The Photographic Journal

Havana Taxi Company

Essay 247 • Jan 26th 2018

My series of images from Havana Cuba got started in summer 2016, when I got the chance to finally travel to Cuba. 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. After US embargo 1960 new American cars have been off limits in Cuba. For the last 55 years people have been pulling components from old cars and creating custom parts to keep their automobiles on the road. I knew that Cuba has been photographed a lot but not from this perspective. 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. The experience left me with not only a new series of portraits, but also with some great stories of people I met.


Finnish photographer, Markku Lahdesmaki, developed an interest in photography at the early age of 8. By 21 he had a studio in his hometown of Tampere, Finland, and soon after in London. 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.

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