portrait photography

Markku Lahdesmaki Explores the Vivid History of Taxis in Mumbai & Havana

Markku Lahdesmaki has made it his life’s mission to create unique images that tell a thought-provoking story.  His love for photography started at the young age of 8 and over his many years of assignments from Finland to LA, he has consistently created vibrant and eccentric work for brands like Apple, Nike, Sony, Pioneer, Toyota, GE & more.

For his ongoing project, “Taxi Company,” Markku’s original vision was to bring the world of taxis to life. The project has since been transformed into a pictorial history lesson from the viewpoint of the cities’ taxi cabs & their drivers; first in Mumbai and then Havana. The final two-part series features 90+ images that showcase the eccentric and unique cars in the midst of the bustle, or the rare silence, of the two major cities.

We took a moment to talk with Markku about what inspired him to begin this project, and what he found during his journeys across Mumbai and Havana.

See more of Markku’s work through his AtEdge portfolio, his website, markkuphoto.com, or follow him on Instagram @markkulahdesmaki.

©Markku Lahdesmaki

What inspired you to begin this series?

My first Taxi project started a few years ago when I was on an assignment in India and I had a couple of days just to explore Mumbai, a city of about 98,000 taxis and 250,000 auto rickshaws. I found myself fascinated by the taxis and their drivers.

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. I was shooting them against Mumbai’s landmarks, shady boulevards, and congested industrial area.  That way I was able to tell the real stories against the backdrop of the city.

After successfully completing the Mumbai Taxi series couple of years ago and receiving  recognition for the work from the Art Directors Club, International Color Awards/Masters Cup, Applied Arts/Canada, PDN Magazine & the Association of Photographers Awards, I began thinking about continuing to another city with an interesting landscape to document the taxis and their drivers.

It took a few years to figure out where to go next, but when Cuba started to open their borders, my creative partner and wife Anne insisted that we go there and capture the real, still unspoiled Havana before it moves to a new era. Cuba is 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.  We knew that Cuba has been photographed a lot but not from this perspective. To concentrate only on taxis and the drivers was a nice, new challenge.

©Markku Lahdesmaki

Have you completed any projects like this before?

I am constantly working on personal projects. I was born in Finland and we usually go back there twice a year during Christmas and summertime and I have a few series based around there. I love to capture images of people and landscapes that are important in my personal history. One of the series I created in Finland titled, “Romantic Finland,” was shot in a little town called Eräjärvi, close to where we spend our summers.

The one thing all my personal projects have in common is that I try to share the human experience against the backdrop of unique locations.

©Markku Lahdesmaki

What, if any, special processes did you use to capture and produce these rich and remarkable images?

My wife and I would walk from early morning to late night, shooting around the city and looking for the situations & people that looked interesting or fun. After a day of shooting, we would go through the images in the hotel and check if there was anything else I needed. The next day, we’d go back out and shoot more elements for those images to make them complete. After walking for 5 days, we finally returned home and the images went into post-production.

©Markku Lahdesmaki

Did you notice any differences between the Mumbai taxi culture and the Havana taxi culture?

I didn’t really notice any real differences but I did notice a lot of similarities. In both cities, the taxi drivers and car owners are very proud of their profession and vehicles. And in both places, the taxis serve a high function in everyday life. Those cars are part of the city landscapes, symbols and they are a special part of the culture. For most locals, the taxi is a vessel to go from Point A to Point B, but unfortunately, the taxis and the history that they hold are disappearing in both cities. In Mumbai, the Fiat Padmini cars that I was so enamored by will soon disappear from the taxi scene. In Havana, the beautiful Chevys, Buicks, Fords and Plymouths will inevitably soon be replaced.

©Markku Lahdesmaki

Did working on this project help you discover some hidden parts of each city?

It always does. I found myself often thinking, how did I get here to this back yard, alleyway, back of the restaurant or any other place that normal tourist walks won’t take you to. I also met so many local people, who were very friendly to my wife and I and didn’t mind me taking pictures. Most of the time, the locals and I didn’t speak the same language but with a little patience and some creativity, we were able to communicate. Sometimes I even got invited to their homes or for a beer in the local bar!

©Markku Lahdesmaki

What outcome were you hoping for with this series?

I hope that people will enjoy the images, I hope they will find the humor and joy in them. My goal is always to create images that are positive. Hopefully, the images will help the future generations to have an idea how Havana or Mumbai was after the taxis and their histories are replaced.

©Markku Lahdesmaki

Will there be a part 3 of the series?

I would like to do a No. 3.  Maybe I will shoot some modern taxis in Europe or something else that has a new angle with taxis still as the main focus. Be on the lookout!

©Markku Lahdesmaki

Photographer on the Move: A Spotlight on Nick Hall

Known for his captivating panoramic landscapes & lifestyle imagery, Nick Hall has made a name for himself as an adventure photographer & cinematographer. His work for brands like The Nature Conservancy, Canon, Patagonia, and Thule has taken him all over the world to document impressive landscapes and the communities that live beside them.

Nick’s fascinating photography has earned him several features in Photographers Worldwide, PDN Photo Annual, and many other publications. His work has also garnered several awards.His work has also garnered several awards. He is a recent recipient of four silver awards in the 2017 Graphis Photography Annual.

Nick is represented by Greenhouse Reps. Browse through Nick’s collection through his AtEdge portfolio and his website.

©Nick Hall | Part of the Colorado River series

©Nick Hall | Part of the Mongolian Steppe series

©Nick Hall | Part of the France series

©Nick Hall

©Nick Hall | Part of the Mongolia series

©Nick Hall

©Nick Hall

©Nick Hall | Part of the Scotland series

©Nick Hall | Part of the Sealline Canoe series

©Nick Hall | Part of the Patagonia series

 

 

 

 

Ransom & Mitchell: Bee Amazing

The latest project by Ransom & Mitchell is a series titled ‘Bee Amazing’ that was created with the goal of the project is to encourage girls to pursue their dreams.

The project highlights the duo’s talent of merging photography and CG elements.

Browse through Ransom & Mitchell’s body of work through their AtEdge portfolio and their site: ransommitchell.com.

 

©Ransom & Mitchell

©Ransom & Mitchell

©Ransom & Mitchell

Aaron Graubart Shoots Johnny Iuzzini for Le Meridien Hotels

Aaron Graubart recently got the opportunity to photograph celebrity pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini while he was in the process of creating his famous eclairs.

The shoot took place as a TV crew was making a short film about the chef’s talented work.

Aaron is represented by Pinkstaff Photographers. For more food related photography, take a look at Aaron’s AtEdge portfolio and website.

©Aaron Graubart

©Aaron Graubart

©Aaron Graubart

©Aaron Graubart

©Aaron Graubart

©Aaron Graubart

©Aaron Graubart

©Aaron Graubart

©Aaron Graubart

 

Dean Bradshaw Channels Film Noir in His Images for Logan

Dean Bradshaw (represented by CPi Reps) teamed up with the makers of Logan to document Hugh Jackman’s final time as Wolverine in a photo-journalistic way.

Dean’s images, alongside images by James Mangold (Logan‘s Director), were used for social media campaigns and will also be featured in a limited edition coffee table book for promotional purposes.

Explore more of Dean’s work through his AtEdge portfolio and his site: deanbradshaw.com.

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

 

 

Spotlight on Damián Siqueiros, the Visual Artist

Montreal-based image maker Damián Siqueiros prides himself on pushing the boundaries between art & photography in a way that transcends reality. His body of work is more than a collection of images. Each individual image that he produces elicits conversation and evokes strong emotion. So much so that the first time Susan Baraz, AtEdge’s Director of Photography, came face to face with Damián’s work, the words that came to her mind were “gorgeous,” “inspiring” and “visually transporting.”

In both his commercial and collaborative work, Damián puts immense effort into every detail — from art direction and stage design to make-up and styling.  This multi-disciplinary approach helps clients like Vogue Mexico, Elle Mexico, Ford, Les Grands Ballets Canadien, and Porrua bookstore find a visual voice and make an emotional connection with their audiences. We think he is one of the most photographically compelling artists working today!

©Damián Siqueiros

©Damián Siqueiros

©Damián Siqueiros

©Damián Siqueiros

©Damián Siqueiros

©Damián Siqueiros

Find more of his compelling work through his AtEdge portfolio and website.

Geneviève Caron for The Wrap

Geneviève Caron teamed up with The Wrap to create show-stopping celebrity portraits for last year’s Toronto Film Festival.

Below you’ll find our favorite portraits featuring the stars of the Oscar-winning movie, Moonlight.

Take a look at all of the images here.

Geneviève’s work can be viewed through her AtEdge portfolio and genevievecaron.com.

©Genevieve Caron

©Genevieve Caron

©Genevieve Caron

©Genevieve Caron

©Genevieve Caron

©Genevieve Caron

Dean Bradshaw x HYPER COLOR

Dean Bradshaw created a series of images inspired by “Master of Disguise” Ann-Marie Hoang’s eccentric, wild, and unique style and a love of all things CMYK.

About Dean
Dean is a photographer/director currently based in California and represented by CPi Reps. Inspired by compelling stories, Dean creates images used by worldwide brands for their major campaigns. He is drawn to character & cinematic imagery and enjoys immersing viewers into the world outside the ordinary. 

Explore more of Dean’s work through his AtEdge portfolio and his site: deanbradshaw.com.

deanb1

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

©Dean Bradshaw

Nigel Parry Photographs Kit Harrington for Elle Men China

Nigel Parry‘s images of Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington were featured in the September edition of Elle Men China.

Nigel is represented by CPi Reps. View more of his work through his AtEdge portfolio and his website.

©Nigel Parry

©Nigel Parry

©Nigel Parry

©Nigel Parry

©Nigel Parry

©Nigel Parry

 

Jason Elias for Discovery Channel

Earlier this year, Jason Elias traveled to Bucharest, Romania for a 10-day shoot a print campaign for a Discovery Channel show, Harley and the Davidsons.

Jason states, “The shoot was a lot of fun and also pretty challenging. We shot on location as well as on set and for a series of studio portraits we converted an old Church set into a full-on stage.”

See more work from Jason through his AtEdge portfolio and his site, jasonelias.com.

©Jason Elias

©Jason Elias

©Jason Elias

©Jason Elias

©Jason Elias

©Jason Elias

©Jason Elias

©Jason Elias

©Jason Elias

©Jason Elias