It’s a bit ironic that, by day, Sydney-based Pat Kay is a user experience designer. For nearly 10 years now, his full-time job has been all about building online digital experiences, while his personal life has revolved around chasing moments.
A self-proclaimed “experience chaser,” Pat began photography as a hobby to escape the monotony of his daily routine. He needed an excuse to chase adventure on a more regular basis, and taking photos became the catalyst that got him away from the computer, exploring the world and experiencing new things.
Throughout time, his photography style has evolved. He’s a “run-and-gun” kind of photographer, and doesn’t usually rely on tripods, preferring to be mobile instead. It gives him the ability to play around with angles, perspective, and composition, and he likes the experimental nature it adds to his photos.
He believes it’s the photographer’s job to enable viewers to create their own stories about a particular image, instead of forcing a narrative on them.
He looks to make a dramatic impact, hoping to create images that will punch viewers in the face, so to speak, and then give them a big hug. The kind of images that will make people stop, then make them smile — that’s his goal.
“Good photographs are a dime a dozen,” he says. “How do you stop someone from scrolling through their feed of good photos and make them notice yours?”
Right now, Pat uses color and scale to get his followers’ attention. Since he doesn’t believe in manipulating his images, he ensures that they are expertly graded. That’s what makes him stand out from any other photographer capturing the same scene.
The introduction of drones into the photography world only further impacted Pat’s style. He loves the opportunity to see the world from new angles, and relishes how it has shaped his photography.
“We’re seeing some homogenization of styles right now, and I believe that the ability to capture images from the air will be irreplaceable in the photographer’s toolkit for years to come,” he says.
Photography hasn’t just given Pat the opportunity to escape his day job, though. And, thanks to his international travel experiences, he has learned some important lessons about the world at large. About being optimistic, about how kind people are, about how much context matters, and about how carrying old perceptions into a new environment doesn’t always yield the best experiences.
More than anything, he’s found that getting into a rhythm behind his camera lens makes his day-to-day life a bit happier.
“I’ve really started to dive into and learn about focus, and the art of being in the moment,” he says.
“For me, it’s addicting. I love the process, and I love that I’ve found a way to feed my soul.”
Pat isn’t sure where his photography will take him in the future, or what his style will evolve into next, but he does know one key thing. He’ll always be chasing the experiences that matter.