Finnish photographer, Markku Lahdesmaki, developed an interest in photography at an early age of 7. By 21 he had a studio in his hometown of Tampere, Finland and soon after in London UK. A career as a commercial photographer became the new reality that would eventually lead him to Los Angeles. His photography ranges from pure painterly to complex technical composites. Markku enjoys working and traveling for both American and European clients and his love of photography also inspires a constant stream of personal work that is largely inspired by the values he holds dear — joy of life, peace of mind and a sense of humor. Both Markku’s personal projects and commissions from advertising agencies have been recognized internationally and placed in numerous awards competitions: Clio, Epica, Cannes Lions, AOP Awards, New York Festival, CA, APA and PX3. With a nod to his native country, The Grafia Platinum Award was given to him for his influence on Finnish Advertising.
Havana Taxi Company
My Taxi project started a few years ago when I was on an assignment in Mumbai India and I had a couple of days just to wander around the city. The little taxis (Fiat Padmini) caught my eye. I ended up traveling the city’s endless roads hopping from one taxi to another and capturing the Padmini taxis and their drivers.
The second series happened last summer, when it became easier to travel to Cuba. I’ve been wanting to go to Cuba for a long time. It’s a place that has always been visually unique with its rich textures, its interesting people, and of course, its uncommon fleet of taxis (which are mostly American cars from the 1950’s). With Cuba moving to a new era, that is going to change quickly and I knew I had to go now if I wanted to capture it in its real form.
The trip was amazing. I spent my days walking the streets from sunrise to sunset, connecting with locals (many of whom did not speak a word of English). The pace of Cuban life is a slow one, so people have time to stop and spend few moments with me. I was invited to some of their homes to meet the family or have a beer with them on the local corner bar. The experience left me with not only a new series of portraits but also with some great stories of people I met.
The photos reveal the city. I wanted to tell the story of the location and people and environment with a simple setting. I am always trying to catch images which are positive, hopefully with slight humor. I have around 45 images in the series called Havana Taxi Company.
I was capturing history that is about to disappear. Old American cars will soon be coming to the end of their trip and replaced with Asian cars for sure.
To view more of Markku Lahdesmaki’s work please visit his website.