency, including in the creative fields. I don’t believe ‘professional’ should always mean secretive and impersonal (though there is a time and a place for that as well) especially in the subject of wellbeing which I am planning to continue working on.

I have been thinking about starting a blog again for some time now. I quit writing last time when university got in the way of my creative and reflective capacity and I started to feel like the blog was a chore on top of all the other reflection I was doing. I knew that I would need some time to recover that creative and reflective capacity after such a demanding year, but I did not expect it to return so quickly.

Yesterday when I went about my day, sitting at the degree show and later that night at work, every now and then I got these little surges of creative ambition and the pleasure connected to that. They were little moments of imagining a rather ambitious project and making or designing a part of that project. Not necessarily plans real enough that I would judge them worthy of being written down even to a private notebook, but little reminders of what creating should feel like. Though I have enjoyed what I have been doing for the past four years, the way I deal with stress hasn’t allowed those feelings in their full capacity when I have been completing university assignments. The return of those feelings is rather welcome. 

Close Encounters  at the degree show

Close Encounters at the degree show

Thus, after a day like that, I find myself waking up at 3 am, turning in my bed, and suddenly not being able to fall back asleep because I started to think of blog post ideas. And here we are. It is 3.57 am and I think this means it is time I start this blog. 

It is slowly getting brighter outside.