With some of the most gorgeous macro photography and inventive Mextures edits, Kristina Karlsson (@krissyk2001) is certainly one of our favorites! We love the way she utilizes Mextures to create depth with texture and coloration that enhances every pixel. Read all about her life, her process and her inspirations below!
My name is Kristina Karlsson. At the moment I live in Stockholm Sweden with my husband and two teenage kids. I was born in Finland and grew up on a small Island between the two countries called Åland.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL?
High school … that was ages ago. Hard to remember that time.
But I never did like the school, just dreaming of leaving the Island to see the rest of the world. You can imagine, stuck on an island with about 25,000 people and nothing to do really.
If you were young and dreamed to see the world at that time, when there was no internet, you had to discover the world manually, all by yourself.
The funny thing is that I now appreciate the quiet nature just around the corner.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
I still don’t know. It seems that my whole life I've been searching for something. At school I just wanted a quick education so I could get a job and save some money in order to travel around, exploring different cultures. So I did, I became an assistant nurse and could always get a job in order to save money for my next trip. That was all I had in my mind.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD?
Every morning I just have to start with the same breakfast. Yoghurt with muesli, topping with fresh berries depending on the season - strawberries are the best.
I worked as an au pair in Oakland (California) a long time ago and they were fascinated over me, having exactly the same breakfast every morning.
If I am home all alone, I could have the same dinner too …
WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?
It must be an Eagle, a White-tailed eagle - so I can see the world … and be on top of the food chain.
WHAT TWO CELEBRITIES WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE YOUR PARENTS?
Davit Attenborough and Margaret Thatcher.
David for his never-ending curiosity and willingness to learn new things from all over the world.
Margaret for her determination, self-esteem and to do what, she thought, had to be done.
A nice mix of those characteristics would be nice to have.
IF YOU COULD INVENT A HOLIDAY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
"Celebrate Nature Day". We should pay attention to our environment a little better. If we all could get a day off and really do something good. It could be for example, to pick up trash in your neighborhood, plant a tree, collect plastic at the beaches...
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN'T LEARN FROM YOUR INSTAGRAM?
A few random things about me. I have competed in athletics. I have been diving with sharks. I have a phobia for snakes. I love running in the rain. I love food but I'm really bad at cooking.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO INSTAGRAM?
I think it all started when the new photography museum in Stockholm opened. I was so impressed with the photos and the different types of photo art. So I bought a brand new Nikon D90 with a 28-200mm zoom, it was my husband who convinced me that I should get one.
I like the editing process and tried to learn more about editing in Photoshop but it didn't really come out as well as I wanted it to and took too long.
It´s just recently, when the kids got bigger, that I got the time to try to learn and discover the endless process of creating and developing my own style. There is so much to learn. For me, photography is more about colors and emotions. It's my way of painting. I see nature in a new dimension now.
It really took off when I found the Mextures app, all of a sudden I could do so much without needing a computer in order to be creative. After a long walk, with many photos taken, I can now sit down at a café, bus stop or wherever you need to kill some time and start editing photos.
HAS SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCED YOUR WORK AT ALL?
Yes, a lot. I was kind of a late adopter when it comes to social media. It was a work colleague who introduced me to Instagram. I thought the whole idea was cool but I wasn´t that into it until I stumbled upon some accounts that opened up my eyes.
I still remember seeing lovelydeadcrap and moody_nature and thinking "wow - so, that's what it's all about!!"
I Started using Instagram in a whole different way, I started to follow people I didn´t know but who took beautiful pictures. Instagram is such a great place for inspiration from all talented people that share their work. It's also fun to see sights from other countries and how the nature changes by season all around the globe.
IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU TRY TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR WORK?
In a way, yes. For me it´s about finding the right mood in the image that I think is beautiful.
I love the process of creating different emotions that reflects my mind.
It can be the feeling I see within the image or capture the atmosphere of nature around when I took the picture, or just the colors that touched me.
It's fun shoot and edit.
I love the process of capturing a feeling and to be creative in order to let my own feelings be shown.
Of course, the response from other Instagram users matters, it gives you a kick to continue.
HOW DO YOU GENERALLY APPROACH YOUR EDITING PROCESS?
After taking pictures, I transfer them directly to my iPhone and do all my editing there.
I have Snapseed, VSCO and Mextures. First I usually do some basic editing in Snapseed like contrast, exposure, shadows, curves etc. Sometimes I start with VSCO.
Then I open Mextures. To get some inspiration I usually go through some guest formulas that usually work for me or through my own saved formulas. Now the real process starts.
I start by adding or removing layers, there are so many textures to use in order to obtain the right feeling.
When I'm happy with the layers, I move on to Film adjustments. My favorite is the UV, Lomography and Fade. During the editing process I do save the images every now and then and then continue to edit.
In the end, I usually ends up with up to 10 different version of the same original image.
Unfortunately I do not save all of the formulas used during my editing process.
I always have the ambition to do that but end up not following through. I have to work on that part in order to be more effective in my editing process.
Then I choose one of my saved pictures, maybe I go back once more to Snapseed and to do some last minute changes to contrast or saturation. Sometimes I find myself in a quite chaotic editing process where I go back and forth between Snapseed and Mextures and end up with a satisfied result without knowing how I did it.
WOULD YOU SHARE TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE FORMULAS WITH US?
WSSEHRP, “mystic” – This is a formula I use when I want a deeper, darker forest look.
WYXCRKN, “Hei” – A formula that gives me the moody/dreamy look and it works especially well on photos with a green background.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT MEXTURES THAT MAKES IT A VITAL PART OF YOUR EDITING PROCESS?
Everything. I always use Mextures when I edit my photos. It's very user-friendly and I can edit photos at any time wherever I am. I can change the mood, tones, colors, texture according to my current state of mind. There are so many possibilities, so many filters and options to change a photo to something completely different or just tweak a bit.
I also like that you can take advantage of many talented artists when they share their own unique formulas and get inspired by how they use Mextures and slowly build up my own experience bit by bit.
PICK TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE PIECES. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THESE TWO THAT MAKE THEM STAND OUT?
Blue Poppies: This picture makes me smile, it makes me think of the typical family selfie with the parents in the front and the kids at the back with their lovely haircuts.
The yellow flower: I have framed this picture because it gets me smiling. Looks like an old flower with a rough life saying, “Hello beautiful, I'm old but still gorgeous!"
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE?
The nature inspires me, there is beauty in everything. Watching all details in flowers, leaves, trees, the way they grow or just how they look.
The seasons inspire me, although I have to say it is easier in summertime. I also get inspired from all talented people from Instagram.
Photographing is my way of being creative, its fun.
IF YOU COULD TAKE CREDIT FOR ONE INSTAGRAM FEED, WHOSE WOULD IT BE?
It was very tough to choose just one out of so many I admire.
I have to go with @ginasbilder – I think that her feed is just amazing, her pictures are both melancholic and light at the same time.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MOST INSPIRED YOUR CREATIVITY?
There are so many people from Instagram that have inspired me so I can't really name them all. I don't really have a mentor in that sense but my biggest supporter is definitely my son. He's truly interested in photography and takes his time in giving me very honest feedback, constructive critic and good advice.
See more of Kristina's work here!