We love inspiring stories of people, how they find their passion and why they do what they do. Kasperi Kropsu’s story is something that we wanted to share with all you dreamers out there. He is a great example of a prönö-minded person who found his new path almost by an accident. And who would have guessed that skating is a lot like street photography? Keep reading to shake any doubts.
And how is Kasperi Kropsu linked to Prönö? In a lot of ways, actually. When we designed the visual brand for Prönö, we wanted our photos to look a bit unique, reflecting authenticity and Nordic street style. We also wanted to support a local artist. When we saw Kasperi Kropsu’s photos, we knew who we wanted to ask to take photos for us.
Here you can see some of our favorite images from Kasperi:
And our all-time favorite!
Who is that talented guy behind the camera lens?
Kasperi Kropsu is a self-taught street photographer and longtime skateboarder. This talented young guy (and Oulu’s gift to Finnish street photography) is the prönö behind our amazing Prönö photos.
What can you tell us about your life before photography?
“My background is in skateboarding. I started skateboarding at the age of five, and for over 10 years I enjoyed skateboarding as a sponsored skater. I was actually knocking on the door to the next Olympics, but then I realized it was my time to take the next steps towards my dream – photography. Skateboarding is still a big part of my life, but in a more, I would say, relaxing way. And there is one difference: nowadays I always have a camera with me.
“As a visual person, I have always enjoyed drawing and painting, showing my inspiration. Skateboarding has really helped me to become the visual person that I am today. When I got my first Fujifilm camera, things got serious. The camera was so easy to carry and beautiful at the same time that it just never left me, even for trips to the grocery store nearby.”
Why did you start?
“I first started street photography as a hobby when I broke my left ankle skateboarding in 2018, and I haven’t stopped since. In 2012, I graduated from audio-visual school, where I learned to make movies, but the photography part inside me really ignited when I bought an iPhone 6S in 2016. I had always known that I have an eye for photography but didn’t have the tools for it at the time.
“Taking a step away from skateboarding to street photography was more like sliding into another way to do my own thing. There is not that big of a difference when comparing those two areas. Actually, there are surprisingly many similarities: freedom to do your own thing, being alone on the streets, creating art in your own style and having no one telling you what to do and how to do it. You have all possibilities open.
“So, it was actually an almost obvious movement for me. Through the lens I can create the movie of my own life, catch the authentic moments with all their magic – something that you cannot capture and have in systematic photography. Genuineness fascinates me.”
What have you learnt about it?
“I have learnt to enjoy the moment and my surroundings. I have started to notice the beautiful little things all around that I’ve missed when walking with my nose stuck to a screen. Most of us grab our phones whenever we’re feeling bored or walking from point a to point b, like I did before. It blurs ‘the offline world’.
“Nowadays, I leave my phone in my pocket and focus on all the little things – lights, people, shadows etc. I have learnt how beautiful the world can be. I don’t want to blur the things that could be noticed, captured and remembered.”
What motivates you?
“There was a time when stormy and rainy days did not motivate me to step out and go for a random 20 km walk around the city. Things have definitely changed. No matter if it’s bucketing down or the sun is burning, I know there will be beautiful moments to capture outside on the streets. I can’t wait to see what’s happening out there.
“Trying to find moments is not the way to do this. No plan is the best plan. You never know what today has to offer for you.
“To catch timeless spots is something that really keeps me going as well. I hope one day my photos will be in a museum, inspiring and telling the story from the days we were living.”
Who has influenced you the most?
“I have many, many sources of inspiration. I’m inspired by such a diverse selection of people, movies, music, photography books, documents – everything that touches my feelings and mind.
And of course we have the legends! The ones who everyone loves. Just to name a few:
- Saul Leiter
- Fred Herzog
- Ernst Haas
- Henri Cartier-Bresson
- Caj Bremer
- K-G Roos
- Elliott Erwitt
- Vivian Maier
- Joel Meyerovitz
And many others…”
“There are not that many people who are doing street photography nowadays. And that’s one reason why I’m so lucky that I have found such great people through photography, people who I can call my friends today. They share the same vision and ideology. We found each other from a street photography group. Someone suggested we go out into the streets together and take our cameras with us.
“It is so important to have people around you who boost, inspire and share thoughts. Even though in the end we all make our own thing in our own way, it feels safe for you to know you will always have someone to talk with.”
Kasperi’s recommendations to follow on Instagram:
The Instagram generation:
Can you share your plans for the future?
“Yes, definitely. One day I want to publish my own photography book and have an exhibition. I haven’t set the limits to my dreams, and it would be cool to spread my expertise to the fashion world. Old legends have taken fashion photos in their own style.
My dream is to be an artist. I will not jump into the rat race. I will do my own thing – in my own way. ”
@kasperikropsu on Instagram
WOW! What an interesting real-life story of one prönö. The enthusiasm you can hear from his voice and see in his photos is so inspiring. Thank you Kasperi!
If you are looking for a street photographer to your projects, we can truly recommend to contact him! Send a message on Instagram @kasperikropsu or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We all have one life. If you are ready to build your own future, like Kasperi is doing, be a prönö. Join our waiting list to get access to the Prönö platform, where change gets done.