About Markku


Markku Lahdesmaki was born in Finland. He was eight years of age when his uncle gave him a simple black-and-white camera to take photos of the family. His second camera was a Hasselblad at the age of 16. His father asked him what he wanted as a birthday present, a Hasselblad camera or a motorbike. He thought that by making money with his camera he could buy a motorbike later.

Markku has the ability to capture the simplest subject matter and make it a thousand times more interesting than one would think imaginable. His images draw us in, from the overall grand scene rightdown to the smallest of details.

Music and creating images have competed in his life as equal interest. Photography gained the upper hand as he discovered that music inspired him more to create images rather than vice versa.

Markku started a small studio in his then hometown, 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.

Markku left with his wife Anne to study and work abroad. While working as an assistant in London he established his own studio there and received his first acknowledgement: an honorary mention in the Warsaw Poster Biennale. Since then Markku has won numerous awards with his commissioned work and his constant stream of personal projects. He has been awarded at the prestigious AOP Awards, Clio, Epica, Cannes Lions, New York Festival, CA, APA, PX3, Graphis etc. The Grafia Platinum Award was given to him for his influence in the Finnish Advertising.

Markku tries to create unique images that will tell a story, entertain the viewer with a bit of peculiar humor and create a touching little world. Most of his ideas are based on values he wants to share; joy of life, peace of mind, sense of humor and appreciation for our existence, basic good things that too often are taken for granted.

For the past 20 years Markku has lived in California working with his wife for clients such as GE, AT&T, Toyota, Honda, Nike, Adidas, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Sony, Pioneer, Sprint, Gillette and many others. They have two sons Tomi and Julian, both artists.


  • 2017

    • Black and White Spider Awards, Award Nominees
    • AOP Open Awards, 2 awards
    • Prix De La Photographie Paris, Gold Award and Honorable Mention
    • Intl. Photography Awards, IPA, 1st place and Honorable Mention
    • International Color Awards, 3rd Place - Honor of Distinction and 5 nominations
    • One Eyeland Award - Bronze winner
    • Graphis Photo Annual, Silver Awards x 4
    • Applied Arts Photography, Winner
    • American Photography AP33, Winner
  • 2016

    • The AOP Awards, Best in Advertising Category and Finalist
    • Tokyo Foto Awards, TIFA, Silver Award
    • Black and White Spider Awards, Winner and Award nominee
    • Intl. Photography Awards, IPA, Honorable Mention x 2
    • MUSE Creative Award, Honorable Mention
    • American Photography AP32, Winner
    • OneEyeLand Photography Awards, Bronze
    • International Color Awards, 3rd Place - Honor of Distinction and 3 nominations
  • 2015

    • PDN Photo Annual, Winner
    • Back and White Spider Awards, Award Nominations
    • IPA Awards, Second Place/series,
    • Intl. Photography Awards, IPA, Honorable Mention
    • Prix De La Photographie Paris, Silver and Award of Honor x 3
    • International Color Awards, Honorable Mention, Nominations x 3
    • Applied Arts, Winner
  • 2014

    • The AOP Awards, Finalist
    • Prix De la Photographie Paris, Bronze, Award of Honor
    • Intl. Photography Awards, IPA, Honorabel Mention x 5
    • Lucie Awards, Finalist
    • APA Awards, Winner
    • ArtDirectorsClub NY, Merit
    • International Color Awards, Finalist