"What Inspires You?" with Kat Parker

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posted by sgallaher@surfstitch.com

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Welcome to ‘What Inspires You?‘ a series that looks at what motivates people to constantly create and innovate – The drive of passion and the endless need to express one’s self. The series shines the spotlight on those who see the world differently… And it commends them for it.

In this episode, Element Eden catches up with Kat Parker. She is a photographer and content creator from Sydney, Australia. I guess, the way we would describe her photos is that they capture the aesthetic behind the moment. Whether its landscapes, people, spaces, lines or food, Kat’s photos create emotion and connection with all who view her work.

We took five with Element Eden ambassador, Katrina Parker, and discovered what makes her tick and why it’s important to be inspired.

Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do because of the lifestyle and freedom that I have created for myself. I get to create everyday and work with brands and other creative people who inspire me. Also, there’s no better feeling than being on your own watch.

Describe your work?
I would say my work has a minimalist feel about it. I’m obsessed with symmetry and lines as well as muted tones.

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What are you truly passionate about?
I’m passionate about the ocean, the environment, surfing, family, friends, ideas and creating great work.

How did you get started  in Photography?
Me falling into photography kind of happened un-expectantly. I studied journalism at uni and was always really interested in the art of storytelling. I then did a few marketing and PR subjects and found myself becoming really into how brands tell their story. When I finally graduated I landed a job at an ad agency and then moved over to a PR agency and was working in account management. After a while, I found myself not being 100% happy with what I was doing. Instead of budgets and spreadsheets, I always knew I wanted to be doing something way more creative. So, I decided to combine my love for storytelling and marketing with photography. I quit my job, went and studied photography and visual communication and now I’m working on visual concepts with brands that I love. It proves that you aren’t too old to change what you are doing and if you work hard and focus on what you really want, you can make it happen.

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Your photography takes you to some beautiful places around the world. Tell us a little about your travel photography?
Travel to me fuels my creativity and gives me a new perspective. It breaks up the day-to-day work life and sparks curiosity and new ideas.  One of my favorite trips so far would have to be a content creation work trip I did on the west coast of the US. We travelled up the coast from San Diego up to Portland and then did all the amazing National Parks on the way back down from Mount Hood to Death Valley. From a creative point of view, I was like a fat kid in a candy store. Clicking the shutter at everything possible. The landscape is just so diverse and so dramatic – it was absolutely mind blowing.   

What motivates you to better yourself and increase your skill set?
To me, I have the mindset that there is always room for improvement. It might either be from the creative point of view with capturing the images or it could even be the way the shoot was handled from a pre production perspective. I want to be the very best I can be with both the quality of my work and the experience I offer my clients. Being the best I can be is the all the motivation I need.

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What advice can you give an aspiring photographer?
I would say to go out and shoot what ever it is that interests you as much as you can. Don’t get hung up on looking at other people’s work too much, and just find your own way. Chances are if you are shooting what you love, you will be good at it because of the connection you have with the subject.

Where do you pull your inspiration?
I gather inspiration from absolutely everything around me. Bondi itself is such an inspiring place. I think one of the things that I love the most is the fact that we not only have one of the most picturesque beaches in the world right on our doorstep, but we also have a bustling city filled with really cool and inspiring things going on all the time. I am also heavily inspired by minimalism, space and nature, which I think can be seen in my work.

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Who inspires you?
There are a lot of photographers, stylists, art directors, filmmakers, designers and friends of mine who really inspire me, but I think the number one person who inspires me the most is my partner Dave – he and I work together most of the time and he is always pushing me out of my comfort zone creatively and is always so honest with his feedback on my work and that is what you need.

What drives you to succeed?
The thing that drives me to succeed the most is the fact that I’m working for myself. I want to continue to feel passionate about what I’m doing each day, as I know firsthand what it’s like to not enjoy what you are doing. Therefore, I want to create work and a business that I’m really proud of.

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Why is it valuable to be inspired by someone or something?
I think it is really important from a creative perspective to find what it is that you are inspired by and take time out to immerse yourself in it for a little while… whether it be traveling or spending time with someone who inspires you. In the end it’s only going to leave you feeling fresh and inspired to keep going.

Do you have any quotes or sayings you live by?
I love the quote ‘give this world good energy’… you can apply this to nearly every aspect of your life, whether it is to do with your work or your personal life.

on the tools


What is a usual day for you?
I’m an early riser, so the alarm goes off at the crack of dawn most days. I like to keep the mornings as ‘me time’, so I usually do some form of exercise straight up whether it be surfing, walking my dog or going to yoga. I get into my studio at around 9:30am-10am. From there, because every day is so different, it’s hard to pin point exactly what I will have on. If I’m not shooting, I would either be doing pre-production stuff for an upcoming shoot, drawing up quotes or proposals, editing or doing fun stuff like accounts.

Tell us about your creative space?
My creative space has a bit of a Scandinavian minimalist vibe going on. It’s light and bright and I’m surrounded by lots of plants, which I love! I wanted to create an environment where I can ride down meet a friend for a coffee or go for a wave when I feel I need a break. So, I have my 2 most favorite boards sitting on a rack outside, along with my bike. It’s really everything I have ever dreamed of really. 

creative space ELEMENT BUTTON