When you view Kris Baggetto Photography it’s hard to tell if it was her love for birds or a passion for film that came first.
Kris can seize the finest detail in each feather and capture remarkable characteristic of each winged species to give every photo a little extra intrigue.
Looking at her amazing photos it’s astonishing to know that it was her interest in birds that came first, and Kris said she only picked up a camera three years ago.
“When I was a kid my dad and brother kept finches and Peach-faced Love Birds,” Kris said.
“At one point I had some peach-faces (as we called them) as well. I cringe now at the thought of keeping birds in cages but that's probably where my love of birds first started.
“They're so beautiful and so intelligent; truly special creatures.
“Fast forward, about 35 years or so, to when I got my first camera three years ago and I just naturally gravitated towards bird photography.
“Once I started looking at them through the lens of my camera, I had a whole new appreciation and love for them and how amazing they are. I was well and truly hooked.”
Taking photos of birds is no easy feat as the flighty creatures are always wary of those who dare to get too close.
Kris said some species like Australian Pelicans or Rainbow Lorikeets were easy to photograph, as they usually allowed people to get close, especially at places like the Botanic Gardens where they're used to people.
“While others like Sacred Kingfishers and Rainbow Bee-eaters are far more wary and will fly off the second you get too close,” she said.
“It helps to have a long lens and to approach very cautiously but even then, lots of shots get missed because the bird gets spooked before I've even lifted my camera.
“It doesn't matter though because you know there's always another day.
“I have photographed around 90 species of birds but there are still hundreds out there yet to be photographed, which is so exciting.”
Kris said during her short photography career she has experienced many magical moments, including photographing quaint little ducklings at Baldwin Swamp, giving her memories she will never forget.
“They (the ducklings) were so completely and utterly gorgeous and (they) weren't the slightest bit concerned about me,” she said.
“I sat on the water's edge clicking away. Several times the sweet yellow fluffballs swam over towards me and then hopped out of the water right near me.
“A couple of times I even thought they were going to jump in my lap. It was the sweetest thing.
“I just loved it so much and could not stop smiling. I have often said that duck photography is a prescription for happiness and that sure was the case on this particular day.”
Kris has also enjoyed photographing Little Egrets as they fish early in morning at Hervey Bay.
“These beautiful birds are so animated as they flap their wings in short bursts, almost dancing on the surface of the water as they move around trying to catch fish,” she said.
“It was the most awesome and stunning display I have ever witnessed.
“Also, I have been very fortunate to have had quite a few Osprey close encounters, one recently of a bathing Osprey at Mon Repos Beach; such an awesome thing to witness, and also a few at Hervey Bay.
“To see these magnificent raptors at close range was such a privilege and a truly special experience that I will never forget.”
Photography talents run in the family
Born and bred in Bundaberg Kris said growing up she idolised her father, Brian Schulte, who back in his day took photos that were competition worthy.
“He was a member of the Bundaberg Photography Club and entered his photos into many competitions. He photographed wildlife, landscapes, sunsets and sunrises in particular, cane fires, weddings,” she said.
“He also did some aerial photography from small planes – no drones in those days.
“I love showing him my photos. I think he's quite gobsmacked at what can be achieved these days.
“He also seems really proud, as does my Mum, Marion, which just makes my heart sing!”
Kris said what excited her most was taking photos of what people might perceive as ordinary or common birds like ducks, pelicans, and magpies, and turning them into some spectacular.
“Sometimes our role as photographers is to merely make, what might be perceived as, the ordinary a little less ordinary and a little more extraordinary,” she said.
“And finally, I'd really like to acknowledge my friend and mentor John Revesz who, over the last 17 months, has so freely given of his time and immense photography knowledge to help me take my photography to the level it's at today for which I will forever be grateful.”