Local Voice: Katrin Zdragka, Photographer
In our series Local Voices, we’ll be introducing you to locals and some of their favourite things to do in Stockholm.
Meet Katrin Zdragka. She was born and raised in sunny Greece full of “images, experiences and colourful traditions.” Before becoming a photographer, she studied communications and worked in the Greek music industry for over eight years.
I have always been ‘‘the kid looking out of the window”, a daydreamer, a book lover, a story teller, a happy creature. Moving to Sweden, I try to capture the breathtaking landscapes in this new world. I love nature and animals, and I mostly get inspired by everything that has a story to tell.
So we caught up with Katrin to take us through her world in Stockholm.
How did you end up in Stockholm or what drew you to Stockholm?
It was a pure luck. I had a huge drama in my life between 2011-2012 and a friend of mine who lives in Malmö dragged me there for vacation. Then I visited another friend in Stockholm, and I got stunned. The jewel of the Nordics. I was speechless.
I returned to Greece and after one year I visited Stockholm again, having with me just hand baggage and a return ticket which I never used. I stayed for good. Day by day I discover something new, something artistic or elegant or scientific or technological that makes me admire and love this city even more.
What makes me love Stockholm the most, is the combination of the stunning landscape and the nature with urban life.
Tell us more about your work and your style as a photographer
I love capturing moments and I think what inspires me most, except from beauty and balance, is feelings. When I see an elder couple holding hands, for example, is a very sweet moment that I would like to shoot. I take pictures of anything that makes me feel ‘’something’’. A red leaf covered path in autumn, a yellow bike near the water, a shadow figure in the night walking on the snow, anything that has a story to narrate. My photos are visual story telling.
What are some of your current projects that you’re working on and what’s coming up next for you?
A project I am working at the moment is “Seasons through my Window’’ and it is what the title says, photos of my bedroom’s window. I have taken several pictures through my window, blue sky summer days, green background spring days, totally white winter days, some birds I was feeding when the weather was really bad, some flowers and pots I used to have on it, cloudy with a chance of sunshine days, fairy light decoration, balloon decorated for my birthday, Northern Lights above me, tea drinking mugs and teapots, a fluffy cat on the neighbour’s balcony etc. I am trying to gather and process the best and the most representing of them.
Another project I am planning to work on is something that I haven’t decide its name yet, as it is about a strong friendship that has been born and raised here in Stockholm. I am collecting moments, places and poses of my life with my new best friend.
And I want to narrate our story via my photos: first it was tough and lonely for both of us, then we met and hung out a bit, and then boom, we moved in together and started having fun, discovering new places and having the time of our lives.
It was something unexpected and yet so blissful that transformed us and helped us not to give up. So I would like to gather our most remarkable moments and make a section on my website about it.
What places in Stockholm inspire your work as a photographer?
One of my favorite places is Skogskyrkogården, a gothic cemetery (UNESCO cultural heritage site). The area is amazing, full of trees and hills and beauty, and especially in autumn the place is magical with all those hues and shades of colors on the tree leaves. Best time to visit? on Alla helgons dag, end of October through November 1. Candles and fires everywhere, celebrating the memory of the dead. A spectacular must-see tradition.
I also love Liljeholmskajen, mostly at night with all those lights reflecting in the water whilst the train is crossing the bridge with all its lights open..reminds me of a movie scene, makes me dream.
A big inspiration is Gamla Stan as well, with all its colorful old buildings and the picturesque paths between them. Favourite period for shooting there is the spring, because everyone decorates their places/cafes/streets with amazingly beautiful flowers and they make a fantastic contrast, the old and the new, the dry and the fresh, the dark and the colorful. Or, Christmas. The scenery is more than magical.
Of course Slussen , Södermalmstorg, with the sea and the islands and Götgatan, non stop inspiration with all the amount of people moving around. On Katarinahissen, the view is breathtaking and the best moment to visit and take photos is the sunset.
On Södermalm, the air is different and it makes you feel like you are somewhere else. Lots of people with an artistic orientation, music comes from a hidden basement record store, second hand stores all over the place, cute corners and places for food or/and drink, and fika of course.
This is the heart of Stockholm beating to its own rythm and some of these places are really worth photographing. They have character and personality.
What are three of your personal favourite things to do in Stockholm?
Visiting museums when entrance is free, I am now visiting a couple of them every weekend. I get lost in the magic and then I sleep happy.
Exploring Stockholm by bus and T-Bana, by boat and of course, walking. I love discovering places I haven’t already been so far. The tour includes – of course – taking photos, writing in my notebook and good fika at a cute local café.
Do you know any local voices you’d love us to spotlight or would you love to share your voice and your Stockholm with us? Please get in touch.