Collecting beautiful things, taking photos, writing, drawing, styling and design; Peta Rudd created a career for herself where she can enjoy all her eclectic passions.
The photographer, stylist and blogger is a self-confessed “Jack of all trades” whose work covers everything from fashion to weddings.
“For me, styling and photography go hand in hand. I can’t imagine doing one without the other,” she says.
“It’s very difficult for me to hand over either role to someone else because my vision is always so clear in my mind and I am such a perfectionist.”
Rudd picked up her first camera 20 years ago and proved so proficient she was encouraged by her photography teacher to apply to study at RMIT University.
“After I finished my course I was still torn between all of my creative interests and was a little overwhelmed by the photographic industry,” Rudd says.
She took a break from photography, but eventually pursued styling at the suggestion of a friend in the publishing industry.
“I styled for a couple of interiors magazines and slowly got back into shooting for myself. My passion reignited and grew from there.
“As soon as I was introduced to the world of styling, all of a sudden everything clicked. I discovered that the more diverse your interests and skills the better.”
Rudd increased her skills base by taking to the world of blogging and social media to share her work.
“To begin with it was a creative outlet and a place to draw together my inspirations,” Rudd says.
The decision to go freelance in 2010 confirmed the need to be adept in social media and she launched a new website - petarudd.com
The new career path also brought her back to Canberra.
“It’s just such an easy city to live in, everything’s so accessible. For me it’s got a lot to offer,” Rudd says.
“I see my business as being online and I can travel almost anywhere in Australia to do it.”
In recent years she has covered everything from portraiture, modelling folios and look-books, to wardrobe styling, branding images and editorial fashion.
She is also a regular photographer for Maybelline New York Australia’s online magazine, M-edition, capturing local street styles.
“I’m looking here locally in Canberra for stylish people and people who dress a little bit more uniquely,” she says.
“Wherever I am I just take my camera with me and keep an eye out.”
She is also working with Milkshake Creative on their new bridal magazine Hitched and recently added photographing weddings to her portfolio.
While the 36-year-old has made a career that manages to combine all her interest she admits it hasn’t been an easy road to success.
“I am definitely very grateful to be able to do what I love and make a living out of it, but having said that it has been a very tough journey getting to that point.”.
Rudd is constantly thinking of new ways to market herself and build her reputation.
“It’s about creating your own opportunities instead of sitting back and letting it come to you,” she says.
“You have to work so hard to put yourself out there and be seen.”
Years of hard work have paid off for the creative Canberran though and she is able to indulge her passions on a regular basis.
She has been collecting beautiful items, vintage clothing and props since university. She uses the extensive collection in her work and is always looking for more things to add.
“I’ve got a pretty trained eye now so I can pretty quickly scan a shop and look for particular textures or particular materials … anything that grabs my eye.
“I think it’s the romantic within all creatives that constantly seeks the beauty in life and also the fun, playful moments.
“When you’re working full time in this industry, this has to be how you view things because you are constantly on the go.”
Not content to rest on her laurels, Rudd is working on her own vintage clothing label and would one day like to be published in the best fashion magazines, exhibit her work, and create fashion and music videos.
“I have so many goals and ambitions it’s dizzying,” Rudd says. “Essentially, I just want to continue moving forward doing what I love most, meeting other creatives and having fun with what we do and most importantly, get paid to do it!”