Face the Current: Yes we can escape “the 9-5” and live our life by design! How and why you did, is it for everyone, and why might you recommend the ‘escape?’
Julius Kähkönen: When I was in school and we had to start thinking about where we would go to study after high school ended, I couldn’t think of a single degree or a job that I’d be interested in doing so I had to come up with something else. I also used to be very lazy, but in the beginning of 2017 I decided that it was time for a change. I had been interested in photography for a year, but did it only on and off because I had to shoot locally. I picked up editing as a hobby in the beginning of 2017 and fell in love with it because I was able to do it from home and it challenged me a lot creatively.
I think I was able to escape the 9-5 because I started everything with having a huge passion for the all I was doing. I didn’t have any goals to acquire followers or become big in the industry at first. I just focused on the art and slowly people started recognizing me. I devoted all of my time to photoshop, creating my artwork, and within couple of months of editing I started getting features on Instagram on big pages and then the growth started. I got my ”lucky” breakthrough after four and a half months into editing and only after that I became interested in actually growing Instagram, business, and so on. The breakthrough edit ended up being one of the most shared edits on Instagram in 2017. I was mentored by the best on the field straight from the get go and got amazing opportunities to try business out with successful people. My passion for the business side of things started big time after the breakthrough, and I started my very first own business.
Escaping the 9-5 has given me a lot of freedom, but the whole social media thing has been pretty tough to handle mentally. I had never been anyone and I live in a small town so suddenly having a large audience and the freedom to do whatever I want, felt a bit strange at first. I am still trying my best to take care of my mental and physical health. I would say that this type of job is definitely not for everyone. You need to have this urge to learn more all the time and most of the time you’re doing all of it alone while almost no one around you understands what you are doing. It’s tough but I’d say that it has been all worth it. I’d recommend trying to ”escape” the 9-5 if you can’t figure out a day job that you would like. If you want to be a doctor, then school is for you but if you want to be an artist, school can be the thing that kills your motivation to create content. That’s just my opinion and I do not recommend anyone to stop school if you aren’t 100% sure that you can make it in your industry.
FtC: Yes we can do storytelling differently: How has social media and technology have opened up a whole new world of sharing our stories and creative expression to a global community?
Julius Kähkönen: I absolutely love to create edits that work well together with the caption. One can look at art but not understand at all what it represents and sometimes this is done on purpose to have a bit of this mystery in your work, but I love creating edits based on stories, quotes and words. People can get much more out of someone’s images if there is a proper story or an idea behind the images/videos. I also love to give people real technical insides, my own thoughts on the industry and life, and then also share my own stories through my art and captions. Everyone interested in this type of industry ought to find their own way to do storytelling and share their work.
FtC: Yes you can capture amazing photos- if you want to. There’s a lot of pressure for people to share the most beautiful images from their travels, but not everyone has the skills- nor should they necessarily if they just want to experience it without documenting and sharing! But for those who would love to improve their skills, could you share how you first got hooked/started on travel photography and what would you recommend as quick tips, travel photography hacks, and ‘next level’ tips?
Julius Kähkönen: There’s this thing called YouTube that can teach you more than any school can ever teach! You search for what you want to learn and there are thousands of ‘teachers’ available for you free of charge. You just need to find the one whose teaching style you like and then start watching all of his or her content.
Also if you have an idol or someone who inspires you a lot and he or she is providing tutorials or courses, I would definitely recommend checking into them because paying tens of thousands of dollars to learn in college might not teach you as much and as specifically in comparison with someone who is offering free tutorials or courses for affordable pricing tailored to your exact interests. I got interested in capturing these places around the world because I didn’t want to use someone else’s work anymore to create my dreamscapes. I wanted to experience the places myself and then create from my own shots. I learned to use a camera by watching couple courses and a lot of YouTube tutorials and I’d recommend everyone else to do so too. It’s so easy and quick to learn nowadays because of the Internet.
Julius Kähkönen: www.visualsofjuliuscourses.com
Where I call home: Finland