Behind the Business: Katrina Lipska, Kat's films

kats films behind the business build a life you love

What do you do for work?

I'm a freelance photographer & videographer, working mostly with lifestyle & fashion brands and bloggers. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to do some travel projects as well! I also do the creative things for Dear Diary, a stationery brand I started with two friends almost 3 years ago now.

When did you find the work you love?

When I decided to embrace the fact that I can't do the 9-5 workday. I'm a night owl and most of my creativity comes out after dark, so I make a pretty terrible employee. Working for yourself is way more challenging, but it's the best decision I've ever made.

How did you get to where you are now? What was your journey?

I started with photography when I was about 12. My dad had this crappy little digital camera, and whenever I was ill or on half-term, I'd spend hours taking photos of everything and anything. I continued with photography all throughout school but funnily enough I never considered it as a career. I then moved to London, started working with a blogger (which was unheard of 5 years ago) while I was still studying at uni, and kind of just fell into this industry. When I went freelance, it was a lot of emailing, a lot of work done for free.. step by step I started figuring it out. I'm so incredibly grateful to all the people and all the jobs along the way, as a lot of my clients are friends of friends. I also met one of my best friends through work, and she's now one of my partners at Dear Diary. (And we still like each other, yay!)

Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you were starting out?

Don't feel so bad about making mistakes - it's the fastest way to learn & grow. It's also how you'll find out what you definitely do NOT want to do (for work and in life in general).

How do you stay feeling creative and inspired?

For me the biggest inspiration is music. Sometimes I'll listen to a song I love and it gives me a feeling of the kind of image I want to create. Also discovering new places, going for walks, talking to people who are really passionate about what they do - the usual stuff.

I find that what really kills inspiration is comparison so I try not to closely follow the work of other photographers who work in the same field.

What does a good work-life balance look like for you? And how do you maintain it?

3 years into freelance and only now I feel like I have some sort of balance. When you work for yourself, you have to be okay with working morning till late into the night, sometimes for weeks and weeks without taking a full day off. Weekends kind of lose their meaning. But then there's also the beauty of being able to take a month off without having to ask anyone. Sure, there are no paid vacation days but I have the freedom and for me it's totally worth it.

How does being a woman affect your work?

Since my style of work is quite feminine and dreamy and I mostly work with women, I think it only works to my advantage.

How do you stay motivated when work and life get tough?

Take a break. I love that saying - when you feel tired, learn to rest, not to quit. When I know I'm gonna have a really tough week, I make sure to schedule in some fun time to look forward to.

How do you ensure you practise self care?

To me it's non-negotiable. My most indulgent thing is probably not taking any early appointments - with rare exceptions, I don't schedule in anything before 10am so I can get enough sleep, make myself breakfast and not have a rushed morning.

What does money mean to you?

Freedom! I also believe in money being a kind of energy, and it really matters what kind of relationship you have with it. I think the healthiest thing is to be responsible but also not too attached.

What one piece of money advice would you give to your younger self?

Ask me this in 5 years :)

What’s next for you?

I'm much more of a doer than a talker and my ideas change every second so I couldn't say for sure, but one thing I know is that I'm trying my best to make all my work more mindful & meaningful.

See more of Kat’s work at katsfilms.com