Exhibition Centre ROSPHOTO presents an exhibition of Ismo Hölttö, a master of Finnish photography
Ismo Hölttö (born in 1940), a young goldsmith, became obsessed with photography and dedicated all his spare time to shooting portraits of people. For a period of ten years between 1962 and 1971, he spent virtually all of his lunch breaks and weekends walking around with his Rolleiflex and taking pictures of people of his hometown Helsinki.
Ismo Hölttö's photographs are artistically and technically skillfully executed. They have a unique quality that creates a timeless bond between their subject and the public. Fifty years after they were photographed, the people in Hölttö's images continue to tell their life stories face-to-face to all those who are willing to listen.
In 1970, after contributing with his images to publishing "This too is Finland", a landmark book on rural people, Hölttö received a six-month government grant for artistic work and quit his job as a goldsmith. With the money Hölttö founded his own commercial photo studio. It is quite a paradox that when he became a professional photographer, he stopped working on what he is best known for - his portraits. Hölttö continued to work in commercial photography until his retirement in 2003. Today Hölttö focuses his creative energy on painting and croquis drawing, a hobby since 1964.