This year’s summer catalog was a blast, for many reasons, and one of them is because we got to work with an amazing Chicago-based photographer, Katrina Wittkamp. Katrina is an excellent example of organic connections that is fueling our company. When we opened our store “experiment”, the Studio+Store at our warehouse location, she noticed the sign on the sidewalk featuring Modern Bedding. She stopped in and promptly fell in love with all we had, bought our Larch bedding and a collection of throw pillows. At checkout she could not contain the fact that she lives nearby, is a pro photographer working often with CS Interiors and adores our brand. The day arrived months later that we needed another photographer and we knew Katrina was the perfect fit. Not only was she a Unison fan already and is super talented – she has the most adorable kids who could also be our models – perfecto! All we can say is the shoot went great, the results were beyond our expectations and we too fell in love!
We asked Katrina to share a bit about her (amazing story!) and how we found each other (also pretty fascinating!):
You have such an inspiring, modern home. Have you always lived in such cool digs?
I am originally from North Carolina….I grew up outside of Asheville, North Carolina in the Smoky Mountains. Last summer, I took my kids to visit my childhood home, which is on top of a mountain in Sylva, North Carolina and it looked so small I was almost embarrassed. The kids said, “is this it???” I have such fond memories of that house, which we heated with wood stoves and we grew all our own food in a huge garden next to the house. We even had an orchard, and when we needed a snack we would often climb down the mountain in search of wild blackberry bushes. My mom lived an “organic” and “sustainable” lifestyle before people even used these terms. This upbringing has influenced my choices as an adult, and my husband and I chose stay in the city even after having kids because we like being about to bike or walk anywhere. We also decided to buy a solar-powered “green” home in the city. Since we have moved in six months ago our largest electric bill has been $13.
What drew you to photography?
I started taking pictures in college after taking a photojournalism course at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. I quickly realized I would be taking pictures the rest of my life. I obsessed over, dreamed about and absolutely fell in love with photography. After graduating from UNC, I started an internship at the Chicago Tribune and my second love to photography became the city of Chicago. I will never forget my first drive up Lake Shore Drive and the city unfolded in front of me. I had never seen anything so beautiful.
You’ve shot product for Unison and it’s been a match made in heaven. Want to share the story?
When we were building our Chicago home a year ago, I happened upon the Unison warehouse store which is a few blocks from our house. I couldn’t believe my good luck when I walked in the store and saw all the beautiful linens and pillows. I almost blurted out “where have you been all my life.” I bought the Larch Ash duvet cover for our master bedroom and paired it with Dover Ocean sheets….it looks exquisite. I mentioned to the woman who was helped me at Unison that we were building a new home down the street from Unison if they ever needed a location for shooting some of their products. This is how I became fortunate enough to shoot some of the photos for the new Unison catalog.
Family time is important to you, too. What do you like to do with your kids?
I have two kids, August who is 6 and Ella who is 9. They are city kids through and through. They always ask “is there valet?” when we drive to a restaurant, and they do a happy dance when I find free parking. We love going for bike rides around the city on the weekends, and lately we’ve been having “epic” Uno card games in the evening after dinner. And every Wednesday we all snuggle up on the couch and watch Modern Family which is our hands-down favorite show.
What room in your home is your family naturally drawn to?
My favorite place in my house is my bed. I love my dark grey walls of my bedroom, and my beautiful Unison linens of course. My daughter and I go upstairs every evening around 8pm and snuggle in my bed and read our books for an hour or so. Ella is a voracious reader and I love to read as well, so this is my favorite time of day. I tell my daughter this on a nightly basis and she rolls her eyes and says, “I KNOW mom, you say that every night.”
Here are more shots by Katrina from our summer catalog!