Hi Kasia, how would you describe your work?
I shoot interiors predominantly with natural light, and I think it gives them a certain look. They feel more realistic, like what you would expect to see when walking into the room. I love telling stories with my images, taking you on a tour around the homes I photograph.
How did your career begin? What did you do before becoming an interiors and lifestyle photographer?
Photography wasn’t my first career choice. I do wonder if anyone really knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives when they are 17 and choosing their majors. I actually have a degree in international agriculture and equine business management! After I graduated, I couldn’t quite find my place in that industry and a couple of years later, I decided to retrain and do a photography degree as a mature student. Although that might not be the right path for everyone when it comes to photography, it definitely worked for me.
What inspired the idea of setting up your business, and how did you then develop it?
Deciding to go back to uni as a mature student and changing my career meant I had to put everything I had into making this new dream a reality, and I worked really hard at it. It took a couple of years to really get the business going and build a strong client base.
Whilst at uni I was extremely lucky to have lecturers with a true passion for the subject who were working photographers themselves. Quite early on we were encouraged to pick a niche in photography that we would like to pursue, and for me it was interiors.
I started assisting photographers and editors and in my last year at uni, I had my first magazine feature. After that, I was very fortunate to have the right people take a chance on me and I got assigned a few regular magazine features. I can’t stress enough how invaluable this was to set my career on the right path. I will forever be grateful for that.
Where do you find creative inspiration?
Mainly through magazines, various online platforms, following other creatives and exploring different creative mediums, not just photography.
How did you first discover your love for what you do?
I think I’ve always been a visual person, seeing everything in my head as a potential picture, but I never thought of it as a means of earning a living.
Initially I wanted to be a fashion photographer but very quickly realised that that wasn’t the right path for me. After doing some soul–searching I thought about my roots, where I come from. My mum ran a beautiful B&B in the Polish countryside. My life was always filled with family life, delicious food, beautiful thoughtful interiors, and vintage finds from flea markets. I just never thought that you can actually make money from taking pictures of all those beautiful things, but the answer was right there in front of me all that time.
What alternative career would you pursue?
I love being outdoors, working in the garden, landscaping, and planting. I think it would give me a lot of joy and satisfaction working outside, surrounded by nature every day.
Could you describe a typical working day?
If I’m shooting, I would most likely start with a very early wake–up call and a long drive to my next shoot location. I take commissions all over the UK, which means a lot of time spent travelling. At the location, I will meet up with a client, discuss the order of the day, confirm the shoot list, and off we go. It also involves lots of cups of tea and biscuits, and chatting of course!
On other days, it’s time for admin, following up with clients, organising shoots and all the post–production. There’s a lot of plates to spin when working for yourself.
What is the ethos behind your business, or the values that are a focus for you?
I just love creating beautiful images and I hope I will never lose the love for what I do because it’s very special to be able to do what you love for a living.
Is there an element of your work that you love the most?
This might seem obvious, but I love seeing my work being used by clients. Seeing it printed in magazines, used to promote the business, etc. It makes me feel very proud seeing it out there in the real world.
How valuable is the online community to your work?
It has definitely helped me to grow my business, although it’s a constant love/hate relationship, especially with social media. The majority of my work comes through word of mouth actually.
What’s been the biggest eye-opener for you in running your business?
How much hard work it takes, every single day. Maybe I’m just an anxious person but I always worry if the work will eventually dry up, will the phone stop ringing next week, and that means never saying no to another job even when it means working crazy hours without a break. It always feels like all or nothing when you are a freelancer! It’s important to keep a mental check with yourself to not get burned out.
Do you enjoy working as an independent – what are the joys, and what are the challenges?
I do, very much so. I like being in charge of my own time, creating relationships with my clients, seeing my business grow; it’s very rewarding but sometimes I feel like I’m doing the job of five people and there’s not enough of me, or hours in the day to do everything. I’m terrible at delegating though…
What have been your business highlights so far?
Having my images used in books always feels special.
What’s one thing people would be surprised you do in your job?
I don’t think there’s anything out of the ordinary really. Actually, maybe the amount of travelling I do for work! Six or seven hour round trips are not unusual for me, sometimes only for a two hour shoot!
Do you have any creative pastimes or hobbies?
I enjoy all manner of creative hobbies involving textiles, knitting, crocheting, weaving – you name it. I’m always keen on trying something new and enjoy trying out different workshops.
What does the next year hold for you?
There are a few interesting projects on the horizon, but mainly I would love to collaborate on an interiors book and maybe next year will finally be the one.
Books I love: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Creative Heroes: Photographers Sarah Moon and James Merrell
Shops I love: Liberty, Olive and Oliver Bonas
Inspirational places: New Zealand and Scotland