Lithuanian-born Katya Katkova’s carefully curated Instagram account @eastlondonmornings attracts nearly 70,000 followers and her passion for her adopted corner of the capital cannot be doubted. No wonder she’s become such an Instagram sensation. Her stunning images not only capture the area’s very essence, they’ve even helped shape it. We spoke to Katya about her love of photography and East London.
When did you first pick up a camera?
My dad is a photographer, so I was surrounded by cameras since I was born. Still remember that analog camera shutter sound!
Did you study photography?
I tried to escape creative route and went to study marketing. Very soon realised that the creative part of the world is much more interesting and turned to the visual blogging.
When did you realise you wanted to make a career out of taking pictures?
I never intended to make a career out of it. It happened and still happening somehow itself. Although I still didn’t give up on the attempts to have a proper job in marketing…
Who’s been your biggest influences?
My dad. I spent a lot of time in the dark room as a kid (mostly to escape going to the nursery). All the analog processes still fascinate me very much!
How has your style developed and evolved over the years?
It changes with every next iPhone on the market. Starting from grainy polaroid looking images over the years it developed into clean lifestyle pictures.
Is there an aesthetic that runs through all of your work?
I suppose I try to keep warm soft colour palette. Can’t really ignore the latest Instagram trends like “flowerising” and “pinkification” image of London but really try to avoid it.
How did you end up in East London?
Hackney was the first place I got to from the Heathrow airport upon arrival to London ten years ago and fell in love with it literally on the first day.
What effect has the area had on your work?
It all started only because of the area. Being amazed by the vibe of the hidden gems at the time, I wanted to capture this feeling. I took a camera into my hands and started to upload pictures online.
You come across as being quite passionate about the area, can you explain why?
I love being a part of the change. I saw the area ten years ago and it’s nothing like nowadays Broadway Market, London Fields, Dalston. I know I was a part of this change and feel like current Hackney vibe is my baby in a way.
Are there any projects coming up that you can tell us about?
I am one of those who has ten projects in mind at the same time. Some of them are on the way and some are just shaping up. I would love to share all the ideas but as experience shows, it’s better to stay silent until they actually released.
What do you consider to be your biggest success to date?
It’s certainly the ability to quit my job and become a full-time blogger. Couldn’t dream about this even a year ago!