At Home With :: Kirra Smith

May 19, 2020 | At Home, Lifestyle Feature

Today we chat with local Gold Coast based photographer, wordsmith, globetrotter and kind hearted woman, Kirra Smith about how she's going during these challenging times, trekking through the Himalayas with a group of travel photographers and her top tips for local takeaway!

Hi Kirra! We go way back, having known each other through your work, TVM and similar social circles. I know how much the current global pandemic is affecting local creatives right now, we hope you’re doing ok! Tell us what work looked like for you, prior to COVID-19?

Before COVID-19 I was quite busy as a freelance writer and photographer, things were starting to pick up for the year ahead and I had lots of big plans for where I wanted to take my business.

How has COVID-19 affected your work so far?

Of course, as soon as the restrictions were put in place, I lost the majority of my work – I shoot food/venues, portraits and weddings mostly so all that had to stop . Luckily I’m also a writer so that continued in bits and pieces and I did have a few (socially distant) photography jobs pop up. It wasn’t all bad but (as it was for everyone) it was quite stressful for awhile. I am excited to see how all this changes things for me going forward, I have learned MANY lessons about how I work, what I love most and how being busy doesn’t necessarily mean being successful. Which I’ve loved honestly.

Where do you live and who are you self isolating with?

I live with my brother Dan and my Staffy Jagger. We’ve obviously been spending A LOT of time together but I’m quite lucky that we get on well and our house is big enough to escape each other when we need to.

What does your creative space look like at home? 

Like a mixture of all the things I love most. There’s lots of art, notebooks, candles and of course, a few cameras and film canisters on my desk plus old issues of travel and fashion magazines I love flicking through for inspiration (and to make collages – my fave iso activity). There are also a few novels on the floor beside me, always a good distraction when my brain has reached its’ creative capacity for the day.

How are you staying creatively inspired right now (it’s a struggle some days, right!?)?

SUCH a struggle some days. I find that I work best in the morning but if I don’t have any creative inspiration on a particular day, I just don’t work. I can’t make myself do something if I’m not feeling it and of course, the work isn’t good if you push it just for the sake of getting it done. Having said that, reading and magazines are probably the best ways for me to stay inspired. I have read so many incredible books lately and I’m obsessed with fashion and travel so looking at beautiful images is one of my favourite ways too.

Great, you're an avid reader - what are the top 3 books you've read in iso?

The best three books I’ve ready in iso are The Great Alone, The Switch and The Ruin. All so beautifully written, I could read them again and again. Oh and My Dark Vanessa, I’ve done A LOT of reading lately!

What sort of work projects do you love the most?

I love working with people to showcase their lives and work. Whether it’s restaurants/cafes, business owners or families, sharing stories is my absolute favourite thing to do.

I absolutely adore your photos and am obsessed with travel, so your travel images are my favourite. Tell me about your best travel experience to date?

Thank you! Travelling is the absolute love of my life, I didn’t do a lot when I was young so I’ve been making up for it the past few years. In November of 2019 I went to Nepal and trekked through the Himalayas with a group of travel photographers. I’ve never been a big hiker so there was a lot of preparation involved and the actual trek was the most beautiful and difficult experience I’ve ever had. We walked for up to eight hours a day at altitude so it was very physically challenging but more than that, it was mentally so hard. When I reached the highest point (5,500 metres) I cried, not for the first time that day, because getting there was the hardest thing I’d ever done but I’d made it and having done that I knew there was nothing I couldn’t do. Plus obviously, the Himalayas are so, so beautiful and some of the photos I took there are the best I’ve taken. So that was the best travel and general experience of my life for sure.

Can you choose one of your absolute fave images and share some insight into the image with us?

That’s a hard one! I think this one means the most to me. I was asked to submit an image for LIVIN x Robina Town Centre’s photography exhibition Collective Minds last year depicting my interpretation of mental health. There were about 15 incredible local (including internationally renowned) photographers asked to participate and I was SO honoured to be one of them. Seeing this image – called Emergence – hanging in the gallery was one of the most overwhelming and amazing experiences of my life (I cried). I was so proud to have been included in something so important among so many talented photographers, it was my first photo in an exhibition and one of the best days of my life.

You’re a local Gold Coast gal, tell us, what local eateries are you supporting right now whilst social distancing at home?

I go to either Custard Canteen or Espresso Moto every day for a coffee and for dinner, Restaurant Labart, The Collective and Etsu Izakaya. Plus Mr Consistent for a Margi mix - can’t be in iso without an epic margarita. Oh and Granddad Jack’s for gin and Black Hops for beers. Wow that sounds like I drink a lot. 

Lastly, a few quick ones for Iso Inspo!.....

Playlists to listen to? I’m one of those people who listen to the same things over and over again – my fave playlists are Hey, is that Ziggy Alberts, Hottest 100 of the Decade and The Office Stereo.

What to watch on Netlfix? I also absolutely loved lifestyle/surfing documentaries Given, Fishpeople and Under an Arctic Sky – they’re so beautiful and Normal People just came out on Stan (based on a book by Sally Rooney) and it’s SO GOOD,

Fave podcasts? I love On Being with Krista Tippett, Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations and My Dad Wrote a Porno is very funny.

What are your top 3 TVM businesses? Olas Supply Co, Lakiki Jewellery and The Wiener Haus.

Get in touch with the delightful Kirra Smith for brand collaborations and shoots, here: