A POLICE IMAGE, 2010, digital slideshow projection, text
A police image
Sami Hätönen was born in 1975 and graduated from Tampere Police Academy in the late 1990s. He has been photographing the Finnish Police in different situations since starting his studies.
The Finnish Police organization is using Hätönen’s photos as PR images on the police website and in their own publications such as the annual police reports and the magazine Poliisi. His photos are also published on a regular basis in the newspapers Aamuposti and Kellokas based in Hyvinkää where he is originally from.
Hätönen has also exhibited his photos in a show at the Police Museum. The exhibition aimed to present a view of the work and life of the organization. The spectacular visuality and digitally manipulated images of clearly staged situations draw a strong contrast to what is generally considered as documentary photography.
Sami Hätönen is representing himself as a photographer, but at the same time his photos are used for building the public image of an organization which he is a part of. Hätönen’s images are subjective views of an institution. At the same time they represent the institution’s view of itself, fulfilling its criteria to be represented to society. This gives the images a powerful meaning, both socially and as photo objects in themselves.
Photos by: Sami Hätönen