MUSTONEN YKSI was conceived out of pure passion for fashion photography, from the urge to create a commercially independent self-published compilation. YKSI was shot at various locations around the world, including the arctic coast of Norway, Tokyo, Cape Town, New York, Naeba, Helsinki, Kilpisjärvi and Karkkila, where the first session was shot in the summer of 2012.
Juha Mustonen about his project
MUSTONEN YKSI reveals the true nature and soul of the photographer. "The basis for fashion photography is that anything is possible. At its best one successful shot that may seem like a dream becomes reality, by the push of a button. It bears no weight if the spectator thinks the finished picture is beautiful or ugly or if it brings them joy or sorrow; providing the camera possesses your own heart, the picture that is produced is always justifiable."
The project fused itself along the way to become a mixture of fashion and portrait photography. "My pictures have become a tribute to powerful and authentic female beauty that doesn't lose its edginess through layers of retouches."
Although some of the photographs may seem far placed from conventional beauty, it has been clear to Mustonen from the start that every single shoot would be done in perfect collaboration and understanding with the models. "I try to dig beneath the surface to find sensitivity or to help assume another identity that gives you the courage to be weak, strong or anything in between. I often take models to a space that provides challenges and where the taught mannerisms are finally forgotten. Even though they are all models, I am shooting someone who has a name and their own persona. My models are always real human beings with a story to tell."
In Mustonen's world the woman is without exception a survivor.