I think it was about a year ago I met Nana Hagel for the first time. I had been admiring her Instagram account for a while and followed her internship at Sunday Suppers in New York. I invited her for a cup of coffee at Mirabelle (together with someone else, I cannot remember). Mirabelle was one of the most Instagramed coffee places in Copenhagen at the time – so I thought, it had to be perfect. We talked for about an hour or so. Ever since we have shared many great coffees, laughs and dinners together. I caught up with Nana for yet another cup of coffee, asking her about Instagram of course, her favourite places in Copenhagen and her life in general. If you don’t follow her already, I strongly recommend starting @nana.ha
Tell in short, who is Nana Hagel?
I’m 27, living in Copenhagen with my boyfriend Esben, working hard on finishing my university studies at the moment and also finding some time to do freelance work in the fields of food and travel writing and different campaigns involving photography. That’s it, in short!
How would you describe your Instagram DNA?
My friends all say it’s very clean, very white and very simple. I am pretty sure what some of them mean is ‘boring’. A view I can totally understand. For me, it’s just my style, my way of seeing things. I am not drawn to a scene with a lot of things going on, but more fascinated by the quietness in the simple scenes. However, I do feel it’s evolving – and like all Instagramers, I go through different phases. A while back, my feed was indeed very white. Now there are more colours involved, but still, I try to keep it simple. I don’t always feel I succeed, but that’s OK. When I started getting a lot of followers, I feel obliged to upload a photo every day and to keep my feed very clean. But it’s not fun when you stress about it like that, and now, I do it in my own time. Quite often, I don’t have anything to upload for several days, and that’s OK. Honestly, I do enjoy those small Insta-breaks.. But I also love it when I have something to share and when I feel inspired. That mostly happens when I travel!
What do you dream about?
Right now, I dream about the day I will hand in my thesis and throw a huge party for all my friends having drinks all night long. On a more general level, I dream about waking up every morning, and be able to do what I love and not just do something to get receive a pay check by the end of the month. One of my biggest strengths and weaknesses at the same time is that I get bored and restless very easily: especially when doing something my heart’s not in. So I’ve decided to always go after what I want. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t, but life’s too short to not even try. Maybe this strategy will change in a few months when I’m actually getting a real full time job.. We’ll see!
What has been your favourite Insta moment so far?
Hmm.. I’m not sure what an ‘Insta’ moment is. But I like it every time I feel I get a good photo in my camera roll to share with my followers. Photos are a way to remember and appreciate the small and the big things for me.
What is your favourite spot to Instagram in Copenhagen?
My classics are probably Botanic Garden, the Round Tower and the colourful and quaint little houses of our beautiful city.
Your top 3 Instagramers? Why?
That changes a lot. But right now, it’s @linda_lomelino, @verdenius and @_foodstories_. Obviously because all these ladies take great photos, but also because I’ve gotten a chance to hang out with them this summer in Copenhagen, and I am always a big fan of online friends turning in to real life friends. That’s when staring into your iPhone screen everyday makes sense!
What makes a good Instagram photo?
That’s not an easy question to answer, and it depends on the photographer. Anything can make a good photo: I think the most important thing about Instagram is just finding your style, develop that and have fun with it.
What makes a good Instagramer?
I feel like saying that what makes a good Instagramer is someone who’s not an ‘Instagramer’. I’ve met a lot of talented, inspiring and sweet people through Instagram. And I’ve met a few people who couldn’t talk about anything else that Instagram, who didn’t even bother to look up from their phones whilst having a conversation. Instagram is great, it’s changed a lot for many people, I think we can all agree on that. But it’s not all that exists in this world, and for me, I never want it to be everything I do. It’s a creative outlet, the greatest app ever made and also a fun way to make money from time to time. But still, not everything in this world.
Who is your biggest inspiration in life?
This sounds cheesy, I know, but I think it’s my boyfriend Esben. He’s a go-getter, he dreams big and he and I share the same view on how we want to live our life, which I think is very important. We are both kind of adventurous, and spending three months with him in NYC last fall was beyond amazing. We both want to try different things, and neither of us are good at sitting still. I don’t know exactly what my life will look like a few months when I finish university, but I’m sure that with him around, it will be fun!
What would you wish I had asked?
I think you came up with some pretty good questions! I hope I don’t sound like a homespun philosopher. I am still tired and slightly hung over from this year’s Roskilde Festival, and when I’m like that, I always get a little emotional. Sorry about that!
Photos: Portrait by Chris Tonnesen. All others by Nana Hagel