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Kara Rosenlund

Creative People

Recently, we introduced the latest project from Brisbane based photographer and stylist Kara Rosenlund – a very special new book entitled ‘Shelter, How Australians Live’.

Today, we delve a little deeper into Kara’s world, as our Queensland contributor Jo Hoban visits Kara in her incredible studio in Albion, on the fringe of inner city Brisbane.

29th October, 2015
Jo Hoban
Thursday 29th October 2015

Kara Rosenlund is not afraid to stray from a well-trodden path and stir up the dust on a lesser-known dirt track – all to tell a story. It’s what she does best. Wherever she travels, Kara is on a mission to create and capture honest images of contemporary culture, and to share those images and start a conversation. She is a stylist, photographer, adventurer and storyteller. Put simply, she is an impressive creative force.

Based on the fringes of inner city Brisbane, Kara currently works out of a co-working warehouse in Albion called Vieille Branche. From here, she tackles diverse briefs, such as planning an interiors shoot for a hotel, or going bush for a magazine shoot, or styling a lunch for 40. ‘If a project piques my curiosity, I am in!’ she explains.

For inspiration, Kara looks to nature. ‘I’m inspired by the smallest of things, like the light dancing through the trees, the colour of a shell, or some paperbark torn from a tree.’ She considers styling an opportunity for great story telling – a notion which goes some way to explain her distinctive aesthetic.  In all that she does, Kara tries ensure her work appears ‘authentic, untouched, real’. She’s particularly conscious of resisting the urge to ‘over-style’.

While she now has a stable work space, Kara has been a little hard to pin down over the past 12 months! Her new book Shelter: How Australians Live (which we recently featured here!) saw Kara travelling around the Australian bush, visiting different folks, via word-of-mouth contacts and tip-offs. She has also just returned home from an incredible trip to Namibia, Africa, where she spent time documenting the region’s Indigenous tribes. ‘It was such an enriching opportunity, sharing no language, though still being able to communicate through feelings and body language’ Kara says.  The remarkable imagery captured on this trip has been published on Kara’s popular blog.

Most recently, Kara has been working with Brisbane’s new West Elm store on a variety of collaborative projects, from event styling to intimate workshops and talks. A series of upcoming workshops will involve sharing her tips and knowledge on decorating and creating beautiful homes. ‘I feel very lucky to be able to communicate visually, in a way that I love so very much,’ she says.

Whether  found on location at a luxury resort, or pausing roadside for a solo dinner at an outback pub, Kara’s intrepid adventures are fuelled by her ever inquisitive nature, and a contagious sense of humour. There is one constant, though – she’s always happiest when she’s telling a story. ‘Things don’t always last forever, so I’m making the most of it now and going for gold!’ she says.

Brisbane locals can meet Kara at the new West Elm store in Fortitude Valley for her book tour on Thursday 19th November, from 6.30pm – 8.30pm! RSVP here.

Detail from the Brisbane studio of stylist, photographer and storyteller Kara Rosenlund. Photo – Mindi Cooke for The Design Files.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email