Conversation with Female Photographers – Karolina Wisniowska

While in the process of planning my next conversation with a female photographer, my path luckily crossed with Karolinaʼs. She saw a post I had shared and she wrote me a lovely message saying she was interested in collaborating. I was very excited as I had been following Karolinaʼs work for a few months and I really liked to see her photos leaving a trace of melancholic beauty on my Instagramʼs home page. I felt we had lots of things in common, so we planned a shoot in Bristol, where she is based.
Karolina Wisniowska is an amazing photographer, originally from Poland, working on portraiture and fashion. She started experimenting with self-portrait when she was only 15, as a way to look at herself with more confident eyes, and decided to attend a photography school after graduating. She already knew she wanted art to be part of her life. After a short time in Aberdeen, it was in Bristol where she started her career. Working first as food photographer, she soon went back to her main passion which is photographing people, and she had the chance to shoot with local brands and magazines, while being also a mum of a beautiful young girl.
While chatting, seated in a nice café in the centre of Bristol, I could feel how shy, humble, but at the same time how enthusiastic Karolina is. She did not just talk about her photographs, but about all the feelings, the emotions, the connections that bring each of those photographs to life. Images are stories, she said, and here is where fashion comes. It helps developing a concept and makes an idea, even the most dreamy one, tangible.
And for a good story to work, great characters are essential. And if you look at Karolinaʼs work, you will see how naturally and beautifully she lets people talk in front of her lens. You can almost feel their nostalgia, their timid joy, their silent words. Her women are delicate and strong at the same time, elegant in a natural and simple way, the only way, I believe. This is what I enjoy when I see one of Karolinaʼs images: the beauty of reality, its authenticity.
Thanks a lot, Karolina, for sharing all that with me and for the time spent together!
Please, donʼt miss to follow Karolina Wisniowskaʼs work visiting her website http://www.karolinawisniowska.com and her Instagram @wisniovsky.
©2019 Flavia Catena
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Here below you can see some of Karolina’s beautiful photographs!
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In Conversation with photographer Katt Webster

Finn, a black, curious cat, jumped on the couch where I was sitting, ready to start a new conversation about fashion and photography. He smelled my face, as a way to welcome me, and then started wondering around the bright room. Katt Webster is Finn’s owner, and the second artist I decided to portrait for my new series about young women behind a camera.
Katt is a very talented photographer whose style captured me since when I first had a look at her work. The beautiful pastel colours of her images, the harmony of the poses and compositions make her pictures really captivating and pleasant to the eyes.
Katt’s adventure with photography started when she was 16, and she was living in a small village in the surrounding of Oxford. Some fine art and photography courses make her interest in the field grow (one of her teacher was interestingly Norman Parkinson’s nephew!), and she began experimenting with shooting fashion, something that had fascinated her since she was a teenager. She then moved to London and worked for some time as social-media manager before becoming a full time freelance photographer.
Photography can be definitively a difficult path to walk on, sometimes, Katt reckons, but those around you really make the difference. She feels lucky to collaborate and work with emerging designers, brands and creatives. Although a certain luck of communication and the difficulty – sometimes also as a woman – to be recognised and supported can be draining, meeting new people, people to share a passion and an inspiration with, and doing something different everyday make her feel free. And freedom is what gives every artist a reason to live with their art!
We had just finished talking about this when Katt introduced me to Teddy, her youngest adopted cat, only one month, that I decided to photograph with her. Of course, we included also Finn in the session, and had what every creative should have when working: a lot of fun!

I thank Katt very much for her time and for what she shared with me about herself and her work. Do not miss to have a look at her website: https://www.kattwebster.co.uk/, and follow her on Instagram: @kattwebsterphoto. Here below you’ll see also a selection of her beautiful portraits!

©2019 Flavia Catena

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Katt Webster’s photos:

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Cats and their humans – Becky and Lexi

More than one year ago, I decided to start a portrait project about cats and their female owners, being a cat lover myself, and also strongly believing in that sometimes saving bond between humans and pets. I took the first portraits, and then, overwhelmed by commissions, work, and other projects, I had to stop. But I was still looking forward to going back to that series of mine, and now it seems the time has come!

Last week I visited Becky Paton, a very talented artist who makes and successfully exhibits beautiful mosaics (please, have a look at her Instagram page @beckypatonmosaics). She lives with her family in the countryside just outside Oxford, and has a sweet and gorgeous cat named Lexi. He – yes, Lexi is actually a male cat, but the vet found this out too late for his name to be changed, as he really liked it! – was adopted by the family while he was still a fluffy little kitty. Now he is a four years old beautiful feline who loves to cuddle up next to his human mum at night, but also exploring the fields following his hunting instincts. I could see he was just impatient to go out and enjoy the sun, on the day we took the photographs. But I thank him and Becky for posing in front of my camera and sharing with me a bit of their happiness!

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Short story of a scarecrow

“All the same” said the Scarecrow, “I shall ask for brains instead of a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one.”
“I shall take the heart,” returned the Tin Woodman, “for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Another collaboration with performer and artist Donna Han who created this beautiful scarecrow mask.

©2017 Flavia Catena

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British artists

As you may know already, craftsmanship and art are a real passion of mine. Since the beginning of my path as a photographer I enjoyed taking photos of people at work. Last summer, with the idea to build a proper series on British creators, I started to contact artists in Oxford and having the pleasure to have them in front of my camera.

In the photos below you can see the work of Itsuko Doherty, a great painter originally from Japan, who studied in Tokyo, at Cornell University and at the Sorbonne, and whose work has been internationally exhibited. It was such an amazing experience to see her painting and to chat in front of a cup of coffee while the neighbours’ cat was snooping around the garden!

A few days earlier, I had the joy to visit and photograph Gabriella Blakey, a lovely lady, originally from Rome, who paints elegant furnitures and works on intaglio, appliqué and inlay using coloured veneers on wood. Mainly speaking about our native country and about art, we spent a really beautiful morning together!

After a few months when I mainly did research for the project, I went back to work on it and I discovered Hannah Shipway’s creations. She is a pround pottery maker, whose beautiful tableware will make you think: “I want one!”. She has her own studio in Oxford, where I was welcomed and where I photographed one of her tipical morning at work, blessed by the sun and fascinated by the shape of the bowls coming up from the wheel.

To know more of these artists, that I dearly thank, I suggest you to visit their website:  https://sites.google.com/site/itsukodoherty/home; https://www.gabriellablakey.co.uk; https://www.jerichostudiopottery.com/

©2016-2017 Flavia Catena

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Angel

“The night was starless and very dark. Without doubt, in the gloom some mighty angel was standing, with outstretched wings, awaiting the soul.” Victor Hugo

From a collaboration with talented artist and performer Donna Han (she made the paper wing you can see in some of the photos).

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