As part of International Women's Week, we wanted to celebrate by recognising the strong female figures in our creative community.
We had the joy of working with the incredibly talented Natasja Kremers who captured the stunning launch campaign for Vela. Her photography style is authentic and real. We learnt about her approach to photography, the best piece of advice she's received, and why she loves working with a collective of talented creatives in North Perth.
Can you tell us a little bit about your career to date?
Photography for me began a year after high school and I ended up with a Diploma in applied science in Photography at Tafe, the only course available in Perth at the time that focussed solely on photography. That is over 20 years ago. I am film trained and I still photograph with it a lot. I initially thought I’d focus on fashion and editorial work but I was raising two boys and so I started just photographing friends weddings. It quickly grew to a full blown business, most of the work referral based.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over Australia, Hawaii, Bali, Singapore and the south of France for my wedding commissions. Wedding photography is hard work, but an incredible experience every time and I'm lucky and grateful my clients trust me enough to capture it for them. In the last 5 years I’ve become very involved with Common Folk, a community of photographers initiated by 3 close friends of mine (Jenna Mason and Glenn and Lauren from UK studio Through The Woods We Ran) where I’ve been asked to speak at events and have found the inspiration to do exhibitions. 2 exhibitions to date, the first one FEMME, a collaboration with amazing artist Angela Mitchell which ran for 4 weeks at the PS Art Space in Fremantle and a second at our little hallway space in our studio called Let The People Look where I exhibited Photographic Travel work shot on film. I am currently in the middle of wedding season and happy to be taking on some editorial work as well such as photographing for the amazing Vela Jewellery and others. Life is good.
How would you describe your approach to photography?
I tend to dive in head first without too much thought. I make sure that my equipment is prepped and I’ve communicated with clients and set timing for everything and I let the rest flow. It’s a very organic way really, just hoping to connect with the people I photograph and catch them in movement and just being themselves. I’m at times a little socially awkward and I’m trying to be ok with that but I’ve realised over time that it presents a platform for the people I photograph to be themselves, that I’m approachable and it allows me to capture them honestly, I really love it.
Tell us about your beautiful co-working hub at Angove St Collective, what do you love most about working from this space?
I LOVE our little collective. I share a building in North Perth with a graphic design studio called Studio Bomba, a beautiful shop called Future Shelter who specialise in small gifts and homewares inspired by everything wildly Australian designed by artist Jane Coffey and just recently talented photographer Jillian McHugh has joined us too. Late last year we created a little gallery space in our adequately lit hallway of the studio called Let The People Look and we are hoping to exhibit a few artists in 2020, it is a low-key, lo-fi space designed to give local artists the confidence to share their work and ideas and get some feedback from the people. In todays social media world where you can see everything on your phone it's important to connect physically and enjoy looking at art. We are super excited about it. We also have a gin club, it needs some loving and attention but it’s there regardless.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
We are never given more in life than we can handle. Something my aunt told me some time last year. Life inevitable gets tricky at times and looking back I’m really grateful for those times because they’ve allowed me to grow and become stronger. We really can handle a lot more than we think we can.
You’ve clearly travelled extensively, what are your favourite destinations?
My heart will always be in the Netherlands. I just feel such a strong connection to the land and the people but that is probably also because I was born there. But I loved NZ too.
Which powerful woman do you admire the most and why?
With the current state of the world it would have to be Jacinda Ardern. For obvious reasons. The way she leads her country and takes other world leaders to task is incredible. Wish we had more of her. Closer to home there are a bunch of women who inspire me every day, they are my work friends, aunties and my mum who form a support base for everything I do, women are so gloriously strong and resilient and I am so lucky to have them in my life.
What Vela jewellery piece resonates with you the most and why?
Tough question! At the launch I almost instantly ended up with a stack of Penta Miele Cuffs, LOVE them and I didn’t think I’d be drawn to those first but there I was. But I also love anything with the pearls really. For Christmas we gifted Penta Filo Earrings to my sons girlfriend, we adore her and I'm so happy every time I see her wearing them.
What are you currently:
Coveting: A stack of 3 Penta Miele Cuffs as it so happens.
Preparing: A new project photographing women I know who inspire me.
Watching: Just finished watching Fleabag on Amazon Prime, indulgent but loved it.
Listening: A lot of classical music to be honest, it’s a little strange but I’m loving it so much, Vivaldi mainly (sounds so naf really but it’s true). And whilst photographing Jillian McHugh for my project just recently she re opened my eyes to the world poetry so a close friend has just recommended the podcast Poetry Unbound, about to try it.
Reading: That’s What She Said by Joanne Lipman about the Harvey Weinstein story.
Dreaming: Always the ocean.
Giving: Time for me.
Images featured throughout are taken by Tasj's travel companion Hannah Jones from Keeper Creative.
In celebration of International Women's Day, we're offering our subscribers $50 off any purchases made on Sunday March 8th. Use code INSPIRE50 to redeem your gift from us at checkout.