Konsta Punkka. In our area quite an unusual name of an unusual 21-year-old guy from Finland. In journals and magazines as well as in diverse articles and online blogs he’s been celebrated as an animal whisperer with a camera and as a wildlife photographer who can look into the soul of an animal for a couple of months now. His Instagram account reflects the success of the subtle emotionality that characterizes Konsta’s wildlife pictures as it currently has 940,000 followers – a number that’s constantly growing.
My attention was first drawn to Konsta by a lovely article in the January 01/2017 edition of Neon magazine. In the article the author asks the Finn to help him tame a new and frequent visitor on his windowsill, a squirrel. In this context taming means that he wanted to win the confidence of the freedom-loving animal so it would venture across the border of the windowsill into his apartment. Getting close to wild animals and making friends with them is one of the special abilities of the young Finnish guy. That’s why he succeeds in taking impressive and special photos of the forest dwellers such as squirrels but also birds, game, foxes and even bears which he approaches step by step. He invests a lot of time in winning their confidence and often keeps following their traces for days. In the case of the Neon journalist he also had a little breakthrough. The journalist’s little windowsill dweller even came into his apartment after Konsta’s visit. He’s developed certain techniques to make the animals lose their fears of him, such as a certain way of whispering to them. But also the aura of inner peace and the respect he has as he approaches the wild and shy creatures help him in his ventures.
Actually Konsta wanted to be a musician. In his teens, however, he gave up that dream and started to not only get interested in wildlife photography but to invest a lot of efforts and time in dedicating himself to this subject. He began to make some discoveries in front of his house, in the area he’d known for many years, and then expanded his territory to larger areas in Finland and Norway. There he spent many hours, returning to certain spots in the forests so the animals such as foxes could get used to him and wouldn’t hide anymore when they detected him.
Konsta encourages and he inspires. He’s an autodidact in the field of photography. As he started to get interested in this matter, he kept reading a lot on the internet and in books, searching for tips and tricks. But he benefitted the most, he claims, when he learnt while taking pictures. He advises all beginning and passionate wildlife photographers to go out every day, to keep trying everything and to learn this way what is and what isn’t possible.
However, his most important message is patience which, he claims, is the key to success. He says you need patience more than anything else, not just in the beginning but especially in frustrating situations or periods like in winter, for example.