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My name is Kristjan Järv. I am a young 18-year-old photographer and retoucher from Tallinn, Estonia. I have always been fascinated with different art forms like painting and drawing, but I never found myself to be any good at them, althought my parents and everybody else thought otherwise. I found it very difficult to express my ideas and thoughts through them.


My father is a web designer and that requires a bit of Photoshop work every now and then. When I was about ten years old, he decided to upgrade his Photoshop. That resulted in him having a spare copy of Photoshop, that he did not use, so he decided to give it to me, to play around with and I did. I started slowly learning about Photoshop and how to use it.


My photographic journey began when I was 13.  In the beginning, I loved to go out for walks and take pictures of things and moments that I saw around me, but as time went on, that began to change. I started to learn more about Photoshop and got into compositing. At first, I was horrible at it… Failure after failure I kept trying and trying and here I am today. Most of photographers use photography to capture moments, but I use it to express my feelings and ideas.


I don’t like to take pictures just for taking pictures. I want there to be a purpose or idea behind it, a reason why I am doing it. That is why I love conceptual photography. Every picture has an idea behind it, a message that I am trying to convey to the world. It also allows me to create scenes and imagery that would otherwise be impossible. I like to make pictures, not take them.


As I am an athlete, I have also grown a passion for sports photography. Joel Grimes has been a huge motivator from the beginning. He was the reason why I started using studio lighting for my photographs. Joel once said: “Make a series out of the things in your backyard”. The funny thing is, there just happens to be a sports stadium behind my house and so I did, I made a series of fine art sports portraits.


Equipment list:

  • Camera: Sony Alpha A77 Mark II + Sony Alpha A700
  • Lenses:  Tamron 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II LD + Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro + Helios 44-2 58mm f/2
  • Lighting: Yongnou YN560-II + Pixel Mago + Pixel X800c + Jinbei Caler MF-100
  • Computer: An ancient Acer laptop!
  • Software: Adobe Creative Cloud