Q&A with Jonathan Hökklo

To gather a deeper and more intimate connection with the artists and artisans we work with, we asked each to answer a series of questions. We will be showcasing each Q&A in correlation with our familial content. Enjoy! 

x Shop Zung


Q: Without giving away your location, describe where you are right now. What are the things you see, smell, or hear around you? 

I'm staring blindly at my Monitor retouching a bunch of photos and enjoying the smell of a way too potent lily flower and a cop car just passed by.

Jonathan Hökklo's window with a bouquet of white lilies, a bonsai tree, and a diffuser on his windowsill

"The objects hanging out with me are a light from In Common with a vintage chair by George Nelson, a home and hand-made desktop in red oak, incense holder by Apparatus, vase by neighbor Simone Bodmer-Turner, little bonsai from Dandy Farmer and a vintage ashtray all the way back home from sweden by Holger Bäckström & Bo Ljungberg, and last but not least my little letterpress from friends, ladies and gentleman."

Q: Taste, touch, smell, sound, sight — which of the five senses do you rely on the most? Why? 

Sight as my trade is in photography. 

Q: Tell us about your relationship to Studio Zung. To begin, when and where did your relationship with our studio start? What drew you to working with us? 

I’ve been a fan of Studio Zung for quite some time, both the store and all the houses, especially out east, as well as the Soho ones. 

Detail shot of a wooden sideboard with black leather doors
Wooden sideboard with black leather doors opened

And I have also been lucky to work on a few smaller commissioned pieces together with Tommy. Hoping for more in the Future ; ) 


Q: How has this relationship evolved over time? Could you describe one of your favorite moments or projects working with Tommy and our Studio? 

To be honest, I can't wait for one out east and if we can throw in a surf session in there on a Zung board that would be heaven. 

A gentle wave as the sun sets in soft pastel colors

Q: We want to know more about your creative process, walk us through it. How do you begin your shoots? Do you anchor it with an image, a material, color, feeling? How do you come to a stopping point and know your work is complete, if you ever think so? 

Most ideal is a full day of shooting, getting morning light and evening light. That's somewhat hard to get cause you need to get up real early and the day gets long. I would say if I could shoot all my projects between August and October that would be awesome, cause that early fall light is just so pretty. But then again, wait 6 months and you can get a completely different angle of the winter light. But in terms on my creative process the shoots are often depending on timing, which is sort of sad as i always wish to spend more time on each project.


Bedroom of muted soft tones and a ray of sunshine through the nearby window
Dining room with arched doorways and six wooden chairs with woven seats and backrest
A dining room with a grand jungle-esque wallpaper reminiscent of a Henry Rousseau painting

Q: How would you describe your work? How do other people describe your work?

I’m Scandinavian so I think my work is quite minimal, and I would say I almost stopped using artificial light and primarily work in natural light and most of my clients have responded well to that.

Q: What is your favorite project you’ve been a part of? 

I was fortunate enough to shoot an old Villa owned by the Spanish king, abandoned for 40 years but restored into a very fun, pretty Airbnb in Biarritz two summers ago called Villa Magnan. They even had a cute donkey on the property named Popo.

An archway with a wooden door looking into a hall
Bathroom of a Spanish villa with blueish purple walls and same colored tiled floors
The great room with three arched doorways filled with light and a daybed in the center


Q: Think of an object in your home that has the most significance to you. Could you share with us what it is and the memory behind it? 

Right now I’m obsessed with my library of photo books. It has finally outgrown my small apartment, and it has a been a lifelong dream of mine. 

Q: We live in a society where so much of our identity is surrounded by the things we consume whether that be the things we buy, the food we eat, or the content we see, along with the fast paced nature of it. How do you approach mindful living and sustainability in the context of your work and in your everyday life?

I have a small community garden in Fort Greene where I live. I use it all year round for as much produce as I can get out of it and I’m obsessed with composting. I also try to shop as much as possible at the farmers market. And I bike everywhere I can. It's sadly hard being a photographer in the city, but my Scandi homies are bringing their EQ on transport e-bikes. I've seen more of them in the city so that could be the next step.

Q: What do you envision for yourself in five years? 

Maybe back in Europe for a little longer stretch, especially Southern Europe as there's so much beauty and fun and good weather there. I wish I could do a season there and a season here.

Outdoor dining table with picnic foods near the pool at an Italian villa
Southern European beach during dusk

Q: What do you want people to take away from your photographs? What is the legacy you imagine for yourself? 

Maybe good old Dieters “Less is better.” I like a calm stillness in my photos, with a hint of perfect light. 

Q: Are you looking forward to anything in the next few months? Any new exciting projects or plans?

Just got booked for a job in LA, and after that I'm taking a few days off to explore the coast of SoCal. See you soon “oldmans.”


Photo courtesy of Jonathan Hökklo