Kate Pardey – scenestr of the day

Published in SOD  
What do you do?
I’m a freelance documentary photographer. I specialise in photographing theatre and creatives as well as photographing weddings and families. I document authentic, human connection in all its forms.

Why do you do it?
I’m passionate about documenting the world around me. I’ve been a photographer since I was young: the first major ‘save up the pocket money for it’ purchase I can remember was a 35mm film camera from the Australian Geographic Shop when I was six. I also spent a long time working in the theatre as a stage manager, so my recent ventures into the world of documenting other artists have been a lovely, full-circle moment.

I’m passionate about supporting the arts community; the current model of arts funding and producing through Australia and most of the world doesn’t seem to be working at the moment and I’d love to be a part of a potential change somehow. My overall ‘why’ is ever evolving and often related to specific projects I’m working on, but I think the overarching why is always the joy that comes from honestly and authentically documenting the world around me.

What do you love about the city you live in?
I love living in Adelaide; it’s just the right size to know everyone and be able to get anywhere in half-an-hour or less. It’s also affordable. There aren’t many places in the world I could happily afford to live within a ten-minute bike ride from the CBD. I travel a lot and because it's such an easy place to live: it’s the perfect spot to come home to.

Where did you go for your last holiday?
I haven’t managed a ‘holiday’ holiday for a while, but my last ‘working holiday’ took me to Edinburgh to photograph the Fringe Festival and in the same trip to Tuscany to photograph a wedding. I’m pretty lucky to be able to travel to such exotic places for work.

What's your favourite item of clothing? Why?
I love anything with good pockets in it. I have a big, black skirt with really good pockets that I often wear when I’m photographing: it means that I can carry everything I need for work. I always miss them when I’m wearing something pocket-less.

What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?
I loved 'Captain Planet'. I can’t believe they don’t have re-runs of it these days. I’m sure kids TV isn’t that good these days! Right?

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
I’ve been watching far too much ‘Vikings’ lately, so granted I could miraculously speak ancient Norse I’d love to go back and have some philosophical discussions with some of the strong women of that time.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us?
Vegetarian minestrone soup; even in the middle of summer you can’t go wrong with a good soup and some fresh sourdough.

What's the best lesson you've ever learned?
That everyone is fighting the battle just as hard as you are. You never know what a crummy day the person serving you with a glare at the petrol station has had, so you may as well try and brighten it with a smile; it won’t cost you anything.

Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody else knows...
For all my hipster music taste, Taylor Swift’s 'Shake It Off' makes me dance in the living room like no other song.

Are you happy with your work/ life balance?
The work/ life balance is a never-ending battle, I don’t know of anyone who has quite got it ‘right’. I’m sure I’ll be working towards a better balance for the rest of my days. I don’t think it’s ever going to be perfect though.

How do you define success?
If I can be present, content and enjoy life while continuing to strive to make good work, that’s success for me.

What's your spirit animal?
A snowy owl; working in the US years ago a friend decreed it my spirit animal. I’m pretty happy with it. I do have a bucket-list item (the only thing currently on the list!) that I’d like to meet a snowy owl one day; that would be awesome!


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