Joel Karppanen (born 1993) is a documentary photographer originally from Oulu, Finland. He is an autodidact who has been working in the industry since 2011. 

Karppanen concentrates on personal, in-depth documentary projects. In his photographs and videos he converses on topics around human environment, common people and the urban-rural dichotomy. He strives to find magic and beauty in commonplace things.

Despite his young age, Joel Karppanen has received wide recognition including New Photo Journalist Award and Young Hero Grant in 2017. Karppanen has had solo exhibitions in Photographic Gallery Hippolyte, Nykyaika and Oulu August Festival. He has also taken part in the regional exhibition of photographic art of Northern Finland. Karppanen is one of the artists of the XXIII Mänttä Art Festival in summer 2018. His first monograph 'Finnish Pastoral' will be published in September 2018.

At the moment Joel Karppanen lives and works in Kemi, Finland.

Awards and grants

New Photo Journalist Award, Finnish Press Photo, 2017
Burn Magazine's Emerging Photographer Fund (shortlisted), 2017
Young Hero Grant - Jouko Lehtola Foundation's Award for Young Documentary Photographer, 2017
Best Trio, Valto Pernu Photo Marathon, 2017
One-year artist grant, Finnish Cultural Foundation, 2017
Audience Award (shortlisted), Finnish Press Photo, 2015
Telegraph's Picture of the Year (shortlisted), 2014



17.6.-31.8.2018, Mänttä Art Festival (Mänttä, Finland)
8.9.-7.10.2018, Northern Photographic Centre (Oulu, Finland)
11.10.-9.11.2018, Mikkeli Centre of Photography (Mikkeli, Finland)
January 2019, ARTag Gallery (Helsinki, Finland)


3.– 26.3.2018, Photographic Centre Nykyaika (Tampere, Finland)
23.9.-12.11.2017, Northern Photographic Centre (Oulu, Finland)
3.-26.2.2017, Photographic Gallery Hippolyte (Helsinki, Finland)
12.-26.8.2016, Oulu August Festival (Oulu, Finland)
1.-31.7.2013, Rännigalleria (Oulu, Finland)


Suomalainen pastoraali / Finnish Pastoral (Musta Taide, 2018)
A monograph to be released in September 2018.

Burn Magazine
Raw View Magazine
Il Post
Helsingin Sanomat
Suomen Kuvalehti
Maailman Kuvalehti
Lännen Media

Works in collections

Finnish Art Society
Private collectors

Using Format