Interview with Kris, a photographer for National Geographic4 min read
Interview with Kris, a photographer for National Geographic4 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
Hi Kris, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your lifestyle?
Home is where the heart is, isn’t it? I was born in Sweden and immigrated to the United States as a 10 year old — to Texas of all places. As a child suddenly uprooted to a vastly different land I gained a deep appreciation for differing culture, and always felt that international boundaries are fluid suggestions for cultural containment. As a photo-based artist, it has been a deep honor to have a career that allows me to celebrate people and different cultures around the world.
What is your current destination?
With the global pandemic, I am staying put in San Francisco for the time being, working on writing projects and mixed-media collage work.
Can you tell us a bit about the projects you are currently working on? Are you currently looking for some new projects and clients?
In the last 5 years, I have reached a pivotal culmination, a meditation on a long term question: How does wonder evolve? In my twenties, it was wonder that largely defined my globe-trotting ways. I am still turning that question over in my mind, and probably always will, but it ushered in key shift in my work — my gaze has now turned fully to America, in a quest to explore what it is to become and be an American. I’m currently working on a project titled The American Imagination: A Survey of Myths, Tall Tales and Legends in the United States, which visualizes a wide variety American stories in 15 chapters, touching on all regions of the country. Stories incorporating surrealist elements often contain fragments of truth, holding history, fears and aspirations of a people. The fantastical allows for hyperbole in celebrating triumphs and also provides an analgesic effect in making sense of dark tragedies. Eventually this will become a book.
What do you like the most about being a Digital Nomad?
Truly feeling like a global citizen.
And what are the downsides of it (in case there are any)?
When I was working primarily as a travel photographer, the days were very long and intense — often up before 4am for the best light and up backing up images late into the night; it is funny, as travel images tend to depict everything as beautiful and ideal. Yet, even as deep travel IS work, I believe wholeheartedly that it is one of the things in life that makes one feel most alive, to be out there exploring and learning.
What is a place/country you liked the most while travelling and why? What’s on your to-travel-list?
Mexico has long held my heart and always will — such a beautifully layered ancient and mystical culture. I have been so fortunate to have worked there over the years.
How often do you use coworking spaces? Is there one that you’d like to recommend to other nomads?
Often! I frequently need an office on the road to check in with editors or source contacts. It’s a phenomenal thing, to be able to pop into one and get work done. And you never know who you might meet that can give you a good lead on a story.
Kris, what do you like the most about being a photographer?
Meeting people, having a glimpse into their lives and worldview for a while. It’s a great honor and joy.
Can you tell us what is your biggest dream?
I hope that some of my America focused work I am creating now will endure and provide insights about this time and place for those who come after us, so that may know us a bit better.
In case you have a motto, could you share it with us?
This is attributed to Ram Dass: “We are all just walking each other home.”
Could you share with us the names of two inspiring digital nomads that you are following?
Krista Rossow and Andrew Nelson, both Nat Geo colleagues.
Is there something that you would like to add?
Thank you for this interview 🙂
Written by: Kristina Lukacova, a DN that enjoys good food, good wine and good vibes. If you would like to know more about Kris, you can have a look at her Instagram or her latest project The American Imagination.