Through his work, Lassi seeks to bring people closer to nature; to demonstrate its beauty and assure people they are safe in the wilds. He wishes to bring them close to the wildlife he so much admires, to let people experience the beauty of the “big five”, and to share his respect for these animals. During the long years he has spent defending Finland’s wolves, bears and wolverines, educating the public through his photos, articles, books, slide shows and so on, he has striven to eradicate distorted myths and to emphasise the sheer beauty of Finland’s large carnivores. Despite encountering immense resistance and threats on personal, legal and political levels, Lassi has continued his mission on behalf of Finnish wildlife. Thanks to this dedication there is little poaching nowadays around Wildlife Lassi Rautiainen´s photo locations and general acceptance of wildlife and wildlife tourism has dramatically spread.
Lassi is Finland’s pioneer in the field of photo tourism and photo hide tourism. His first photos were of bears in 1978: then he graduated to wolverines, and eventually to wolves for his own professional photographic purposes. Little by little, increasing numbers of nature photographers, initially from Sweden and Norway, but later from countries all over the world, have become interested in the species mentioned in our list.
Lassi has laid the practical and legal basis for later Finnish photo safari organisers by setting an example as well as by offering advice. He has also worked closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and politicians concerning the legal use of bait for photography and a ban on bear hunting around Wildlife Lassi Rautiainen’s photo locations. He has advised Finnish, Swedish, Russian, Estonian and German firms and people from many countries on the introduction of photo tourism, in particular photo hide and predator tourism.
Additionally, Lassi founded the international Kuusamo Nature Photo Festival now held every September, serving as the festival’s Artistic Director from 1996 to 2010. This international event constitutes Finland’s first international nature photo festival.
Professional nature photographer Lassi Rautiainen is happy to share his expertise and skills in conjunction with wildlife tourism, as well as his experience and knowledge of Finnish wildlife through courses, workshops and slide shows held at our Kuikka base camp, or anywhere else in the world: this applies to festivals, schools, companies, institutions, and others.