When most people think of Finland, they likely imagine a country of sprawling forests and winter wonderlands where everyone is content and has a respectful relationship with wildlife.

Helsinki University student and photographer Ossi Saarinen has lived in Finland his whole life, and his work reveals his passion for nature and animals.

"I've always been interested in animals. Somehow I find their behavior and all very interesting," Saarinen, 22, tells MNN. "Even being in the nature without seeing any animals is very enjoyable for me."

Saarinen has been interested in nature since he was a little boy, but it wasn't until he started taking photos of a family of foxes in 2015 that he realized this love of animals could frame his life's work.

"When I was just starting my photographing career I met a fox family with four tiny cubs. I managed to get some photos and in one of them, it looks like they're all walking towards the camera. It's my favorite not only because I like it as a photo but also because it was the day when my career really started and I felt like it was something I wanted to do in the future as well."

kettu perhe
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)

Since then, Saarinen has honed his craft into a beautiful collection of photographs featuring different wild animals in their natural habitats. What sets his work apart is the sense you get of just how much he loves animals.

"I try to show the emotions and feelings of the animals and that way also make the people watching the photos to feel something."

Not only is the raw beauty of animals captured in his images, but they also shine a spotlight on the gorgeous Finnish setting. Saarinen wants people to know how Finnish people take care of the land and respect it.

"Finnish nature looks almost like untouched, which is very rare thing in developed countries. It's clean, full of different kinds of plants and animals. It has four beautiful seasons over the year. Even if you live in the center of our biggest city, Helsinki, you don't have to go far away to see beautiful nature and animals. Actually most of my animal photos are taken less than 10 km from the center of Helsinki."

maakotka
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)

"I like to tell and show people how clean and beautiful the nature here is. How it can look when people really take care of it."

You can see more of his photography below, follow him on Instagram or check out his website, where his photos are available for purchase.

hiiri
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
huuhkaja
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
hirvi
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
karhu
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
ketun pennut
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
orava flower
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
hippiainen
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
supikoira
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
lehto pollo
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
metsakauris
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
kettu perhe
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
supikoira hiding
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
orava
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
sinisorsa
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
talitiainen
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
harakka
(Photo: Ossi Saarinen)
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