Niklas Meltio

Niklas Meltio

Canon Explorer, Finland

Please share a bit about your background as photographer.

In my teens I just more or less started to shoot. For me the it was about making a difference through journalism, telling the stories I felt needed to be told and making an impact. I have been shooting professionally for some 13 years now. I have always been a free lancer. It is a tough field alright, but you get to choose your stories which is important since you need to be passionate about what you are doing if you are going to commit to it.

What type of photographer are you?

I am pretty much straight forward in my approach to the story and my images. I want to show the world just as I see it. I do not try to find subtle symbolic ways to make a point, I hate that. I always try to shoot from within, not observing from a distance.

What are your favorite motives?

I do not have any favourite motives. I choose to cover what I feel is necessary for me to cover at the moment. But I focus on conflicts, humanitarian crises and disasters since that is where my personal interests are, that is what I know how to do. It is a world I want to understand and have an impact on the outcome of it.

Which products do you use today?

I have pretty much always shot with a Canon. I carry a very sporadic setup. Mostly I use the 35mm 1.4L and then I have 50mm 1.2L on the second body. I use the 5D series bodies. I used to have a 1D back in the days but carrying two of those made no sense and the 5D seems to take the beating just the same and is a great workhorse

Can you tell us about a photo moment which you will never forget.

A photo that was taken in Aleppo in August 2012. The government was shelling the crap out of the Salahedding neighbourhood and Mahmoud got hit by shrapnel cutting an artery in both of his legs. I never forget that night, it was a complete mess, we drove through enemy lines in an ambulance to make a shortcut to the hospital. Mahmoud was bouncing all over the trunk as he was not tied down. Against all odds he actually made it. The ambulance team would do this for every single casualty that came along. Later they became the casualties themselves as they were targeted and killed.

Can you give an advice to someone who wants to develop in photography.

Commit to the story you are covering. Taking a decent photo is easy, the hard part is the substance, the story. And at the end of the day it is all about hard work. Pushing yourself all the time a step forward, deeper into the story.