about SESSIONS2 

  How it all got started
  The crew
  Contact information
  Some numeral info
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How it all got started; The early history (by Jouni)

Sessions has been up and running in some form since the summer 2001. The first site was built in a couple of hours in order to show clubbing photos to a few friends and really wasn't all that usable or well designed. To be quite honest the photos were awful too. Back then I didn't really have too much of a clue how photos should be taken in poor lighting conditions (etc.), but I was enthuastiac. Carrying a camera with me all around was something I was already used to and as I fell in love with the finnish techno/rave/club/party scene (or whatever you want to call it) I felt an urge to start documenting it.

My quest for ”the perfect photo” (of which I’ve propably told most people I know about) begun. I started by photographing party people and by trying to capture their emotions on film. Seeing people looking so satisfied and happy moved me in the way that nothing else did (and it still does). These moments of total satisfaction and happiness were the ones that I aimed to publish here at Sessions.

Sessions (the first site) became a bit more popular than I ever intended and as I was never really happy with it I decided to design a new site. A bit more thought was put into designing Sessions 1.1, but it was still a pretty basic static website. Well, at least the directory structure was designed well enough to keep the updating routines fairly easy...

For a long time I took photos with Canon EOS500 [Editorial remark: a kinofilm camera] (with 28-80mm / F3.5) but was never really happy with the results. I also experimented a bit with some early FujiFilm and Sony digital cameras but the image quality they produced didn't satisfy me either. When Sony published their F707-model I knew I had found myself a new camera and so I bought myself one of them on the spring 2002. Many of the early photos I took with it are of pretty poor quality, but I think I got some fairly decent images out of it. After 2½ years of shooting with F707 I decided it was time to get myself a new camera (because even though F707 really is a nice camera in many ways it also has many limitations); Canon EOS300D. It's was a really nice piece of equipment and it took some time to master it well in poor lightning conditions. Well, as they say; "practise makes perfect."

Sessions 1.1 was a nominee for ”website of the year” in the finnish club awards two years in a row (2002 & 2003) and had ~2000 photos by the time I decided it was time to let it go and build yet another version. SESSIONS2 (it's written in capital letters just because the logo is) was something I desiged in my mind for quite a while, but didn't really have the skills to build it on my own. That’s where my schoolmate Carl came into the picture and wrote the features and the structure – Massive respect and lots of thanks!

Sessions (poor choice of a name to begin with, damn it!) began as a one man's project, but grew to be too much for me to handle. In 2004 SESSIONS2-crew consists of me, Carl, the man behind the code and Anne, my assistant photographer (which was also my girlfriend for over 2 years). Also a couple of other persons showed some activity towards SESSIONS2 by contributing various content to the new site. We continued developing the site together and hoped that you and the other visitors liked what they're getting.

Jouni Väänänen, Founder Of SESSIONS2

How it all continued; The later history:

A Lot has happend during the years of existance. SESSIONS2-website was selected as the Website of the year in Finnish Club Awards 2005, a nominee for the title 4 years in a row before that (site versions 1, 1.1 & 2). SESSIONS2 crew has also varied during the years. Jounis personal assistants have changed couple of times and some of the 'not so active members' have just vanished somewhere. For Pacifique 2006 and Laserpoints 2006 & 2007 Jouni built up a team of event photographers using his own team and adding couple of assistant photographers as reinforcements to match the crowing needs of our customers and to cover those massive events.

SESSIONS2 started to expand and therefor cover more events as Jouni signed three more photographers into his team: Tuomas Lairila (30.9.2005), Karo Holmberg (27.2.2006) and Joni Rolig (7.7.2006). With these new photographers S2 could cover more events in the metropolitan area, but also in eastern Finland where Karo shoots most of his event photos.

2007 Jouni announced withdrawing from the club event photographing "business" and leaving the site to the rest of the group. Karo Holmberg was nominated as a new Site Manager and Jouni took his well deserved title as the Founder of SESSIONS2. Another big change was 57% growth in photo size (aspect ratio 2:3); from 600x400 to 750x500 pixels.

And the story goes:

In the year 2008 two previous assistant photographers and one new photographers were signed into SESSIONS2 -team: Mikko Bäck, Tuula Ylikorpi and Jukka Aro. With these additions we were able to cover more and more of the upcrowing club scene in the metropolitan area, but also in Tampere made possible by Jukka.

During the year 2009 three of our active photographers changed their status to passive as they wanted to concentrat on other issues for a change. As the active team got a bit small, we a approaced three new photographers: Timo Torvikoski (27.9.2009) and Fredrik Lindblad (12.10.2009) were signed in our team. We also started to design a new site to match the crowing needs of clubbers and our team itself.

In the beginning of 2010 the third photographer, Aleksi Alku, joined our team (exact date 27.2.) and we also got ourself a new janitor to fix and maintain our service: Mikko Peltokangas joined SESSIONS2 18.3.2010 and immediately added couple of new featuresto better server the clubbing community.

Sometimes, when needed, SESSIONS2 has used guest photographers to spice up our galleries or to get better coverage of bigger events. In 2011 we started to publish guest galleries more often escpecially from the photographers we were looking more into. We also started to design and test SESSIONS2 Trainee Program - it is a program for training potential photographers to master event photography and to get better tools on finding suitable photographers to join SESSIONs2. As there is many qualified photographers in the field, very few of them match all the needs we have as an event photography team.

Two new photographers were attached to our team in the early 2012. Tero Heino (15.1.) and Riku Heininen (29.2.). With these two photographers, SESSIONS2 got more ground from other parts in Finland. Tero is very active in Hämeenlinna and Riku's nest is located in central Finland, Jyväskylä. The following year also contained changes in our picture size (+64% in aspect ratio 2:3, from 750x500 -> 960x640 pixels). We also updated SESSIONS2's layout and started to inspect financial ways to get a totally new site. During the years, that turned out to be such a massive production that we are unable to pull it off "just by our selves".

How things are today?

At this moment SESSIONS2 is the biggest club event photographing team in Finland keeping up the quality and the ability to cover and produce different kind of photo-related content for most demanding club events that Finnish club scene can offer. In addition we also arrange photostands and photo exhibitions when needed. Although we photograph mainly in Finland, we have also covered some events & clubs abroad, f.ex Ibiza, Japan, Mexico & Netherlands.

Finnish club scene is not just about massive mega partys - it's also about the local events which are made with love towards electronic music for the clubbers who love to dance or just listen. We have an exceptional team of event photographers who work seamlessly together as well as they perform as a single event photographers. They all share the same enthusiasm and love towards electronic music and club scene itself. That enables us to cover all kind of events despite of what kind of an event is at hand. Just for the record, our photographers have a lot of experince from the other side of the lense too. A great deal of us have been performing as club DJ's and others by clubbing or spinning records in bedrooms or smaller events; for some of us, event producing is familiar too.

SESSIONS2 is not anymore just Jounis site to show clubbing scene for his friends, but a home to several exceptional and experienced event photographers.

Feedback is always welcome!

Karo Holmberg & the rest of the crew

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