We first met Kat and Em when they popped by our booth at WPPI: we loved the way Em styled her Palma, so we were thrilled to find out that the pair had a blog highlighting their fashion choices. The Refined Woman is about “embracing femininity without sacrificing functionality,” a goal that we at ONA strive to achieve with bags like the Palma and the Chelsea. Both Kat and Em are professional photographers with a discerning eye for elegance, so the photos on The Refined Woman are just as gorgeous as the outfits: we’re obsessed.
Em carries the Palma Satchel.
ONA: How did you get into blogging?
TRW: Photography was the gateway to blogging for me. And eventually I began to realize that I liked writing almost as much as I enjoy shooting. For me, it’s the way that images and words together form the story better than either can alone.
ONA: What’s your favorite thing to photograph?
TRW: That’s such a hard question, since Kat and I both shoot such a wide variety of images. Some days it’s a bride preparing to meet her husband for the first time on their wedding day, that is such a meaningful and intimate moment that I feel so privileged to be a part of moments like that. Other days I feel like the luckiest girl in the world when I get to photograph lifestyle images for other fashion-minded people, whether it’s another blogger or another photographer. The most amazing gift is that being a photographer means so many different things on a daily basis, but what connects it all is the relationships it allows me to have with so many different people and places.
ONA: How does photography play a role on your blog?
TRW: One thing that is important for our blog is to show how fashion can really change the way you FEEL. The best of fashion is when a polished outfit can transform your whole outlook and make you feel empowered and happy. So one thing we try to do is show the way clothes move, make us want to dance, and make us smile. Photography plays an essential role in communicating those ideas.
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
TRW: If I had it my way I would rock my Contax 645 + 80mm lens all day every day. When I’m shooting digital, I’m using my 5D Mark III + 50 1.2.
ONA: What inspired you to start your blog?
Kat and I are both photographers to begin with. When we met we immediately bonded over our mutual love for fashion and incorporating that into our businesses. Once we realized what a need there was for inspiration for not only photographers but other women out there who want to be feminine but still professional and put together, we knew we had to start The Refined Woman. We are definitely still figuring out what it means to incorporate femininity and functionality into what we wear but it’s been such a rewarding journey to figure it out together and share it with our readers.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?
It’s difficult, in a day where everyone has a blog, to do this thing your own way. But I think that what draws people to your blog, is your story, and being able to tell it authentically. People know when you are pouring your heart into what you are doing, and they will respond to that honesty. It’s scary to put your real heart and soul into something as public as a blog, but it’s worth it.
ONA: What’s your favorite post on your site and why? [i.e. the best “introduction” to what your site is all about]
My favorite post on The Refined Woman has to be the recap of the day Kat + I were able to attend the Fall 2013 JCrew Presentation at this last New York Fashion Week, because that day really represents to me how incredible this journey has been and how much more has happened than we ever expected. We have truly met some incredible people through working on The Refined Woman together, and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.
ONA: How did you hear about ONA?
I think I heard about ONA through some photographer friends. I am really thankful for the photography community – it’s been an amazing resource when it comes to my business, everyone is always willing to share their “secrets” and I think that’s the best thing.