Hanna Ukura

Edited by Odeta Catana, photography editor

Photos of Hanna Ukura


©Hanna Ukura 8

Could you please tell us a little more about yourself.
Where do you live?

I currently work as a freelance photographer here in Stockholm but my main goal is to travel as much as I can, leave Sweden, maybe live in a car? and perhaps move back to London where I used to live for a while.

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How did you start taking pictures? Usually there is always the old story of the boy who finds his grandfather’s camera, did that happen to you as well or not?

That’s kinda true actually (horribly boring story). But I would never even have thought about photography if my father hadn’t been taking photos of us and every trip we took as a family and then showing them on a slide projector in the evenings. I found his old albums with black and white photos from when he worked at sea and the motorcycle trips he used to go on. So I got a camera of my own, cause I wanted to see the world in the same way.
But that’s just a childhood fairy tale really. I first started thinking about photography in a way of living when I went to London College of Communication to study photography. And then it grew to a must when I attended Fotoskolan STHLM (Stockholm Photography School).

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Where does your inspiration comes from?

My inspiration spans from everything from what I pick up travelling, to what I see in the art world, to literature, to other photographers, to science, to just talking to other people. There’s nothing, or no one, you can’t draw inspiration from.
At the moment it’s everything from beat writers, spiritualism, experimental music, Wollfgang Tillmans way of approaching the world, facts about the universe, the longing to travel again, to Alec Soth’s enterprisingness, to Surrealism.

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In a portrait, what is important for you?

I tend to look for the odd in people. What separates us as humans. The small or big difference that makes every individual to an unique person, different from the one you last observed.
But I also have a thing for eyes. The gaze is very important to me and the more confused I get about someones eyes the more interested I get. And androgyny is always fun.

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What kind of relationship do you have with your subject when you shoot?

It differs. It can be anything from a random person I stopped in a club or on the street, to a friend, or someone I’m seeing. Or sometimes it’s just models. But more often it’s non-models. I like the fact that there’s so many people out in the world that I would love to photograph. If you just keep moving you see them all the time everywhere.

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Do you think it’s important to follow a school to learn how to shoot?

No, not really. But, with that said, I myself prefer to know the “right” way and the “rules” first to be able to use them or break them as I see fit.

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What’s the photo you want to take and you never did?

As a lot of my photos are about people and me looking at people and maybe even figuring out myself through looking at the people around me – I sometimes wish I had taken more portraits of some people before they disappeared from my life. But that’s a thing I’ve learned so now everyone has to put up with me taking photos of them all the time.

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What’s your photo-mission?

To be able to live on it. To be able to do what I love every day, all day. And to be able to do it the way I like it. I’m not going to say that it would be a dream come true. It is going to be a dream come true. It’s my only goal in life.

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