Katrina Lehmann, Owner of Katrina Lehmann Photography based in remote and drought affected Charleville hails from a creative family of artists and photographers. Her photography business began organically 20 years ago when her Mother, who runs an art studio, gifted her a digital camera at age 16.
As well as photographing weddings, newborns, families and branding shots in scenic Outback Queensland, Katrina also runs beginner photography workshops, is Co-Owner of her family’s plumbing business, and creates dried botanical art and arrangements that she sells online.
How can creatives thrive in rural and regional communities?
I think one of the biggest things is that young people know that they can actually do what they love AND stay in their regional communities. So many have the belief that you need to leave the bush to find bigger and better things that you can’t make a living in small communities with a creative business.
Of course it’s lots of hard work and dedication, and I do believe that you have to learn to pivot and create alternate streams of income based around your core business. It it can totally be done by offering something unique, and tailoring your passion and turning it into a service that that is maybe not already offered to your community and district.
What are some of the things you are delivering in the creative space?
My core business is my photography which I have been doing for the past 10 years. I photograph weddings, newborns, families, regional school and daycare photos, personal branding, and editorial for magazines and newspapers. You have to be a little bit of a generalist in the bush.
I also offer mentoring and workshops in the photography space and also the creative photography process, which is the cyanotype workshops that I offer. I do all of this under the KLP creative co-banner.
Most recently I am also offering dried botanical art and arrangements which I sell online and in a beautiful local boutique gift store.
What makes your photography unique and how is it bringing people into the Charleville community?
I certainly have a particular photography style, I like the shallow depth of field, soft and warm. I love the connecting with my clients, getting to know them and becoming friends. I find it easier to capture genuine emotions when they are super comfortable.
I love capturing emotion, capturing day-to-day life, including those little moments between newly weds, new parents, families and couples that we might just forget one day. I also love doing editorial documentary shoots telling a story, and showcasing our region to the big wide world.
Since I’ve open my newborn studio in Charleville I have clients that travel 2 to 3 hours to have their newborn photographed. While they are here, they are hopefully calling for a coffee, getting their groceries, buying some clothes and supporting our community economy in the process.
You also manage a plumbing business in Charleville, why is it important to diversify offerings in regional areas?
Yes jack of all trades here! You have to learn to adapt and generate multiple incomes in small towns if you want to work for yourself and support your community.
I love working alongside my husband in our plumbing business. The trade industry is so vital to the bush. He is super supportive of my ventures of photography, teaching, and floral arranging. He is the one that usually behind me, pushing me to do the things that I love. Juggling everything while raising two little men can be a bit full on sometimes, but that’s certainly something I am working on getting better at.
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