A Life Long Love Affair
Photography is in Kathryn Filipczak’s blood. Her Uncle (and Godfather) was a successful, respected photographer in her native Poland. When she was 8 years old her uncle gave Kathryn a camera and a lifelong love affair with creating imagery was born. Throughout her teenage years her uncle was her inspiration and mentor. Working closely with him she learnt her craft from the ground up.
Kathryn has squeezed alot into her (almost) 29 years. She worked as a commercial photographer for an advertising agency in Germany before moving on to live in Spain. An online friendship inspired her to come to Australia in 2004. Here she studied International Business and Marketing as well as Business Management. At the same time she started making inroads into her chosen career by working for a modelling agency. It was an invaluable experience which helped her build a list of industry contacts. However it had its downside. Despite its glamorous image the fashion industry was a tough slog. The hours were long and the pay was modest. The agency had total creative control over the finished product and Kathryn was uncomfortable with this. She is a fiercely independent spirit and wants her art to be her own.
A New Direction
Since having her son Robert (aged 3), Kathryn is determined to create a business own her own terms. Weddings are her bread and butter and its work she thoroughly enjoys. Although she “cut her teeth” doing weddings in Poland, she was at first reluctant to enter the field in Australia due to cultural differences. Once she made the first steps, with some gentle persuasion from a friend, she absolutely relished the experience. She loves how each wedding is different and the way that Australian ceremonies reflect the couples’ individuality. Through word of mouth, advertising on the Gumtree website and pounding the pavement at Bridal expos, Kathryn is steadily carving a niche for herself.
Kathryn is also passionate about working with babies and children and really wants to concentrate on the family portrait market. She has always felt a natural affinity for kids and enjoys working with them. Naturally Robert has inspired her and strengthened her resolve to move in this direction. As a mother she understands that kids need alot of patience and that they respond best when the vibe is fun, playful and relaxed. She is constantly taking gorgeous snaps of Robert because in her words “it is the only way you can stop time. It is just for your memories”. This sentiment motivates her to create beautiful memories for other families.
The Mumabulous Makeover
Glamour photography is just another string to Kathryn’s bow. She picked up hair and make-up skills from her fashion photography days and can make over clients herself. Otherwise she can call in one of her contacts in the beauty business to style the shot. I was fortunate enough to have a glamour session at Kathryn’s home in Sydney’s Brighton le Sands. I came into looking like a typical frazzled Mum with blotchy skin ,wayward hair and tell take dark circles under the eyes. Kathryn reached into her bag of tricks and gave me light dusting over. She was at pains to explain everything she was doing to make sure I was comfortable with it. I was happy just to let her work her magic. She produced a curling wand and hey presto I looked like I’d just stepped out of a salon. Kathryn then lent me a sophisticated black lacey dress and some jewellery. You soon find out that being Australia’s Top Model is all about following directions with Kathryn instructing me on where to look, how to hold my posture and to relax my face. Again I trusted her judgement, particularly when it came to minimizing my frown lines! The whir of the camera reminded my to the intro to Duran Duran’s classic hit of 1981 – Girls on Film (which was released before Kathryn was born). As she clicked away Kathryn made comments like “perfect”, “that’s beautiful” and “your husband is going to love it”. It was chocolate for the ego. I’ll let you judge the results for yourself. The before and after shots are below. I’ll say one thing – Kathryn was right, Dadabulous was impressed.
I came away from my visit with Kathryn full of admiration. I respect the breadth of her experience and her dedication to her craft. Achieving work/life balance has not been easy with a husband who works long hours six days a week and most of the extended family in Europe. Luckily she has a sister in law nearby who minds Robert when she is on assignment. Talking with Kathryn I sensed that she one of those rare individuals who in completely in love with what she does. She is unassuming about her talent and believes she has a lot to learn. Such is the lament of the artist. I think her beautiful collection of work speaks for itself. Take a look.
Weddings – Packages include Kathryn’s presence at your wedding for 6 hours. She provides a CD with around 500 high resolution shots with full computer re-touching.
Family Portraits – You can visit Kathryn’s home studio in Brighton le Sands or she can come to you. Packages include a CD with 30 fully-retouched high resolution photos and one print.