This year’s theme for the Sepac stamp series issued by the small European postal administrations is locally produced beverages. As stamp motif, Åland Post decided to highlight sea-buckthorn, Åland’s own super berry. A varied range of sea-buckthorn beverages is produced in Åland. Tiina Tahvanainen has photographed the motif of the stamp to be issued on 6 September.
Åland is one of a few areas in Finland where sea-buckthorn grows in the wild. The wild shrubs grow in dense stands and thrive best on stone and gravel beaches. The thorny branches make the berries difficult to pick. The small orange, juicy and sour berries of the sea-buckthorn ripen in the autumn and contain high amounts of beneficial vitamins, antioxidants, and fats. Squeezed from the berries, the raw juice is used as such, but also as the base of jams, marmalades, syrups, and ice cream. The fruit pomace is also used in various products.
Photographer Tiina Tahvanainen enjoyed the photo commission:
“I’m always equally proud to be commissioned to make a stamp, and I love to work with set design. Getting everything right is the challenge. The position of every little berry matters because of the small format. First, I sketched on paper and tested different accessories and variations. I decided to use my grandmother’s old juice bottles that are over 100 years old. It was a little sweaty to make them hold tight. As I started the assignment in the middle of winter, I first had to work with frozen berries, and I finished by photographing the berries in nature.”
Watch the film adn meet photographer Tiina Tahvanainen, sharing the creative process behind the postage stamp with sea-buckthorn juice, a locally produced beverage from Åland.