Martina has a great passion for travel photography. With her Instagram account, kitkat_ch, she has become internationally well-known. SELFNATION met her in her native country in Latsch in the Grisons for a personal conversation and got to know her better.
What is your personal attitude to life?
For me, it is important to arrange my life in such a way that every day and especially my work is a source of joy, so that I can enjoy my life not only periodically. I don’t want to go to an office every day and wait until the weekend is over or I can go on holiday.
How did you find your passion for travel photography?
Once you start doing that, it becomes an obsession. I did it once and then went out again and again. I think travelling is one of those things: if you never try it, you probably don’t have the need for it either.
Is it sometimes stressful or is it easy for you to travel long distances?
Especially when I drive away on my own (Martina has two great old cars: a Fiat 500 and a VW bus), it’s always a challenge, it’s a lot of planning and organisation behind it. But as soon as I set off, it’s the best feeling ever. I love the feeling of freedom. It is a great enrichment for me to get to know other countries and cultures.
How do you choose the journey?
I choose the countries or my routes in such a way that I avoid mass tourism, I don’t like all-inclusive hotels. Instead, I prefer to spend my time in small hotels with a connection to local specialities and culture.
In your job as an influencer you will surely get many requests for paid collaborations. Which criteria are important to you?
I’ll take a good look at who’s asking for me. At SELFNATION, for example, I found it very nice and convincing that the trousers are made in Switzerland. A product must fit me. I eat vegan food, traveling vegetarian, so I make sure that the products are as vegan as possible. I don’t support leather items unless it’s second-hand goods. If something doesn’t fit, I don’t collaborate.
What criteria are important to you when shopping for clothes?
I rarely buy new clothes. I’m still wearing pieces I bought ten years ago. I don’t buy wool products, both out of respect for animals. When organic cotton products are available, I choose them.
TOKYO KNIGHT jeans in high waist, made of sustainably produced, Italian denim
What do you like most about your SELFNATION jeans?
I am enthusiastic about it! The fit and sustainable philosophy of SELFNATION convince me, also the production in Switzerland, the Italian fabrics and the focus on quality. That’s why I immediately recommended you to my mother.
Is there a geographical place you consider your home? Or is home for you a feeling that you always share with yourself?
Graubünden. I also came home at the time when I was still living in Zurich (five months ago) every weekend. Even when I am travelling, I always like to come back home.
To what extent have your education and your profession as an illustrator influenced your photographic skills?
These certainly have an influence on my pictures. Illustrating, as with photography, you have to look very strongly at the composition. Although details can be captured during the drawing process that are barely visible on the photograph. Anatomical drawings are a good example of this. One could simply take pictures of the excerpts to be depicted, but then one would only see blood. The same goes for illustrations of plants, from flowering to bud, everything is drawn. Details that are not perceived in a photograph.
How much work do you do?
It always depends on it, it can take a few hours for me to get everything on stage. With landscape photography it’s different, a specific moment is beautiful, you have to capture it immediately, otherwise it’s over.
Would you sometimes wish for a different (longer-lasting) platform than Instagram?
Yes and no. I’m already working with a more durable platform. I also organise exhibitions from time to time. Both platforms are great, one does not exclude the other.
You practically became known overnight. Did that surprise you?
Yeah, it wasn’t strategically planned at all. Since this year, I have been able to start living with paid jobs from my label. I’ll see what happens next. I’m definitely looking forward to it and have lots of ideas for the future.