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Vendor Spotlight on Katie from Love Katie + Sarah

Who are you and where are you based?

I’m Katie from Love Katie + Sarah and I live amongst the hipsters in North Melbourne.

How long have you been doing photography? How did you get into it?

I got my first camera at 9 years old (so it’s been 20 years!) and one of the most exciting things for me as a kid was dropping off my rolls of film at the chemist and waiting days and days to get them back. My mum always had her camera out and taught me about composition and light. Her father, my grandfather, had run a photography business from the late 1940’s through to the 1990’s so taking photos was such a huge part of her life, that it really had a huge influence over my love of it too.

Did you always want to be a photographer? What was your path to photography like?

By the time I was 15, I knew I wanted to be a photographer. One of my favourite places was the darkroom at school as I loved being able to create a photograph with my own hands. But by the time I got to Uni and took some photography subjects, digital had started its worldwide domination. It kind of broke my heart a little bit and consequently, I didn’t pick up a camera for about 4 years. After a three year deviation studying drama (which is where I met Sarah), I started photographing again on a 9 month trip I took through Eastern Europe and North Africa. Like lightning, it struck me as silly to throw away something I loved so much simply because cameras had changed. When I got home, I spent the last of my savings on a DSLR and volunteered as a photographer in the hopes that one day someone would pay me.

Favourite kind of bride/groom/wedding?

When it comes to weddings, I’m a big fan of the smaller scale, backyard or non traditional affairs. Before Love Katie + Sarah, I really thought a wedding was a white dress to be worn, a vow to be promised, a cake to be cut, a dance to be danced and sugared almonds to be eaten. But over the past two and a half years of shooting weddings, I realised that each one of these traditions can be changed, adapted or even thrown out the window. A dress can be made of gold sequins, a cake can be a piñata, a dance can be a flash mob and there can be two grooms, or two brides. I love a couple that chooses to say ‘no’ to tradition if it doesn’t apply to them. Getting married barefoot, or banging a drum. Whatever is true to the couple, makes sense to me, and makes for stunning photos.

Best career moment? 

The moment I could stop telling people I was a bartender.

Worst career moment?

I used to work at a bakery when I was 16. The bakers used to get tipsy while they were baking and many a loaf would end up on the shelves completely burnt. Naturally, no one wanted to buy them but I would always get yelled at by the managers at the end of the day when there was heaps of left over bread.  At 16, getting yelled at by anyone that weren’t your parents was the worst.

Favourite thing to photograph?

My guilty pleasure is travel photography. I always wanted to be a National Geographic or Lonely Planet photographer until I read about how lonely a lifestyle it is. I love travelling but obviously can’t do it all year round, so when I do take trips, I make sure it’s to ridiculously photogenic countries.

What do people think photography is like versus what it is really like?

I think from the outside, a lot of people think being a photographer is this really glamourous job. And sometimes, it can be a real hoot. But realistically a lot of the time, it’s just me in my pyjamas sitting in front of the computer editing for hours while eating Cup-A-Soups, or running around in 40 degree heat at a music festival, all sweaty and gross, while battling it out with 50 other photographers who all want the same shot. So is it a sexy job? Not so much.

Happy place?

Morocco. Or for something slightly closer, sharing a bottle of champagne with my mum on her back deck.

Any other projects that are close to your heart at the moment outside of photography?

It’s totally photography related (whatta nerd!), but I am heading to Peru next year to do a course run by National Geographic photographers and I can’t wait.