Cooperative Venture Workspace member Rachael Kloss Pawlik spent some time in Los Angeles to, as she said, “find myself.”
And what she found were the inklings of a life as a professional photographer and the foundation for her business, Dragonfly Photography.
Having grown up in Georgetown — on the Massachusetts North Shore — and after attending Framingham State University, where she took some photography classes and training as a graphic designer, she found she was in a job she hated at a cell phone store in Salem, N.H.
That’s when she moved to Santa Monica, CA to find something new. Working as a cocktail waitress, she had some actor friends, and actors need headshots to bring to auditions.
“So I started doing headshots in exchange for lunch,” she said. “After a while, I started charging.”
Dragonfly Photography emerged from that 10 years ago. She ultimately returned East because there was more work here than there was there.
She works from her home in Portsmouth, but appreciates not only the convenience but the community that the Cooperative Venture Workspace provides at 36 Maplewood Avenue, Portsmouth.
The Class A office space at the Workspace offers a variety of memberships and amenities to fit the needs of professionals looking for flexible workspace.
“The space is great,” said Rachael. “I work from home and it can get a little lonely. I love coming here. You get greeted, and you’re with people. It’s making me more involved in the community.”
Her work is primarily shooting weddings, which has led to other photo sessions. “A lot of life goes with weddings,” Rachael said. Weddings often lead to babies. “I have certain clients I photograph all their life stages,” she noted.
She’s good at what she does. She’s been Northshore Magazine’s recipient of the Best of the North Shore for wedding photography the past three years. Her work was also featured recently in Cosmopolitan Magazine’s online array of Fourth of July wedding photos.
“I love light, and I use light in unique ways,” said Rachael. “Most people wouldn’t set up a shot the way I do.”
The fact that she has a background as a graphic designer helps with the photography. “It lets you do so much more than just take a picture,” she noted.
The dragonfly in her company name has a lot of meaning for Rachael.
She remembers a yard growing up in Georgetown filled with dragonflies, plus they hold a particular meaning for a lot of people. “They’re peaceful, they’re spiritual. Everything around a dragonfly has a certain meaning,” she said. “I get a certain clientele attracted to me because of the dragonfly in the name.”
Rachael, in addition to using the workspace to conduct her business, has taken advantage of its amenities to teach a basic photography class. It’s something she plans to do more of in the future in the workspace. She’s thinking, for example, of a one-day session on how to take better photos using your smartphone.
In the meantime, she’s prepared to travel just about anywhere to photograph a wedding, where she’ll use her lens to capture the emotion. “I’m submerged in it,” she said of her work.