The photographer’s surname is Seppala. Is that a common name in Finland? The first of what were later called Siberian Huskies were brought to Alaska by Leonhard Seppala, who was quite successful in sled-dog racing with them.
When Finns were mandated by the Swedish rule to adopt a surname, many took a Swedish name. When the Russians too over the territory, Finns were allowed a bit more nationalism than under Swedish rule– such as their own parliament. During first decade of 1900s, Finns started changing their Swedish surnames to Finnish surnames: often after the place they are from or the profession which was passed down from generation to generation. Those who took the profession of being a blacksmith often took the name Seppälä.
Leonhard’s only connection was that he was a Kven.