Norwegian professional photographer Terje Rakke founded Nordic Life Photography in 2001 after Scandinavian advertising agencies had complained they had to plough through far too much irrelevant material. His mission was to offer them a library of images free of burgers and cowboys riding into the sunset. Read more about the Norwegian Image Library – Nordic Life.
Since the very beginning, Nordic Life has become a high-end photo agency with a state-of-the-art system based on English keywords.
Everything that surrounds us, from great landscapes down to the tiniest molecular level, had to be retrievable by entering a relevant keyword into an efficient and functional search system. So, the Nordic Life collection has a distinct fingerprint, a refined and subtle splash of color that distinguishes it from what is readily available elsewhere. It really is a pleasure for users to search the website and discover hidden treasures.
A unique identity
The people behind Nordic Life has struggled, challenged all sorts of weather, from rain and sleet to fog and snow, and cheered at the results. With passion and enthusiasm, the Nordic Life staff have travelled far and wide, growing with each step of an exciting journey. That journey has been taken from urban jungles to the outermost barren islands. Call it patriotism if you will. In a competitive market, Nordic Life insists on choosing quality, integrity and character over the commonplace, triviality and quantity.
Inspiration and creativity
A true professional photographer is always searching for creative solutions. A part of this is the search for magnificent locations and models with natural charisma. It can be a challenge to do this without being overwhelmed by anxiety. However, Nordic Life works closely with sophisticated image users who prefer illustrative photography over mass-produced imagery.
Today, Nordic Life offers 75 000 photographs that have been collected over the past 30 years. The priority has not been to be all-inclusive with regard to subject matter, but rather to offer a wide-ranging collection of creative, colorful photographs. In a way Nordic Life unites all of Norway at one website. The visual preferences and uncompromising focus on quality satisfy the strictest demands of international customers.
Values and identity
“Aesthetic preference is for the genuine and soulful over the superficial, commercial and cynical, which in our time are increasingly pervasive. Our heritage is a source of joy and inspiration. The active use and accessibility of our cultural heritage is vital so that our descendants may be able to enjoy it and draw nourishment from it,” says Terje Rakke and adds, “Each of us has a responsibility to preserve and perpetuate our shared cultural heritage. We must bear in mind the diversity of influences that form personal and national identity.”
The exciting visual recordings of the landscapes that surround us may capture their earthly beauty, but also raise fundamental questions about our perception of progress, development and values. Ideally the traces we leave behind should help a new generation build their faith in the future. In order to gain attention, the current photographs must capture light and render man and nature in a way that captivates audiences far beyond our own secluded outskirts of this world. The Nordic Life collection of photographs is created in order to promote Norway on the international arena and will continue to be an essential part of the profiling and international marketing of Norway as an outstanding destination.
Daily Scandinavian is proud of having Terje Rakke as part of our team. For over 20 years, many of his photographs have been available through the world’s foremost agencies American Getty Images and German Plainpicture, successfully competing with the work of the best photographers of our generation. The cooperation with leading international agencies allows Nordic Life to feel the pulse of market trends and to recognize what customers throughout the world want.
Formation of the land
Norway’s topography reflects the interplay of numerous natural forces, and the land we see today was sculpted during a process that took millions of years. The cycle between periods of tropical climate and periods of ice age has repeatedly remade the landscape. The vast ice cap that covered the land during this series of ice ages was a powerful tool for sculpting the land. Glacial erosion, and later river erosion, created the rugged coastline that Norway has today, with fjords and deep valleys, a myriad of islands, islets and skerries, towering peaks and steep mountainsides.
The ceaseless pounding of waves and the sporadic howling wind also played their part in the wear and tear. As the ice retreated, and the mountains and bedrock were broken down, the scattered debris was invaded by plants, first a few pioneering growths, and then a lushly varied flora that over time created the soil. This became a fertile habitat for animals and the humans that migrated north along the coast. About 18 000 years ago, the area we know as Norway was still completely covered by this vast ice mass, which was up to three kilometers thick. It was not much different from the ice cap that today covers Greenland and Antarctica. The most recent ice age lasted roughly 100 000 years; Norway first became free of ice about 8800 years ago.
Commitment to conservation is not aimed at moving heaven and earth, but rather focuses on the story that enables us to better understand our roots and origins. We are increasingly distancing ourselves from the conditions that are basic to all life. We must learn to listen to the stories that mountains, ice and water can tell us.
Finely tuned senses are required to perceive nature’s perfect harmony. Only by consciously being present can we see clearly what is needed to save our species. We finally seem to have accepted the theory of evolution, as well as the notion that human activity is changing our environment and the living conditions on our planet.
According to Norse mythology, Yggdrasil, the World Tree, reaches throughout all the world and across the heavens. Yggdrasil dates from the time Odin created the world, but that is so long ago that no one really can fathom how everything is interconnected. If this tree is healthy, then the world is healthy; if the tree is ill, then the world be ailing.
Professional photographer Terje Rakke has created a Norwegian image library, featuring top quality images of Norwegian nature, heritage, living, architecture and a lot of details. Travel images and destinations include photographs searchable on themes like people in leisure, sport and work, architecture and design, symbols and religion, transport, roads and traffic, beauty of decay, underwater and seascapes and many more.
Terje Rakke has been a photographer for over 30 years with 20 years of experience photographing nature, animals and details underwater as well as in high mountains.
Throughout these years Terje has built up an ever-expanding library consisting of more than 75,000 images carefully categorized into minute details, easy for professional publishers to search for. These are now being incorporated into Nordic Life which is constantly being updated with fresh images.
Terje has also participated in several public art decoration projects for hospitals, organizations, companies, airports and contributed at Norway’s pavilion with World Expo in Lisbon/ Portugal 1998, Shanghai/ China 2010, Yeosu/ South Korea 2012. He has performed audiovisual solo exhibitions with specially composed sound settings and music by Knut Halmrast.
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Feature image (on top): Skier, Tromsø
All photos copyright Nordic Life / Terje Rakke
The Norwegian Image Library – Nordic Life, written by Terje Rakke, edited by Tor Kjolberg