Discover Barents –seminar speakers

Jari Peltomäki – ”Wildlife tourism in Lapland and Varanger”

Jari is a professional wildlife photographer and founder & chairman of the board of Finnature Ltd, Finland’s leading wildlife tour operator. Jari is living in Oulu, Finland. He has been taking photographs 40 years, and he turned professional about 20 years ago. Bird photography is his passion and his favourite subjects to photograph are owls.

Jari’s photography work has been used worldwide and he has co-published several books of birds and photography. One of the most widely distributed book of his has been Handbook of Bird Photography (together with Markus Varesvuo and Bence Mate)- since it has been published in Finnish, German, French, English and Chinese. Jari’s photographs has been regularly awarded in international competitions: including Wildlife Photographer of the Year several times. He has been judging many photography competitions in recent years including Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012, GDT´s European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 and Finnish Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 competitions.

He has been Olympus Visionary photographer from 2016 onwards.

Jari was Nikon ambassador for Finland 2012- 2016.

Téa Karvinen – ”National park photography”

Téa is a professional freelance nature photographer and journalist concentrating in Finnish Lapland and Finland’s 40 national parks as well as the Arctic areas of the world. She lives in Rovaniemi, at the arctic circle, at the moment.

Nature is not a new element for Téa as she used to work as a full-time wilderness guide in Finland developing eco-tourism for several years before her nine years of adventures in America. Téa has a degree in photojournalism from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She studied and lived in Alaska, Hawaii, Ecuador and Salt Lake City, Utah for almost nine years.

Téa wants to encourage people to go out and explore the nature around them – including own backyard. The more time we spend in nature, the greater our desire to understand it and learn more about it.
Nature is one of the essentials of human life. If our contact with nature weakens, there will without doubt be an increase in chronic diseases.

Téa’s book of all the national parks of Finland was published in the end of August 2017. The third edition has been already placed in order. She has spent more than 700 days in all 40 national parks since 2010.

Harri Tarvainen – ”Photographing and story-telling by picture” and “How to use social media in tourism marketing?”

Harri Tarvainen is a professional photographer from Oulu Finland, specialized in action and outdoor photography.
“I combine my background in sports photography and love for the nature in my work. This Northern area with it´s different seasons and characteristics is an endless source for inspiration.” Harri has graduated from the University of Lapland in 2010 and has done outdoor & action photography, ads, portraits, products and much more since 2004.

Tarvainen is a Snowboard Photographer of the year in Finland and he has been working with brands like Haglöfs, Canon, Leatherman and VisitFinland. Harri is bringing a fresh but solid professional point of view to the jury as well.


Lassi Rautiainen – ”Wildlife photography”

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.

Aivar Ruukel – “Digital marketing and utilization of international networks in promotion of Nature Tourism – case: EDEN”

Aivar Ruukel is a partner in private for-profit local tourism company ( operating in Soomaa national park of Estonia.

Since 1995 he has been guiding canoeing trips on the rivers and walks on the peat-bogs. Aivar likes mushrooming, berry-picking and wild food. He also builds local traditional dugout canoes (haabjas in Estonian).

Aivar has been one of the founding members of Estonian Ecotourism Association, ESTECAS in 1994, and one of the initiators of national ecotourism cerification scheme “EHE” that was elaborated as early as year 2000.

Aivar is digital tourism marketing enthusiast, practitioner and lecturer, and a social media coordinator in EDEN network. He is combining his passions for digital and for ecology in his current Phd research on the topic: “Social media communication for sustainable tourism development”.