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Interview with Fine Art Photographer Kaat Stieber

Kaat Stieber is a fine art photographer who combines her experience in theater stages, art approach of the Dutch Golden Age, and stories in her mind. I talked with Kaat Stieber about fine art photography.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Kaat Stieber

Kaat Stieber


by Melisa Kaya

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When Kaat Stieber stepped into the world of art, although her first choice wasn't photography. After 20 years of successful career in theater, she became an award-winning photographer by combining her international experience and artistic perspective. Portrait photography wasn't creative enough for her, and she decided to create her own style by implementing surrealism and artistic approach of the Dutch Golden Age into her images. Kaat Stieber creates works as a photographer and also teaches art enthusiasts fine art photography. I talked with Fine Art Photographer Kaat Stieber about her career and the basics of fine art photography.

Kaat, before talking about fine art photography, could you tell us about yourself? Who is Kaat Stieber?

I have a rich fantasy world where I can stay for days and at the same time take my responsibility in real life. I am a happy person and proud mother who has found a perfect balance with a promise to myself. I will make a living with what makes me happy.

Dutch Tulips - Photo by Kaat Stieber

Dutch Tulips - Photo by Kaat Stieber

When did you get your first camera? Do you remember the first photo that you shoot with it?

A friend of our family gave me my first camera at the age of nine, I thought it was great and my rabbits were my first models. When I moved to the US as a teenager, I got my first serious camera and I started to entertain friends to make photo shoots.

How did you decide to pursue a career in photography?

I already had a great career in the theater. In the meantime, I was always photographing and secretly dreamed of becoming a photographer someday. Yet I needed a wake-up call to really make the best decision ever. When my world seemed to collapse, I knew I did not meet all my wishes and dreams.

What is fine art photography? Could you briefly inform us about it?

To me, fine art photography is creating an image and telling a story that was in my mind. I can recreate exactly what I envisioned, that’s so satisfying.

I enjoy the freedom of creating whatever I feel needs to be told.

The girl with the pearls - Photo by Kaat Stieber

The girl with the pearls - Photo by Kaat Stieber

What inspired you to combine surrealism and Dutch art?

I tried to find a home in many places around the world to find out that my origin is a beautiful country. I am proud of our Dutch culture and our rich art history. I admire the old masters who made beautifully detailed paintings with so much patience. As a teenager, I already fell for the surrealist works of Dali and Gaudi's buildings. I enjoy the imaginative and that the imagination has no limits.

And you have been teaching this technique to photographers and enthusiast. Could you tell us about your workshop?

I was often asked if I could teach, of course, I thought about what I could offer photographers. After the first workshop, I was pleasantly surprised that it was such an inspiring day and also wonderful to meet others photographers with their own special story.

I enjoy sharing my passion for photography with enthusiastic people. Photography is a continuous process of learning, so I know for sure that it will never get boring. The atmosphere on these days is special, I enjoy it when I see photographers grow in their skills and self-confidence.

Nessi Byrd kids luxury swimwear - Photo by Kaat Stieber

Nessi Byrd kids luxury swimwear - Photo by Kaat Stieber

What kind of projects do you prefer to work on? What type of services do you offer to your clients?

I prefer to work on my art photography and enjoy to see the artworks hanging in art galleries and exhibitions.

In order to give people the opportunity to have their loved ones photographed by me, I offer fine art portraits including my styling.

Thanks to social media I am approached by brands myself, when it suits me I find that a great challenge.

How do you combine your creative skills with the commercial needs of companies?

Nowadays I get carte blanche from companies, Of course, these are brands that fit my style.

I am not actively looking for clients, but a nice offer is always fun.

What are the most common demands of companies? What type of photos do they want?

Usually, they have seen one of my works or series that they like. I then get the question if I can create/recreate something like that for their brand. I never copy my own work and suggest to adjust or create a whole new image.

What are the key points that you pay attention to most before accepting a new project?

I first check if the customer's wishes are possible and if it succeeds within the deadline. In the process, first the images are designed and a plan is made such as receiving the products, looking and booking models, the photo shoots themselves and of course enough time for post-processing

In your projects, do you work in a previously defined concept or are you creating your own concept?

A new concept or theme is being devised for a new client. When the customer wants to make a new series, this will look like the earlier work for recognisability

Dutch Waters - Photo by Kaat Stieber

Dutch Waters - Photo by Kaat Stieber

You have won many awards, what are the advantages of being an award-winning digital artist? Could you tell us about awards that you won?

I think the awards have given me more international exposure. Maybe it's a confirmation that clients would like to see as well.

For me personally, it is a great reward when my photography gets awarded.

Is it possible for abroad clients to work with you for their projects?

Absolutely. Thanks to the internet, communication is always possible. For example, I have already worked together with an American brand

Which factors determine the project budget?

It depends on how many hours are needed for me to create and hours and how many team members need to be hired, such as models, hair and make-up artists.

How do you protect the rights of your works in this online era?

I make sure that the files have the best web size. These can not be used for printed matter. The photos also have a digital watermark. I have only experienced it once and after a short report, this already resolved.

Porcelain 3 - Photo by Kaat Stieber

Porcelain 3 - Photo by Kaat Stieber

Could your clients use the works in any publication, catalog, website, ad or other platforms in the future?

That depends on the agreements that have been made. My preference is for a clear one-off appointment so that the images can simply be used everywhere. I also like to see them myself.

What advice would you give to photographers who want to pursue a career in fine art photography?

Find your own inspiration and especially your own style that is recognizable as your signature. Do not copy, that is already made.

What is your favorite work that you have ever created?

I usually find my latest works the most beautiful, or the first works that have led to an ongoing series that were once the latest works also.

What do you think about social media? How can our readers follow you?

I love social media and find it a privilege to live in this era. I enjoy that my images can be seen worldwide, they are made for it to be seen.



Thank you Kaat for this enjoyable interview.

For more information, please visit the website of Kaat Stieber