You can tell a lot about a person based on their choice of meeting spots. For Ketevan Giorgadze, it was Peonies Cafe on Rue du Fauberg Saint Denis in Paris’ 10th: A millennial pink coffee shop that serves matcha lattes and sells fresh flowers, in an area reminiscent of Peckham in South London, or Bushwick in Brooklyn. Ketevan is well known for her artistic, ambitious dreamscapes of Paris and beyond, her photography is a delight of bright florals, primary colours, tulle, lush interiors, champagne and pastries. I caught up with her to find out about her life, career, inspirations and thoughts on the business of influencer marketing.
First things first, how did you get started?
I’d been dreaming about Paris since my childhood, and it was my ambition to live in Paris. I moved to the South of France to do my Masters in Marketing. After finishing it, I had an opportunity to do an internship in Paris. I was so excited, I had my flat, I had a new camera, and ... When you're very inspired, you want to share it with people.
Eventually, I got in touch with some local bloggers in Paris. When you're abroad, it's hard to make friends - especially if you don't speak very good French. I caught a glimpse into the blogger life, and they were just doing normal things, just taking pictures on an iPhone. I had a camera and I thought, "I can do this as well actually and I can do it even better." So I decided to take it seriously, I started to take more pictures, tried to develop my style and I found my niche. I'm picnic girl. It was kind of new thing and I got a lot of appreciation for it. And so the page started growing and it’s just inspired me to work more and more on photography.
Your feed is so ambitious. Where do you get your ideas for your photographs?
That's Instagram actually. Before Instagram, before this whole social media thing, I was really into Tumblr and Pinterest. I have thousands of pictures on my old hard drive that I saved from Internet. So I really like looking at pictures and photographers. It was perfect when Instagram appeared. I started to follow talented people and it just inspired me to travel to certain destinations. All my travels are mostly based on a destination I found on Instagram and it’s just more convenient now than going to a website separately.
And how do you decide what makes it onto your grid?
Let's say I'm very into details. If the picture isn't perfect, it's annoying me. I'm not sharing it. And so actually it's mostly like I work to make the picture perfect. We plan everything, what I wear, where we go, at what time, et cetera. So actually it's not personal, maybe it's more like work and preparation. As for personal, I have never had... I'm kind of introverted. I have never had a desire to share my personal life. I just like creating something specific and something special for the page. And even on other social networks like Facebook or something, I don't share anything.
What do you think is the best kept secret in Paris?
Open but not well-known rooftops, of course, because it's something not everyone seen. And it offers an exceptional view that you can't find from a restaurant or hotel. So I think that's the best thing to do in Paris, seeing the City of love from a bird’s eye view. It’s breathtaking.
Do you have any tips or tricks for people that are starting out?
I think it's very important, of course be yourself, but don't be afraid to inspire yourself from others. I'm not saying that you should copy, but if you want to do even picnic like me, you can still do it, it wouldn’t be exactly the same. It was exactly how I began, I started doing everything and then I just found my thing. So you can inspire yourself from others, try to maybe imitate, to do something similar and understand if it's for you, if it works for you or not and you'll find your style.
What camera do you use?
In the beginning I was using only my iPhone, and now, since March I think, I'm using only my camera because I'm more satisfied with the quality especially when there are people in the picture. I love old products and Canon 6D. It's a full frame camera that’s not as expensive as 5D and offers the same possibilities. And I use standard portrait lens, 50 millimeters and wide lens 16 to 35 because for Instagram you need wide lens.
And editing software?
Before, it was Photoshop because I wasn't editing many photos. I found the Photoshop interface easier, but now I'm doing Lightroom because it's much easier to edit lots of pictures at the same time. Or sometimes, I’ll use an iPhone app. I just edit pictures from iPhone for my stories because it's fast. And either I use my presets on Lightroom mobile or there is an app called Prime who also have really nice presets.
How would you describe your content to someone who’s never seen it?
Girly, dreamy, Paris.
Tell us something no one knows about you?
I was born in Georgia, the small country between Turkey and Russia. My real name is Ketevan and my nickname is composed of my name in Georgian, Katie One, because it sounds like Ketevan.
What’s been your favourite brand collaboration to work on?
I worked with Uber and they had a really nice campaign. It was really close to my state of mind because they were talking about environmental problems and having too many cars on the roads. And they asked me to take a picture on the road with cars so we did a picture with lights behind and with traffic.
What is the best thing about your job and the worst thing about your job?
The best thing is meeting people. Since I started my blog, I have thousands of friends who are very talented and in different fields. Photographers, videographers, just travellers. Lots of creatives all over the world, because I take pictures with them and connect via Instagram. And the worst maybe is waking up for sunrise everyday!
Advice to your younger self?
Maybe to not be afraid. Because in the beginning I was very shy and thinking, "Oh my God I can't do it. I have to have amazing skills or the best camera to do the best picture." But actually you can ... With any affordable tech gear. Whatever is affordable for you, because if you if you think and work, you can do it ... Make the best of it even if it's cheap, like cheap gear. And don't be shy.
Who is your favourite person to follow on Instagram?
I’ve followed Leonie Hanne (@ohhcouture) for over 5 years, and I’m a huge fan of her work. She’s a big inspiration for me in terms of style and travel.
Final last words?
I think it's very important to be responsible for what you do. I hear a lot of complaints from brands and bloggers that don't realise their responsibility and, it's really ruining the industry. So I would really love to add if you want to do something, do it properly. Being responsible for what you do even on social media is very important.
Wise words indeed. You can follow Ketevan here, and read her blog here.