Paltamo is a small municipality in Kainuu region. I spend a few days there in June 2013 interviewing and photographing people who had participated in a unique employment project for unemployed people.

Noste magazine wanted to tell their personal experiences on different aspects of the project.

Finding suitable people beforehand was challenging. Paltamo had been in the news in recent years so much that many residents were fed up with media. After tons of phone calls and emails I had managed to schedule enough interview-photo sessions.

I met my interviewees at their workplace (if they had one) or at home. I wanted the setting to tell something about the person, and a familiar place was perfect for an intimate interview.

First I asked questions for about 45 minutes, then set up tripods and lights and took the portrait. Some of the people were a bit reluctant with either interview or photos, but after talking with them for a while they began to trust me and opened up. They told me about their work history, bitterness and gratitude towards the project, and even about illnesses or alcohol problems.

Read the story (PDF opens in new window)