Creator Spotlight: Kat Plotnikova
My name is Kat and I am a photographer living in Minnesota. I was born in Ukraine and moved to the US when I was 12. Since then, I have tried many different arts (painting, drawing, music) but have found myself starting and rarely finishing most of those pursuits. That is, until I discovered my passion for photography. My interest in this hobby evolved over time from taking dozens of photos daily on my phone to finally taking a leap and buying a ‘real’ camera in May of 2021. Since then, I have spent as much time as possible learning and practicing this craft. I know that photography is the right outlet for me because I find myself naturally prioritizing it and find that every step of the process is deeply satisfying in its own way.
Here is a sample of my work. More information about me and my work can be found on my website.
Tips and Tricks:
This might be an obvious one but if you find yourself gravitating towards something naturally, give it a shot (photography pun!)
Learning from the pros is great but nothing will beat practice. If you can find resources to make the learning a bit easier, great but diving into the activity and learning by doing is what worked best for me.
If you don’t have it in you to be creative all the time, who cares? Forcing yourself to produce content for the sake of producing content can make this joy feel like a burden. Creative spurts come and go. Ride the wave when applicable.
Join a community. Listen, learn, connect. Not everyone’s advice and journeys will be relevant to yours but there WILL be nuggets of gold in there. Plus, nothing feels quite as special as belonging to a community of like-minded individuals.
Dream bigger. Did the price of the camera and the lenses seem insane to me when I knew nothing about how to use them? Yes. Did I know that I would figure it out if I got them anyway? Also, yes. Investing in your passion is 100% worth the price of admission because a proper creative outlet feeds your soul. Besides, if you give yourself the proper support to get the tools that you need to be successful, it’s a total win-win. Be your own top supporter. Don’t think too hard about it, just do it.
Tools I have purchased (so far):
Camera: Canon EOS M50 – this is my starter camera and it is still working well for me. In my experience, investing in better lenses is what ultimately produces the best results.
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 – Excellent for low-light photography, portraits, and landscapes
Canon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 – Great walk-around lens that can capture anything from wider shots to great close-ups
Sigma 150-600mm 5-6.3 Contemporary – My new go-to for wildlife photography
Mount Adapter EF-EOS – Adapter that allows my camera to use the lenses above
Tripod – Great for landscapes or any long-exposure shots
Additional battery – You never know
At least two SD cards – I take on average about 500 photos in each session and sometimes get lazy about transferring photos. This helps.
Remote control – Pretty much a must for any night sky photography
A bag or a backpack – don’t be a dummy and attract shady people by flashing your camera when not in use. Besides, cameras can get quite heavy with certain lenses so having a proper carrying vessel is important.