How Shooting Stock Photography Helped This Artist Build Her Brand
May 2, 2019
BY Shay Maunz
Kata Radovic is a photographer from Serbia. The photos she shoots for Stocksy (an art-forward stock photography and video footage agency) are just one part of an incredibly creative life—she’s also a fashion and costume designer and has a degree in applied arts. Her approach to her photography business is one part instinct (she photographs whatever she finds fun and interesting) and one part pragmatism (she has a clear idea of the client she serves in her mind at all times).
Recently, Kata chatted with me from Paris, where she’s currently based, about business plans, photo editing, and unicorns.
Your portfolio includes images of a wide variety of subjects—everything from craft projects to models to landscapes. But all of these photos work together to form a cohesive brand. How do you accomplish that?
I think it’s about the colors. I’m obsessed with color, so my photos always have to have some colors that pop out, something that will make it all look like it’s connected. My gallery is mostly filled with pastel colors, which is also my advantage with clients I think. They seem to like that color palette.
People who know me are often surprised by that, because I usually wear all black. But I’m basically a pink unicorn inside.
How do you work to make sure each photo is “on brand?”
It happens naturally for me. It happens on set and it happens in Lightroom and Photoshop when I’m editing my photos. I have to find my photos interesting or I won’t send them. Each photo has to look fun; it has to have some intelligence, some sense of humor, some interesting patterns, textures, or colors.
What role do current trends play in your work?
I follow what big brands do. When I think about who is licensing my work, I always imagine a small client who wants their business to look as professional and cool as the big brands. A lot of my friends are entrepreneurs and they need this kind of material for their businesses. They can’t afford to produce their own photo shoot, but thanks to Stocksy, they can use these kinds of images for their projects.
How did you end up shooting stock photos for Stocksy?
I went to art school in Belgrade, Serbia. I didn’t do photography there, but I got a degree in applied arts. When I finished school, my boyfriend was actually doing stock photography with Stocksy, and I started helping him with that—I was kind of the creative mind behind the work. Then at one point I thought to myself, I could do this for myself, not just for him.
I like photography because, compared to the rest of the art field—painting or sculpting, for example—making photography is like instant art.
“I usually wear all black. But I’m basically a pink unicorn inside.”
I still don’t think of myself as a photographer. I’m a costume designer and a fashion designer, and I think of photography as a side job. I never meant to make a living out of it. I take a lot of photos of my friends, because they are very pretty and they want photos of themselves for Facebook and Instagram anyway. A lot of the photos I take of craft projects are crafts I was doing anyway, and then I found that people like to see those photos. They like seeing inside the creative process.
Even though my Stocksy photography is my hobby, it’s a hobby that paid for my master’s degree. That’s the amazing thing about it. And I traveled around the world for two years, through Asia and all around Europe, just earning money from Stocksy. That allowed me to develop my visual sense and all of my creative work. For me, the Stocksy work is totally creative and really liberating. Because of it I have freedom to do all these other things I want to do.
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