Hiya, I’m Kat from ATTAKAT and I’m a lifestyle and wedding photographer who loves to travel. I’m American born, Canadian bred, and currently living in Qatar in the Middle East (though preparing to move to Toronto this summer!) I’m a long time fan of Code & Hustle so I was stoked when David & Sean asked me to share a bit about my workflow, especially when I’m travelling. So, here goes…
Do more with less.
I’m a minimalist at heart which is a real advantage when it comes to travelling and photography. I only travel with what I can comfortably carry, usually in a backpack or a weekender bag, which means I never have to worry about airlines losing my bags etc. It’s great for photography too. While there is a temptation to take every piece of equipment I own “just in case”, having lots of gear is a nightmare to carry and can be a security liability. I usually travel with one camera body and two to three prime lenses (this increases if I’m working). Whenever possible, I leave my laptop at home and store my RAW files using a smaller memory backup storage device (Nexto, Sanho, Foci etc.) Not being tempted to edit on the laptop during my travels helps me relax and focus on the experience rather than be stuck in front of a screen. Shooting with only a few prime lenses forces me to think creatively about my compositions and become very familiar with my gear. I find both of these things always contribute to better pictures in the end.
Find authentic community and share with a purpose.
I have come to love social media for its power to connect passionate people with each other across the world. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to give and take from social media and which communities were right for me. It’s tempting to feel like you need to have a presence everywhere, but it’s easy to drown in all the screen time and desensitize over time to the awesome things each community has to offer. Consciously limiting which platforms I’m active on has given me more time to invest in sharing quality work and connecting with people. After trying several platforms, I realized that Instagram and Pinterest are the two I really love spending time on. I have also recently joined Ello and maintain a limited presence on Facebook and Twitter, but I have the two accounts linked so that whatever I post to Facebook is automatically tweeted out too.
While I share curated work from ATTAKAT across all social media sites, I make it a point to have a specific purpose for each platform: Instagram is where I share the majority of my work and connect with other artists I admire, Pinterest is for inspiration boards based on topics I’m interested in, Facebook is for client interaction, and Ello is where I intend to share more in depth stories behind some of my pictures. I also get tons of travel inspiration from social media. Map (@madewithmap) and Passion Passport (@passionpassport) are two great travel Instagram communities and I love Atlas Obscura for its quirky travel spots.
Adventure is everywhere.
Adventure is everywhere is my approach to life and photography. There is a temptation out there to feel like everything in life has to be big, loud, epic and public. Don’t get me wrong; big, loud, epic, and public is great but so is small, quiet, and personal. Each and every moment has the potential to be visually compelling and emotionally memorable. There is a trend in many photography genres, travel photography included, to look beyond ourselves for the “magic shot” or “killer location” that will make us into the photographers we want to be. Each of us has dreamed about being in National Geographic at one point or another and there is an exoticism about the unfamiliar places and seemingly impossible pictures. I love experiencing new places and the thrill of capturing these experiences with my camera, but I also love the view of my own back garden and the daily minutiae of my kitchen in equal measure. Opening myself to pay greater attention to the world around me and to the possibility of creativity in any given moment has been the single most transformative experience for me as an artist.
Thanks to the lovely Sean & David for the opportunity to share my thoughts and best wishes in your own adventures!