Michael Matti comes from Finnish heritage, so it has long been on the young photographer and filmmaker’s bucket list to visit Finland. This year, Matti got the chance to visit the land he had always dreamed of seeing with his own eyes. I asked Matti when the experience of a lifetime really hit him.
The fact that is where my bloodline traces back to really sunk in when we were walking through the cemetery in the small town of Turtola, where my family has had a farm since 1770. Seeing my last name on a number of tombstone really made me realize that this wasn’t a dream, and I was actually standing in my family’s homeland.
Perhaps even more meaningful to Matti was the fact that he was able to experience his ancestry with his family.
My father, sister and brother in law were with me on the trip to Finland. This was all of our first times visiting our historic homeland. We stayed with one of my dad’s third cousins and his family in Turku and then also stayed with another one of his third cousins and family in Turtola, at a beautiful farm. Being able to share this experience with some of my immediate family was such a blessing. Particularly sharing it with my dad. His side of the family has always been proud of their Finnish heritage, so watching his eyes light up with every experience was great. We can now better appreciate our past together and reminisce about the adventure we had.
In addition to years of experience capturing travel tales through his DLSR lens, Matti has recently become one of the more interesting aerial visual artists, as evident in this amazing film from Bali. His DJI Phantom 3 Professional produced photos and video are always beautiful and clean and invoke a sense of wander among his fans. I asked him, with all of the beauty on the ground in Finland, what inspired him to capture it from up high?
Finland is indeed quite photogenic. I think what drew me to make the aerial video was the perspective that shooting it from above provided. Finland is home to 188,880 lakes I believe and forests that seem to go on forever so the drone was the only way to really get a sense of how expansive he landscape was. I think having a connection to Finland through my heritage also made me want to capture the country in a video like this. I figured all my Matti relatives in the US would appreciate seeing it.
Matti was kind enough to provide Resource Travel some aerial photos from his adventure in Finland.