Adventure Time

India Hobson and Magnus Edmondson of Haarkon share the story of how their collaborative venture came about, and why they turned a shared love of travel and photography into a beautifully art directed and nature-filled online visual journal... 

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Kovac Family x Haarkon

Describe for us what Haarkon does…
We share photos and words about our life and travels through our blog and Instagram.  

What’s the story behind Haarkon and why did you decide to start working together?
Travelling a lot for work meant we found ourselves in different parts of the country/world, we would always come home with loads of pictures and they usually used to just sit in albums on our bookcase or tucked away on hard drives. At the end of 2015 we decided to start our website, haarkon.co.uk, to share our pictures and stories with whoever wanted to see them. It has just kind of grown from there.

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University of Oxford Botanic Garden

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University of Oxford Botanic Garden

What were you both working on before Haarkon?
India has always been a photographer; she makes portraits and photo essays for editorial clients like T Magazine, Kinfolk and The Telegraph supplements. In the early days of Haarkon, Magnus was working as a studio manager for a product design consultancy—they were very flexible and gave him the opportunity to work on building the Haarkon brand as and when needed.

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Overgrown Greenhouse

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Overgrown Greenhouse

Tell us about the different kinds of project you work on with your clients…
This is very varied; all kinds of opportunities have arisen over the past couple of years and we're really grateful for them, especially when we get to travel. We have worked on social campaigns for huge names that we could only have dreamed of working with, created photo stories for magazines, websites and brands and visited countries as guests of their tourist boards. In addition to this, we put a great deal of time into creating our own content for Haarkon.co.uk. We only ever work with brands and agencies that we feel we're right for and don't mind saying 'no' if it doesn't sit right.

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Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha

How did you go about building your audience?
We never really intended to build an audience and everything has happened organically—all we have done is consistently share photos and stories that we like through Instagram and our blog. We have reacted to what our audience likes whilst also throwing curve balls into our content every so often to test the water. We like to think that we have similar tastes to our audience and that they might take an interest in the other things in our life which we like. It's a case of just showing what we like and not trying to second-guess what other people want to see; that way if people don't like us they can choose not to follow and we potentially end up with a smaller following but one that appreciates that we have a variety of interests.

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Overgrown Greenhouse

How important has Instagram been for Haarkon as a promotional tool?
It's a great way of building a community—without the support from our friends on Instagram we might not have been confident enough to share as much as we do about what we get up to. Instagram is also a great way of testing new ideas and concepts for our website, we can get instant feedback on the types of content our audience really likes and they can give us reactions instantly. We've also been able to put faces to names and meet people in real life which really makes it more than just an app for us.

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Big Sur California

What’s the most challenging aspect of what you do?
Turning down a project which we really want to work on because we have to take on a job to pay the bills...

And what’s the most rewarding?
Being able to work together.

Why do you think that the subject matter you explore through your work and your travels has struck such a chord with people?
This is a question which seems to be asked a lot, and the answer to us is as yet unclear; we have always just visited and shared the places we like, so we never intended to have such a botanical focus. Over the years our taste may change with fashion and trends, but we'll always stay true to what we genuinely like and share those moments and places. We hope to attract people who share the same values as us. We like architecture, interiors and nature, and especially like when they crossover, but sometimes our subject is one or the other and that's okay with us too!

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RHS Chelsea 2017

What would be your dream project?
This is a difficult one, I guess we wouldn't really know until we've completed it. Sometimes it's the unexpected assignments which surprise us and make us really happy. At the moment we love travelling to see new places so anything with an element of travel ticks a major box for us right now.

What’s been your favourite Haarkon trip so far
Visiting Singapore for 24 hours was incredible, it's a place which had intrigued us for a long time and it also happened to be our first experience of Asia together. Another love was Costa Rica—that was incredible for so many reasons; the wildlife, the rainforests and the food are all highlights for us.

haarkon.co.uk

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Bentley Hagen Hall Interior