Driving a country road in Orivesi…some of my best stories start that way. Nearly every summer we spend time in Orivesi, in the southern part of Finland.
Even and especially in last strangest of summers, I was drawn home. As we drove around outside town, through a quiet dark forest, I was looking for inspiration. It doesn’t always make itself so obvious, but there was a steady clanging sound, piercing the otherwise silent scenery. I followed the noise and came upon a hole in the ground. Inside this huge hole, there were men working, as small and busy as carpenter ants from my perch. There was no way I wouldn’t end up down there. This is how I found my next project: The Quarrymen.
This slate quarry in the woods of Orivesi has been owned by the same family for nearly 40 years. Each summer, 20 or more hardworking men and women work mostly by hand, with tools and techniques – simple but not easy -that have been used for generations. While the sound brought me to the quarry, the grand, rugged scenery, the deep jagged walls and the uncomplicated beauty of people working hard and skillfully with their hands, made me stay.
About Markku Lähdesmäki
Born in Finland, Markku Lähdesmäki, developed an interest in photography at an early age of 8 when his uncle gave him a simple camera with black-and-white film in it. By 21 he had a studio in his then hometown of Tampere to shoot portraits, graduation and wedding pictures. Then a local advertising agency discovered him… especially one art director, Anne. And that’s how he met his wife.
Soon after, Markku moved to London, upon which he garnered his first award: Honorary Mention/Warsaw Poster Biennale. A career as a commercial photographer became the reality that would eventually lead him to California with his wife and partner Anne and their two sons, who are both artists, Tomi, a graphic designer and Julian, a singer/song writer. Devoted to his profession, Markku explores the soul of an idea across a variety of subject matter. His photography ranges from pure painterly to complex technical composites, manifesting itself within a steady style of adoration for the moment and joyfulness in the opportunity to engage in a profession that seamlessly weaves its way into his life. Calm and confident in his approach, he has educated understanding of client objectives and the delivery of final artwork that exceeds expectations.
Markku enjoys working and traveling for both American and European clients. 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. [Official Website]