At only 17, photographer and digital creator Natalie Kubenk from Prague, Czech Republic, is taking what it means to be a young artist to the next level with youthful, unique, and aesthetic content. With her strong focus in photography, we sent her some products to see where her mind is TAIKAN by them.
When did you get into photography and what inspired you?
I got into photography when I was about 13 or 14, I can’t really remember, but my best friend got a camera, so we used to go walk all over Prague and take photos of each other posing around downtown. I wanted a camera of my own, so my parents got me an amateur Nikon DSLR for Christmas. Afterwards I just started taking pictures of everything everywhere. I didn’t have a specific inspiration in the beginning, I just found it really fun.
After a couple of months of shooting I got into taking pictures of people on the street, and then I discovered I was too shy for that photography genre. Afterwards I realized I love taking photos of friends/people/models in cool clothing.
Tell us about the COVID situation in Prague right now. How has it impacted your life and your creativity?
It's pretty brutal here. For such a small country we have an average of 16k new COVID cases a day, which sucks, because everything closed down again. It really has impacted the creative side of my life, because I got way more spare time on my hands due to online education. I usually planned my photoshoots during online classes and put in one earphone, so I could shoot my editorials while being in class, which was tight. I pretty much had at least 2 to 3 photoshoots a week since the 3rd wave of COVID-19.
Creatively it was a bit harder. I had a few hard creative blocks, where I just questioned everything and totally wanted to change my style of photography, but I got over it pretty quickly when I got to shoot with closer friends and go crazy with them.
If you could travel anywhere to shoot right now, where would it be and why?
Probably Vancouver. I just really miss the Canadian lifestyle and the amazing people. Everyone there is so open-minded unlike here in Czech. I feel like brands give creatives so much more freedom.
Your dad was a well-known DJ, how has he influenced you with regards to music?
He pretty much shaped me and my music taste. He made me listen to A Tribe Called Quest and so on since the age of 0, so I think that impacted the way I create and what I listen to during shoots. My music taste can vary from Rockabilly, Reggae, RnB to Trap, Rap and Emo rap, so I’m not a picky listener, but still always go back to Hip Hop. Him and I can most definitely disagree on some songs, but mostly we find stuff we vibe to together.
Starting out at such a young age, what are your goals for your photography and content creation moving forward?
This is a really scary question for me, because I don’t really know how to answer. I would really like to get more into professional film photography, study/work with all sorts of creative production and get a spot at a fashion magazine or be a creative director at a cool brand.
What prompted the theme of your TAIKAN shoot?
Spring, colors, dancers, and friends mostly. I am so stoked for spring to come again. I’ve been stuck in a studio since November and rarely shot outside, so I am so happy that the weather and everything came together, and we’ve made it work.
If you could bring one TAIKAN to a deserted island, which bag would you choose and what would you pack in it?
Probably the purple sacoche because it’s really cool, it fits a small compact point and shoot film camera, which is a MUST! Would probably fit my phone, a small bottle of water and some spare film rolls. Don’t need anything else really.
NATYTHECHILD x TAIKAN on Spotify
When your dad is a well-known DJ, you’re bound to have stellar taste in music. Produced by young and upcoming Prague photographer Natalie Kubenk, this playlist boasts a healthy talent for music curation. If you need about 5 hours of fire tunes for the soul, this collection has to make its way its way through into your library.
From new RnB to smooth hip hop, Naty has scraped together a balance of classics from A Tribe Called Quest, bangers from Kendrick Lamar, and hidden gems from Lord Apex. Drop a follow on this list, check out our others, and take a look at Natalie’s work, ya dig?
Follow Naty on Instagram: @natythechild and @natytheninja