KYLIE ROBERTS IS AN UP-AND-COMING HOBBY PHOTOGRAPHER WHOSE QUARTET OF CHILDREN HAVE HELPED GARNER HER A LEGION OF LOYAL FOLLOWERS.
On any given morning, more than 42,000 people will go online to see if Kylie Roberts, (AKA @Kpinko) has been to work.
If she has, they will feel compelled to post a flurry of enthusiastic comments critiquing her efforts ranging from “damn, this is rad” to “amaze balls, I adore it”. If she hasn’t, they will check religiously each day until another of her signature moody landscapes is uploaded to inspire and delight them.
What few will realise though is that as a hard-working solo parent to four young children, the 44-year-old Sunshine Coaster remains a hobby photographer who often struggles to find the time needed to pursue her passion.
Kylie says she started out taking photos of her children with only her smartphone around 2012 but it wasn’t until she joined Instagram that she began to understand the power of a single image.
Having always lived close to the beach, Kylie says it was a natural progression for her to begin taking seascapes and landscapes. It is this that she is now best known for despite the fact she still takes a lot of portraits.
“Photography is a hobby for me but I do spend most of my free time rising early for sunrise and chasing sunsets and the occasional storm when I can. I tend to only photograph nature in all its wonderful elements as being immersed in nature has been a wonderful healer for me – mind, body and soul,” she says.
“People often tell me they know it’s my photo before they see my name on it and that’s a huge compliment to me.”
In addition to providing for her offspring, Kylie is also a proud member of independent photography group Ozshot’s online group where she works as a community manager. Her role involves posting on the group’s Instagram and film accounts.
Set up to promote the work of underrated photographers, the job also requires that Kylie be hands-on with the group’s quarterly print publication and to assist intermittently with group workshops teaching people new skills and helping to host monthly photo meets.
But while this work means the world to her, it is her own progress of which she is most proud. Being the sole caregiver to her children means Kylie isn’t often able to travel too far afield to discover new sites, so while she frequently shoots at well-known locations, she also works hard at uncovering new angles to offer a fresh perspective.
Having always been drawn to what she terms as the “darker side” of creative art and live performance, Kylie says this has been a huge influence on her editing style.
Clearly this approach has hit a chord with her followers across social media, with her followers hailing from all corners of the globe and with many considered influencers within their own right.
Since securing her first follow five years ago, Kylie has slowly built up an online audience of more than 42,100 people on her personal Instagram page and more than 14,000 on Ozshot’s version. She says the social media channel has proved to be an “incredibly positive and creative outlet” for her.
“I try to be a little unique and my photos tend to have a certain moodiness to them. I’m all about the mood and the light [and] I’m glad my dark and moody though vibrant photos are so well liked. It gives me a lot of encouragement to keep pursuing my passion.”
Two years ago Kylie took the brave step to sell all her existing photographic equipment and start over with Nikon. Impressed with the sharpness and incredible dynamic range and colour, her camera body of choice is the Nikon D750, while her go-to lenses are the NIKKOR AF-S 16-35mm f/4G ED VR for landscapes and the NIKKOR AF-S 85mm f/1.4G for her portraiture work.
While she has yet to turn her hobby into commercial commissions, her unique talents have been noticed within the broader photography community, resulting in one of Kylie’s images gracing the cover of Australian Photography Magazine earlier this year.
“I was so flattered to be asked and it was a huge honour,” she says.
In learning to use her equipment as an extension of herself, Kylie says she has spent much of the past year taking long exposures and seeking to “get everything right in camera” so as to spend less time editing.
2018 will see Kylie attempt to take her photography to the next level.
“Producing high quality images – whilst still having my style that people recognise me for [is the aim]. [I’d also like to] travel more and go on some awesome adventures discovering and taking photos of our beautiful country. Tasmania is first on my list.”
To see more of Kylie’s work follow her on Instagram.
[Words: Tracey Porter]