Tauno Vintola is a photographer from Naantali in south-west Finland with a unique job; for the past 17 years he has been photographing the colourful cast of characters from the Moominworld theme park in his home town, a hugely popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Recently, he has shared some of the photographs that he has taken over the past few years, as well as offering some insight into what it is like to be the official photographer of the Moomins.
Tauno first began photographing his home town of Naantali in 1999, publishing 36 different postcards with depictions of the area. This body of work led to an exhibition featuring some of his photographs, and it was there that he met Dennis Livson, the owner of Moominworld. “He asked me if I had any interest in starting to photograph the Moomins and offered me the copyright of Moominworld. Of course I said yes,” Tauno told Lonely Planet Travel News. Moominworld features a range of family-friendly activities all centred around the Moomins, a series of characters invented by comic illustrator Tove Jansson who are loved in Europe.
Tauno took his first pictures in the park in 2001, with the photographs going on to be printed on postcards. They proved to be an instant hit with the public, leading to exhibitions in New York, Copenhagen and Finland. The popularity of the photos grew over the years, and they began to be used for advertisements and other purposes.
Throughout the past 17 years, Tauno has published almost 100 different postcards. His favourite aspect of the work is the positive atmosphere that he gets to work in. “The philosophy of the Moomins is very friendly and family-centred and that’s why it has grown. Almost a quarter million visitors are meeting the Moomins yearly!” he said. More of Tauno’s work is available on his website.
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