Sanni Saarinen

Sanni Saarinen (FI, b. 1979) is a documentary photographer, visual artist, cultural anthropologist and writer based in Espoo, Finland. Interested in questions of identity, community and belonging, Saarinen often works with societal projects and experiments with auto-fictional elements. In 2018, she was named as one of LensCulture’s Emerging Talents.


Saarinen, who holds a Master’s degree in Comparative Religions from the University of Turku, studied photography at the International Center of Photography and Cinema (EFTI) in Madrid, Spain. She is currently an MA student of Photography at Aalto University. Beyond various shows in Finland, her work has been exhibited in New York’s Klompching Gallery with LensCulture, and as part of the Open Walls exhibition at the 2019 edition of the annual Rencontres d’Arles, France.


Kohti is a Finnish word meaning ‘towards’, which Saarinen translates instead into the act of trying to reach something. Her work is autofictional – it studies those moments where seemingly nothing happens but, in a way, all of life happens. She wants to be grounded in, and to hold onto, those moments. Saarinen is interested in questions of the passing of time, of shared memories, of family, growth, and the border between the imagined and the real. Central to her research is questioning how we become ourselves.

Foto Tallinn