“Love our comfy wide sofa and this is my favourite corner to cozy up,
in front of a movie or read a magazine. It is also a perfect spot
to look out our big window, see the rooftops and the sky!”
“I almost always just follow my heart, ideas, instincts,” says Swedish photographer Ulrika Nihlén. “I am not a very competitive person at all. As long as I am happy, as well as those around me, I am satisfied.” So when she set up a family portraiture photography business, The Kiddo Collective, after discussing the idea with stylist My Matson when they were both on paternity leave, it was borne from wanting to create a new type of imagery. There’s a playfulness in their photos, while always allowing the children to take centre stage. While Ulrika was born and raised in Sweden, she studied photography in Paris after finishing school. For the past nine years she’s been living in Stockholm, working as a photographer with the occasional stints at teaching art. She loves working in the darkroom and using her Hasselblad when she can. “I cannot really say how I ended up here,” she says. “It’s been a bumpy, hard but fun road. Sometimes I look at [her son] B and I’m like, oh yeah right, I am a mum.”
1 As a child I used to wear… In the summer, biking shorts in different patterns. And last summer, 20 years later, I bought a pair for myself again. Black though!
2 My bedroom was… pretty messy. Filled with papers and pencils everywhere and the walls covered with paintings and drawings. When I got a little bit older David Beckham joined them on the wall.
3 When I was a teenager I used to… go on my motorbike to the stable every day after school. I used to horseback ride every day. It was a thoroughbred horse and a totally crazy one, it is a wonder I am still alive. Though I was so much braver as a kid. At weekends me and my friends went out dancing in a pair of buffalo shoes and a very short skirt.
4 After high school I wanted to be… an architect. However, I did not succeed with the last procedure in the test and I only did the test once. Thereafter, I fell in love with the camera but still I am dreaming of unfinished buildings in my head sometimes.
5 A seminal moment was… when B had his first big laugh. That must be the best thing for everyone becoming a parent. You feel like you’ve won the Nobel prize or something.
6 I never thought I would… have a nine-to-five job. Which I’ve never had (so far).
7 I’ve learnt to… use Instagram. Late adopter, haha. I didn’t feel it was necessary at all but my friends pushed me so hard I felt like it was worth trying.
8 I know… a lot of smart people and a lot of unnecessary stuff about old cameras and darkroom techniques.
9 I share because… I love open-minded people. I just started my own IG because I never thought I would meet so many nice people. So many people say that this obsession with Ipads and smartphones will make us introverts. I now realise that it could become the opposite. People share and care so much out in the virtual world, it is amazing.
10 If I had an unexpected morning to myself I would… probably call somebody to join me; I do not like to eat breakfast alone!
image courtesy of ulrika nihlén