When I first began talking about being a photographer, people made a lot of snide remarks.

“How hard can it be to take a photograph?” “How are you going to make a living?” “You’re just going to be a starving artist.” “I hope you like eating beans out of a can.”

Laughter often accompanied the comments. I ignored the noise! After all, I was determined, stubborn and in love with the art! In all fairness, none of those people knew what it meant to be a photographer, including myself.

Makeup by Andre Sarmiento, dna beauty academy

Selfie in my biggest hat – Kate sZatmari

Like with everything else, you learn as you go. So I learned and, let me tell you, “taking a photo” was the easiest part of the job! I’m not just a photographer, I’m… well, just take a look below:

Lawyerly Hat:

Negotiating and writing contracts, outlining licensing agreements and talent release forms.

Not necessarily my favorite part. I remember writing my first wedding contract, in the early days of my career. It wasn’t easy and, in all honesty, legal jargon is tricky. It’s a bunch of loopholes and god-forbid-you-miss-a-comma because the meaning totally changes and your contract is void.

Thankfully, a lot of my clients have their own contract as jobs are largely based on full buyout terms and through the years I recruited real entertainment lawyers, but in the beginning it was all on me and the fact is, it’s still up to me to make the final call with every contract I sign.

Senna Cosmetics

I never wear a hat to do lawyerly things.

Accountant’s Hat:

I actually love this part. I know it’s strange. I’m an artist, I’m not supposed to like using the left side of my brain! But give me charts, numbers and color coding! I love invoicing, paying out talent and every other paperwork involved with producing a photo shoot.

Senna Cosmetics

To Do’s by Glenn Carstens-Peters

Marketing Director Hat:

Alright, I’ll keep it real. I suck at social media. This is my downfall.

When I first started, you just had to have a website, a business card, your link on partner sites, and maybe advertising in an actual ad book and send out cold emails.

Now it’s blogging, Facebook personal page, business page, Instagram, Live, Your Story, Twitter, Pintrest, Linkedin, Snapchat, periscope… (I’m sure I’m missing some “relevant” social platform).

Be funny, be witty, be brainy, be consistent, know what time of the day to post. Who can keep up with all this? Never mind the HUGE demand for new material. I have honestly beat my head against the wall trying to figure out how someone “makes it” on Instagram. I saw a book about it: How to Be Instagram Famous. I guess a lot of people are wondering… 😉

Photo of my desktop by yours truly

Therapist’s Hat:

Yes, a therapist. As a photographer, I don’t have the chance to interact and bond with the talent like a makeup or hairstylist does. I meet them and say hello, but other than that I have to read them on the spot and immediately make them comfortable.

A model’s job is to transform to emulate my vision and sell a product. It’s so different than an actor’s job. They have lines, marks, scenes. A model has only herself and a set of instructions. It’s some serious pressure, for everyone involved!

When I’m working with an actor, I’ve learned to listen and actually hear what they’re really saying verbally and through their body language. I pick up on their energy, adapt and use the information gathered to get what I need photographically.

On a recent shoot, I was given an hour with the talent. When they walked in and assessed them, I turned to the art director and said “I have 15 minutes with this individual and it’s a wrap. They won’t give me anything past that point.” It’s a balancing act.

Photo by Kate sZatmari

So that’s pretty much the definition of a “photographer”. It’s wearing a lot of fabulous hats but, thankfully, most of them suit my head shape! lol

Check out my marketing director hat 😉

Kate sZatmari – Bio

makeup artist andre sarmiento, dna beauty academy

Beauty and portrait photographer Kate sZatmari has created memorable work for Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Glamour and Rolling Stone among many other national and international publications.

Known in the industry for her artful images of actors, actresses, musicians and writers, sZatmari has completed projects for companies including Guthy Renker, La Prairie, O.P.I, Universal Music, Interscope Records, Lionsgate, Simon & Schuster and The Met Agency.

With European roots, sZatmari brings her trademark professionalism and keen eye to every shoot, offering clients a comfortable experience with spectacular results.

sZatmari was awarded two WMA Awards for best editorial features and travels between Los Angeles, New York and Toronto.