Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Get to Know Photographer Extraordinaire Hanna Kristina

At only 22, British photographer Hanna Kristina has already produced an enviable body of work that has been featured in publications such as Pony Anarchy and Acne Magazine. Hanna treats her subjects with a thoughtfulness and respect that allows their personality and character to genuinely shine. With her final university project - a phenomenal zine, Girls -, she addressed the tendency for models to be treated as mere objects. Unlike so many photographers, she gives these young girls a voice and provides a forum for them to express their individuality. She explains of this project, "I wanted to capture aspects of their character, whether they are shy, crazy, reserved, or loud." Hanna's sincere ability to connect with her subjects is evident in her editorials and commissions, and translates into a truly beautiful relationship between artist and muse. We talked with Hanna about her post-grad plans, what she's reading, and her knack for putting her subjects at ease.

First of all, congratulations on your graduation! It must be a scary and exciting time, embarking on your post-grad career. Any immediate plans, or do you need a long vacation from work?

Thank you so much! I am very excited to have finished with education, but the reality of finding a job is starting to hit me! I am about to finish interning at a photography agency in London where I have learnt a lot in terms of behind the scenes of photo shoots and working within an agency which has been great to experience. Alongside that I have carried on freelancing here and there on my weekends for various designers and companies. I have been applying for jobs and more internships so I will just have to see what happens at the moment!

It seems like from your blog and profile that you gained a lot from studying photography in a formal setting. Any advice for artists wondering whether or not they should take the time and money to school?

This is a question that I have been asked quite a lot since graduating from aspiring creatives so I decided to write a post about it on my blog (www.hannakristinablog.co.uk) But to sum up my thoughts; you can become a successful photographer with or without education if you have ambition, drive and believe in yourself. For me personally it gave me three years to really define a style and I got this time to build up a strong portfolio which now results in me getting clients. Ultimately do what you feel is best for you.

In an article with The Le Sigh you said, "To me beauty is in the kindness in people's hearts, and quirky imperfections." We couldn't agree more, and we recommend everyone to check out your zine Girls, because you sincerely capture the personality behind the models. They are not just pretty faces, but unique girls in the way you portray them. How do you connect so well with your subjects?

Thank you for such kind words, it really means a lot! I like to get the model to feel at ease so I like to talk to them before shooting to get to know their character a little as tis is something I like to incorporate into my work. At the end of the day these girls are just normal people who have other interests and passions as well as working as a model which is overlooked far too much.

What do you feel is the most rewarding part of photographing?

There are so many things, but seeing your ideas come to life with the help of a talented team is just so great. The feeling of going home with hundreds of beautiful images you imagined before shooting makes me very very happy.

What are your top 5 go-to blogs or magazines?

I adore Lula magazine for the feminine content and Oh Comely magazine for the design of the magazine and creative content. Rookie magazine's website is amazing for all things feminine and quirky and the scrapbook design of the Rookie Yearbook was adorable. For photographic and fashion inspiration I go to Fashion Gone Rouge, and upcoming online magazine Kit magazine who I recently shot for is definitely something to keep your eye on!

Who are some of your favorite artists? (Photographers, Writers, Musicians..)?

Many many photographers for all sorts of different reasons. Inspirational artists such as Sally Mann for her beautiful portraits of her children, and Tim Walker just for his imagination turned into photographs (I wrote my university dissertation on him!) Young photographers such as Nirrimi for her candid/caught-in-the-moment style, and Julia Trotti for the ways she captures her models and her post-processing.

I saw Florence Welch on my birthday in London and fell more deeply in love then I already was with her voice, she was an amazing performer and you can't fault her vocals and songs.

Writers I honestly can't choose; I am a bit of a bookworm and choose my reads carefully and I fall in love with most things I read!

Any exciting projects coming up?

Well I am carrying on freelancing with a number of different fashion clients and continuously shooting for publications. I am also planning on creating another zine similar to 'Girls' which I made for my FMP at university so watch this space...

You can see more of Hanna's work here and view her fantastic blog here.