“I felt anxious as I parked at the Brisbane Powerhouse, an extra pair of shoes and two shirts on the back seat. Having a professional photo shoot is a bit daunting at the best of times but having a professional photo shoot at 50, having been through a windscreen, and not washed my hair for a week - a sane person would have driven home immediately and Googled “face transplant”. It’s not often I’m grateful for moments of insanity. But on this occasion, I’m thrilled to bits I stayed.
There was a biting wind, and I was glad of my scarf as I made my hesitant way across the car park hoping (and not hoping) I’d see someone who looked photographer-ish. I didn’t. Instead, an apparition floated towards me, with ocean-blue eyes and a halo of cascading princess-hair. Cool and ravishing, like a Byron mermaid. Slow motion happened.
“Oh my God,” announced the apparition, “you’re gorgeous!” And just like that, although I knew perfectly well I had no right, I felt gorgeous.
The apparition was Kate Nutt, of Kate Nutt Photography. She’s a human, really, but an extraordinary one. I’d heard she has a knack for helping new solopreneurs identify their personal brand. This sounded intriguing, and I also needed to find an unusually talented photographer who’d be game to have a crack at making me look acceptable on my new website.
So I contacted Kate.
Her emailed response was imbued with enthusiasm and genuine warmth. Then we had a phone call which left me feeling still more encouraged. By the time she’d declared I was gorgeous in the carpark, I was ready to believe I might have absolutely done the right thing.
Over the next half hour, I got the distinct impression that, although we were looking at the same thing, Kate wasn’t seeing what I was seeing. She took dozens of photos, throwing them off in bursts of shutter clicks mid- conversation, sometimes looking in other directions. It was clear her mind was several minutes ahead of real time, and that she had a constant, perfect dynamic awareness of the deepening afternoon sunlight, the contours of the carpark structures, and every subtle hue and tint and reflection of colour in all directions. It was such poetry in action, that I scarcely noticed we were still in the carpark. That’s right; up a small flight of stairs stood a landmark of hundred-year-old brick bathed in glorious winter sun. And Kate shot my photos in the carpark.
Passers-by who observed us must have wondered why the stunning model was taking the photos, as they cast about for pranking cameras. Meanwhile, we talked. Not small talk, though; this talk was vast. She asked questions about my thoughts for my new venture, (click click... click) listened to my tentative ideas and concerns, (click, clickclickclick) then casually rattled off a string of soaring epiphanies. As she offered insights from her own business career, and pearls of considerable wisdom from personal experience, truths materialised and descended in my mind, slotting together to prove and bind each other like a life-changing game of Tetris.
It was Exactly. What. I. Needed.
A couple of days later, Kate set up a zoom photo viewing. And there I was. Somehow I was in a very cool outdoor studio warehouse, or some amazing funky-chic space. She’d captured something about that unromantic carpark that I hadn’t seen; found purpose and beauty in it’s ordinary-ness. The perfect colour of an old window frame. The subtle texture of weathered render. A receding bank of vivid orange trumpet vine. And she’d done the same for me.
I looked assured, and intelligent, and tailored, and together. Dammit. I looked gorgeous!
Prior to meeting my carpark mermaid, I’d had no real idea of what to expect. It certainly wasn’t this. I would never have imagined I’d come away with my brand voice identified, distilled and blissfully comfortable, and a clarified, common-sense game plan to launch it into a living I could be proud of. I didn’t know there was anybody who could deliver that, PLUS a collection of superb images for my now super-impressive online portfolio.
Well, there is somebody. It’s Kate Nutt.
And she can deliver that for you, too.”
— Belinda Williams