Helsinki City Guide | Helsinki Wedding Photographer

Don’t you sometimes feel like all that photographers do is travel, drink coffee, meet up with cool people and shoot magazine worthy portraits and weddings?

Well, it is actually so far from the truth. At least for the majority out there.
Yes, they do travel and spend long hours in airports or dirty trains, unwashed and eating chocolate bars the whole day. But just so they can get to a wedding where things are sometimes chaotic, don’t always go as planned and the bride is crying because it is pouring outside. And I didn’t even mention about the mother-in-law!

And yes, they do need to drink coffee, some drink lots of. It’s just so they can keep up with editing and social media and blogs and more editing. In order to shoot again and calm their parents down that they didn’t pay their school for nothing. Meeting up with people is probably the only way they would get booked for a job so they can pay their rent or buy that overly-expensive gear so they can go and shoot some more.

Some even have part-time jobs one would not brag about online. Because they need to pay for bills during those Winter months when couples are happily planning their wedding or girls are being proposed.

I’ve done all of the above and would not change it for anything. Well, maybe not the coffee drinking bit, but bring on the English tea! The life we chose has taken us to some pretty beautiful places so far and we’re extremely grateful for that. We have met people who only work extremely hard and inspire us to follow on their footsteps and believe the sky is the limit. People like Maria Hedengren, one of Finland’s best wedding photographers who was kind enough to have us on her cozy couch over Easter so we can meet her little wonder April and explore Helsinki for the first time. This is why we can show you our travel diary, a city guide of Helsinki as we discovered it, our own personal thoughts and impressions. If you want to convince yourself, you should visit the city, don’t take our word for it.

1. Kamppi Chapel of Silence

A minimalist design for a wooden Lutheran chapel in the heart of Helsinki created to be a place where people can go in and calm down. One of the most beautiful and unique churches I have ever been into. Definitely worth a visit in this lifetime.

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2. Rock Church ( Temppeliaukio)

A church from 1969 ( clearly a brilliant mind architect) built literally in solid rock, with a copper ceiling and awesome balcony (in lack of a better description). Because of its outstanding design, it has the most gorgeous natural light, just perfect for a wedding photographer. Dreaming of shooting a wedding in here one day..

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3. Kiasma- Museum of Contemporary Art

Another uniquely designed building, representative for the nordic architecture. There is an entry fee but it’s free on Wednesdays, just so you know (of course we went there on a Tuesday). Enjoyed seeing one or two exhibits there but have to admit I would not go in again, if I had the chance. Robert Mapplethorpe’s exhibition was way to explicit and had to skip a few of the rooms. I guess art has different forms of expression and his just wasn’t my cup of tea. Great name for a museum though!

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4. Designmuseo– Design Museum

A museum dedicated to industrial design, fashion and graphic design in Helsinki. What I most enjoyed was seeing the process of thinking for product designers and their sketches. The ground floor was so nice, could imagine living there, but that’s about it for me. Not sure if it’s worth the ticket price but when in Helsinki, one should visit places like this, I guess.

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5. Pohjoissatama North Harbour

I dare you to pronounce this right! This port is in the East of Helsinki and I jumped of joy (yes, I really did) when we discovered it just walking down the street.

The first thing we found was a sort of hidden market, with sea food and little coffee shops. There wasn’t any clear sign for the market, but Sam saw one lady coming our from this random brick building, so we were intrigued what was inside. This is where I had my first oyster tasting experience and I fell in love. It was the most exciting and curious thing I have eaten in a long time (believe me, I do try all sorts of weird stuff) but nothing like the taste of the sea in your mouth.
A few steps further, there was another outdoor market just packing up, but one thing was left outside still- a basket full of antlers! We were clearly meant to be there. Never mind the adventure of actually taking it through check in, but luckily we did and it’s looking proudly on our wall, reminding us of Helsinki.

As we were in the harbour, obviously we took photos of way too many boats and ships but the light was too good to resist.

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6. Johan & Nyström – Coffee Shop

A hipster’s dream , this place was. It felt just like home, on the streets of Shoreditch, where you can find creatively decorated coffee places perfect for those rainy days. Once we found it (completely by accident), we didn’t want to leave until we were the last ones in.
The interior was so nicely done. A warehouse conversion, right on one of Helsinki’s harbours with the red brick walls and huge wooden beams. A bike was hanging down from the ceiling, of course. Would definitely recommend this place anytime, almost made me want to drink coffee, that’s how cool it was.

It was the best place to end the evening and our travel experience in Helsinki, the city I’ve been so curious to visit and which left me with very mixed feelings. It’s such an interesting culture, feels more like a mix between the North and the Eastern influences.

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Photographer: Green Antlers Photography