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The Shapes of Outer Stockholm


If you really wanted to, you could practically live through every season vicariously with the help of Stockholm-born and -based photographer and textile designer Sandra Linnell’s Instagram feed. With an eye for natural patterns and unique shapes, Linnell captures the seasons as they play out beyond the city walls with a particularly graphic take. As much as we appreciate the hard lines and bright lights of cityscapes, there’s something to be said for stepping beyond our urban boundaries and into the countryside. Here, we talk to Linnell about Swedish light, the Baltic Sea, and Stockholm must-sees for anyone traveling through.

Describe Stockholm in three words:

Diverse, rooted, open

What inspires you as a photographer?

My surroundings get me going very easily. I shoot basically anything that catches my attention, which means I’m taking photos all the time--not always so fun for the people around me. I’m also inspired by the great photographers/photographs I see on Instagram daily.

What's the best thing about the Swedish countryside?

Difficult to say. Even though my city is Stockholm, I still live in the countryside, close to fields, meadows, horses and sheep. I love the fact that I can be so close to the city and still in the countryside. I also live close to the Baltic Sea and water always attracts my attention. I’m a sucker for reflections but water in any forms is fascinating.

How would you describe Swedish nature?

I think the most special thing about Swedish nature is the light. Midsummer is almost light 24 hours and midwinter is the opposite (except in northern parts of Sweden where you can take away the word ”almost”)

Are the seasons hard there?

I love the facts that there are "real" seasons and I wouldn’t say it’s hard. But I think it’s dark for a longer period than I would prefer.

What’s the most interesting thing about Sweden?

Even though Sweden is pretty small it is so long and diverse. Two times a year it is not too uncommon that there are three meteorological seasons at the same time: summer/autumn/winter or summer/spring/winter.

Worst thing about Sweden?

Too dark for too long during winter. If I could I would remove November.

If someone was traveling to your country, what three places must they go visit?

Stockholm and Utö, an island situated in the archipelago of Stockholm. The capital city has a lot of historical gems and nature and you can catch a ferry to Utö which is a really favorite place of mine. When you’re in Utö Harbour, make sure to buy a postcard (my latest project was shooting postcards for them).

Härjedalen: Nature there is absolutely breathtaking, especially during autumn and winter.

Jokkasjärvi: Go in summertime and experience midnight sun or go during winter with the Northern Lights and the Ice Hotel (completely made out of ice and a new hotel is made every year).

Photos courtesy of @sannalinn via Instagram.