LADY BOSS: Kara Rosenlund

Kara Rosenlund is my kind of gal. She’s a  nature lover with an incredible eye for beauty, and a deep curiosity about people and how they live. She’s a photographer, stylist, author, adventurer and storyteller. Her first book, Shelter, was published last year and took her on a huge adventure all around Australia, meeting interesting folk and photographing the way they live and the spaces they inhabit. “‘I simply followed a conversation around the country, like a bush telegraph,” she says.

It’s our WOMEN issue, so we thought we’d ask some impressive ladies about life, with plants and Kara’s up first!

Image © Kara Rosenlund

Please tell us about yourself and what you do.
My name is Kara Rosenlund, I’m a travel and lifestyle photographer, a stylist and an author. I have a visual curiosity for all things natural and I love the ‘ordinary in the everyday’.  I’m also an online shop keeper and it is here where I curate my photographic prints from travels around Australia and further a field. I’m also just about to launch a personal lifestyle collection for the home, inspired by nature. Offering my favourite objects I love to live with, made locally in Australia and also collected from my travels abroad.

What is the greatest thing about being a woman?
I can’t say from experience, though I’m in utter awe of pregnancy. The natural journey of growing a child and listening to your body. It’s so primitive, I find it so fascinating.

What has been your most significant personal achievement?
My career, to which I’m so grateful.  I had a very colourful and successful career many many years ago which I decided to walk away and never would I have of thought I could have it back. To be doing what I love again each day and making it as personal as I do is such a big achievement. I work ridiculously bloody hard, though I wouldn’t have it any other way. I truly love what I do and having the opportunity to meet so many extraordinary people.

What’s your worst habit?
I have a few, my time management is a bit shonky (I’m late with this interview!), but It’s because I don’t like to rush things, I like to give each job the time it deserves.

Which female in history or the present day do you admire and why?
Easy – Jane Goodall, primatologist, ethnologist, anthropologist and UN Messenger of Peace, but to me so much more. I have a photograph of her above my desk in my studio, reminding me to keep it real. I adore her and all what she has done for the world. I could listen to her voice for hours.

Jane Goodall has such a way with her words, her honesty is piercing and she is a true woman of influence.

Image © Kara Rosenlund
Image © Kara Rosenlund
Image © Kara Rosenlund
Image © Kara Rosenlund

Do women really have it all?
Some days, I suppose. I always tell myself that life is a game of snakes and ladders, some days you go up a ladder and some days you go down a snake – natural progression has a way of levelling life out.

If you were a plant, what would you be?
I’m much like a blooming bush of hydrangeas. I’m old school, I can be fussy and I like a lot of water.

What is one piece of wisdom (a saying, a philosophy for life, etc.) that you learnt from your mother/grandmother?
My mother has an enormous heart and is always on the lookout for those in need. She is a big believer in the spirit of people and that there is more good than bad in the world.

What is one characteristic or trait that you inherited from your father/grandfather?
So many, but the one which is most undeniable is our shared trait of never being able to sit still. My father and I are very similar and we are at our most happiest when we are creating something with our hands.

If you had to make a garden with three plants, what would they be and why have you chosen each of them?
I’m very sentimental, so I would create a garden which stirred memories of good meaningful times. There would be glossy green and white gardenias, as they remind me of home in Queensland and hosing in the front yard outside our weatherboard cottage on weekends. Then, orange trees, as they remind me of time spent in Morocco with my boyfriend (now husband) with the fragrance of orange blossom heavy in the air.  Finally, there’d be rangoon creeper or Quisqualis – it smells like a honeysuckle and reminds me of shooting an old homestead in central Queensland for my book Shelter. I had never smelt the fragrance before and it stirs a time of such freedom for me, when I was travelling around the country, road tripping and seeking old authentic homes and landscapes for my book.

Name one thing you couldn’t live without.
The support and love of those closest to me.

Life is soulless without love.

What cheers you up?
Being in nature, whether its photographing in the bush or floating in the ocean. A good dose of nature tops me back up again.

What would you be doing in an alternate life or career?
I love travel and tribes, so in an alternate life, in an alternate era I would have loved to have been an anthropologist in the field. I’m fascinated with people and the way we live. What we surround ourselves with, what comforts us, our tools, the styles of our shelters and how we live with whats around us.

What’s one lesson you’ve learnt from the plant kingdom?
A good dose of sunshine and a splash of water can perk those petals up again!