There are places in our world where fiction and dreams can come true.

18th March 2024
Exclusive Interview With Tiia Öhman, Photographer on Alan Wake 2

To kickstart the week, we are excited to announce our interview with the brilliant, Tiia Öhman! Possibly known best by many of us as Poets of the Fall's talented resident photographer, she was also worked on Alan Wake 2, providing gorgeous photos for the game's promotional, behind the scenes snippets, in-game posters, and on Old Gods of Asgard merchandise. Her incredible work has been shared so widely, that there's an absolute chance that you would have seen her photographs already. 

We recently had the pleasure of virtually sitting down with Tiia to talk to her about her start in photography, what it was like being on the Alan Wake 2 set, returning to the series (she was also the photographer on the War music video!), and her hopes for 2024. Check out our conversation below!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you first got involved in photography?

For as long as I can remember, I have loved drawing and painting, and all things visual. When I was 16 or 17, I took a few film photography lessons at my art school, but didn't have the patience for the dark room business back then. Once I started going on all the Poets of the Fall concerts back in 2004-2005 that I could possibly manage, I also got super excited about digital photography. Things escalated from there a bit: I got to know the band, took more and more photos for them and ended up taking most of their promotional images. Because of that and some other photo gigs, I managed to score, I upgraded my camera gear whenever I could afford it. So it happened very naturally, and unlike most of the career-type things I've tried in life, photography just stuck and became a big part of my personality. 

Tiia sitting at home surrounded by plants as sunlight streams in. (Original:

As you worked on the War music video back in 2010, how did it feel returning to the Alan Wake series?

Amazing! The War film shoot was one of my favorite music video productions of all times. I mean, the band was there, Ilkka Villi was there and we also had this massive greyhound attending the shoot. When I first heard they were working on some Alan Wake stuff again, I got super excited. 

How did you begin your journey with Remedy on Alan Wake 2?

During the past few years, I've worked with Remedy a few times as an event photographer and gotten to know some of the fun folks at the office. I also have a lot of experience in still photography for TV & movies, so I guess it was just a great match. But even if they hadn't hired me, I think I would've somehow made my way into the shooting of the live-action bits. Inside the band's suitcase or something, haha.

Ilkka Villi as Alan Wake, edging closer to a highway patrol car in War. (Credit: Tiia Öhman)

What goes into preparing for a photoshoot, both mentally but also practically?

Good question, and it depends a lot on what kind of shoot it is. If it's a studio portrait shoot, I need to relax and activate the social side of myself so I can help my subject to also feel relaxed. Surprisingly many are very nervous about stepping in front of the camera.

If it's a film shoot - like the AW thing or a TV production - I have to concentrate on staying out of the film crew's way and to stay alert at all times as I myself have no control over lighting or the actors or crew members etc. So I just have to be ready and try to capture the best moments from whatever dark corner I'm hiding at that moment. In each situation, the gear is a little different, but the preparation is mostly the same: get your batteries charged, your memory cards empty and GO.

Poets of the Fall's Marko Saaresto as Odin Anderson. (Credit: Tiia Öhman)

When entering a photoshoot, what things do you pack?

All the camera gear, obviously. My recent favorites have been the 70-200mm 2.8 and the 28-70 2.0 lenses from Canon. For portrait shoots I need to pack the backdrop, lights, stands, since most of my portrait work lately has been taking place on set where the shows and movies are being shot - it's definitely easier to go the actors than to have five or ten of them come separately to someplace else. I think of it as my own little photo studio on wheels. 

For film productions I usually bring my own water bottle and coffee thermos (the Finnish productions are delightfully eco aware these days!), comfy/quiet shoes, dark clothing (to avoid getting caught by the film camera in the reflections), spare charger for my phone and if it’s an exterior shoot, a lot of clothing options. And ibuprofen since I'm a migraine gal, damnit. 

For weddings, one absolutely needs quiet shoes for the church!

Poets of the Fall and Remedy film crew during Alan Wake 2's live action recordings. (Credit: Tiia Öhman)

Does your approach change when you're photographing live performances compared to arranged photoshoots?

Yes, a bit. The actual photoshoots need a lot of brain work; location, background, creative ideas and all that on top of the actual gear and all the hundred little bits and bobs I need to remember. To live performances I mostly bring my camera, a couple of lenses and myself and get to be creative in the moment. 

What was the atmosphere like on the Alan Wake 2 set?

So much fun! A bunch of creative people and nerds (a word I use 100% with love) getting together is the best setting for a good work day. Of course, it was a very professional and well-organized production so there’s always a lot of pressure for everyone involved to do their best work, but still… the days I was there, the mood was very happy and filled with amazing little moments of “woah” and laughter.  

Olli on the Alan Wake 2 set, with Markus "Captain" Kaarlonen (Odin Anderson) in the background. (Credit: Tiia Öhman).

Do you have a favourite photograph from your work on the game?

It’s very hard to pick one! I feel like I managed to snap a lot of rockin’ ones of our pals Old Gods of Asgard and the always impossible photogenic Ilkka Villi, but getting to capture David Harewood as Mr. Door was definitely a highlight. The charisma!

What's your favourite memory from working on Alan Wake 2?

Ouch, I can’t choose. Can I just pick the dumb Tik Tok video we did with Ilkka? It gained close to half a million views on a platform I don’t really even use, or follow, or like, and that’s just nuts :D 

Is there an aspect of your work on the Alan Wake 2 photoshoots that you're secretly really proud of? Something that is small and silly, but you were so excited to just get right.

I don’t really consider myself an amazing, mind-blowingly talented world-class photographer, but I do take a little pride in my ability to shoot decent quality images in the time and circumstances I’m given. At film shoots, the time is *very* limited (like I get 1-2 minutes for each portrait shoot done on set, max) and the light and the surroundings are usually mostly beyond my control. And I just have to deal with it the best I can.

Plus, ok, I managed to get a fun shot of David in between takes, with his feet up on the table and the soles of his shoes covered in confetti. It was adorbs. 

Sam Lake (Alex Casey) sits with David Harewood (Warlin Door) during a filming break. David's shoes are on the table, gold confetti stuck to the soles. (Photo taken and sent by Tiia Öhman.)

Are there any tips that you would give to someone hoping to start photography?

Get to know your gear and what it’s capable of. Learn to see and read light. Keep taking those photos and discovering things that make them different, but also look at other photographers’ work to learn what you like and which skills to develop in your own work to shoot something similar. Don’t copy or steal, but feel free to let yourself be influenced by your favorites. Social media is full of incredible tricks and ideas for creative photos with almost zero budget, follow accounts like that and you may find a lot of inspiring things to try.

How has your 2024 been so far,  and what are your hopes/plans for the year?

BUSY! Which makes me happy. I’ve worked on film productions, graphic design work, websites and more. In a few weeks, I’m moving into my very first own studio space, and aside from creative photo studio work, I’m looking forward to painting on big canvases — something I really can’t do in my tiny apartment without messing up the walls and the floors and covering my little doggo in paint, haha. 

A promotional image for Old Gods of Asgard, used across marketing, merchandise, and for in-game art. (Credit: Tiia Öhman.)

A huge thank you to Tiia for taking the time to answer our questions! We can't wait to see what wonderful creations you share next. possibly with the help of a tiny doggo. 

You can follow her adventures on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Check out her portfolio at


The Control Series

The Crossfire Series

The Quantum Break Series

The Alan Wake Series

The Max Payne Series




Icons by the incredible, Evil-Owl-Loki.

Beyond the shadow you settle for, there is a miracle illuminated.