03 March 2008

on the spot • no. 07

i'm super excited about this interview, since she is the first gal i've put on the spot who i actually know personally. she is not only a hip fashionista, an amazing athlete, a darling friend and a talented photography major, but she is my oldest niece who leads the pack of charming gals who make up my nest of nieces. we were quick friends since i feel more like her sister than her aunt, but maybe that is just wishful thinking.

she is as enthusiastic about photography as a five year old is over a new christmas puppy. she takes her cameras everywhere, no matter how large and bulky they may be. she recently returned from D.C. with images captured on her large format camera without one ounce of regret lugging that thing from metro stop to metro stop. i am amazed at her dedication and devotion to her art. am proud to introduce miss cate.

Catherine Williams
Line of work: Photography

Favorite tool in your studio / on your desk?
iMac fully loaded with Adobe CS3 - Photoshop, Bridge, Illustrator, InDesign, etc. + Wacom Tablet and Cintique Stylus completes my post-production set up.

Favorite activity on a lazy Saturday?
Photo safari - hunting and gathering with the large format camera. Usually consists of lots of driving and not a lot of photographing, but it always inspires me nonetheless. If I am extra burnt out on creativity, though, a nap or old seasons of LOST will do.

Favorite coffee table book?
On This Earth - Nick Brandt
The Hat Book - Rodney Smith

Best store to spend your dough?
Pictureline if I am feeling spendy and excited about something, J.Crew when I am thinking less about my work and more about the super-stylish and classy New Yorker I will be someday.

Playing on your ipod?
Mika: Grace Kelly
John Mayer: Gravity, Vultures
The Knife: Heartbeats
Paul Simon: You Can Call Me Al
Jeff Buckley: Lover, You Should Have Come Over
Explosions in the Sky: Your Hand in Mine (Goodbye)
Broken Social Scene: Shampoo Suicide

wow. this photo of cate's sister (my spunky niece with amazing red hair) who never quits smiling looks like a serious benetton model in this shoot.

A must in your handbag?
Hasselblad, roll of film, light meter, pack of gum, notebook+pen

An every day ritual?
Morning run and a long warm shower ... here begin all good ideas.

A must-see in your town (Park City, Utah)?
Davanza's on main, the Coda art gallery, and the view from the top of McConkie's Lift.

cate's self portrait. i love the composition of so many visual lines.

What pulled you into photography?
I took a class during my junior year of high school and absolutely fell in love. I started getting a little more into it and worked for one of my teachers on some weddings and other projects. My parents got me my first digital camera on my seventeenth birthday and there was no turning back. During my senior year of high school I interned with an ex-fashion photographer who worked at my school and he taught me about commercial photography and I knew this is what I wanted to do. I applied to Brigham Young University's prestigious photography program and was surprised and encouraged when I got in. I guess you could say that is where my career as a photographer began, when I got my acceptance letter. That is when I started getting professional in my work, started taking it really seriously, started getting inspired.

Your favorite thing to snapshot?
Interesting people, neat places, and I am starting to get into product photography. Mostly people though. My strongest work is my portraiture.

What makes an interesting photograph?
An interesting subject.

You seem to have a knack for both portraits and landscapes, do you have a favorite?
Landscapes are really difficult for me. Sometimes I get lucky, but other than that the only time I do landscapes is with a large format (4x5) camera. The big camera (and expensive film) forces me to think and really consider the composition very carefully. I prefer to do portraits because I am more comfortable with them than landscapes. But it is good sometimes to get out of my comfort zone and try something new.

another of cate's sister (also a gorgeous niece) who is quite the hilarious one and reminds me so much of dan, with a free spirit and constant laughter. i love the contrast of her sinister character in this captivating shot.

Do you sell your photograph prints?
Yes. Prices depend on how big the print is, how big the matte is, and how much I like the picture :)

How do you get the most out of a vacation?
I bring my camera and never put it down. You can't take a good picture if you don't have your camera with you! It helps if I'm with my family who are so nice and patient with me while I stop to take pictures or lag behind with all my photo junk. My brother and sister even help me carry my large format camera sometimes ... not an easy job!

Do you have a favorite artist / photographer?
My favorite photographers are Rodney Smith and Jill Greenberg. I am drawn to Rodney's work because of its simplicity and class ... things that I like to think describe me, too! :) I admire him as a photographer because he has succeeded to seamlessly combine his personal style and his work for clients - it is impossible to tell the difference. Also, he is one of the few remaining of the dying breed of photographers who still shoot film and print in the darkroom - he will be remembered as one of the last truly great photographers working with the silver gelatin medium. See his super-classy website at http://www.rodneysmith.com/!

Jill Greenberg's work is a whole different realm of photography, but I admire it for other reasons. Her studio work is flawless - she is a master of lighting and studio technique. I am new to studio photography but often I will pull up one of her photographs while I am shooting and try to imitate the lighting. She has a lot of neat conceptual work, and her straight portraiture is awesome. You can see her work at http://www.manipulator.com/.

Most memorable lesson learned in school? Expose for the shadows, develop for the highlights

What/who is your source of inspiration?
My entire life. Everything I see, do, hear, feel ... everything.

What calms you?
My quilt, a back rub, a talk with a friend, a long day of shooting all alone, turning my phone off.

What excites you?
A new idea, a family vacation, a good photography, a j.crew dress, a fresh box of film/paper, the smell of the darkroom, going home for the weekend, new york city.

Inspiring words for aspiring photographers...
Take your camera with you everywhere. Look at other photographers' work every single day. When you go to take pictures, go alone. If you look through the camera and you see something you've seen before, don't release the shutter (wisdom from my professor Paul).

Something you can always count on...
My camera will malfunction right when I need it the very most.

Makes you happy...
Soft serve frozen yogurt with rainbow sprinkles and gummy bears, my family and friends, a long drive, a good shoot, my uncles, Audrey Hepburn flicks, my brother and sisters.

for a peek at more of her work, visit cate at her photography blog or contact her directly cate.t.williams[at]gmail[dot]com for details about buying her prints and sitting fee information. she is a down to earth, darling perfectionist and doesn't quit until she is pleased as punch with what she's done. she is one of the most studious students i know. surely you will be delighted with her work; especially if you get the lucky chance to glance at it up close in person.

cate is wise beyond her years. and i know her talent in the photography field is going to keep on blooming, as she seems to excel in all aspects of her life. you can tell when someone has a passion for something because they cannot not do it. she simply rocks. and i love being around her! she also happens to take the best candids at family parties too. thanks, cate. you are a dollface and one talented miss shutterbug.


allison said...

wow i'm super impressed. that pic of sophie is to die for.

Travelin'Oma said...

Cate took candid photos of our family reunion several years ago, (when she was just a kid!) and they are some of my favorites. She has an artist's eye. Thanks for the link to her blog.

Ann Marie said...

I will live my NY Fashion Photographer dreams through Cate! She and her photos are beautiful!

Jake said...

She is so talented!
Great interview...

Dansie Family said...

thanks for the interview. i love to show off the picture she gave us for christmas whenever anyone comes over. i am very proud to say the photographer is my very own niece and i love to see how impressed everyone is.

ali said...

Oh, she is so talented. I'm so happy for her to have found what she loves to do, and then excel at it. I can't believe how grown up Sophie is, my goodness.

Can't wait to check out her photo blog.

Anonymous said...

That girl (your niece) with the sexy gold pistol is ultra fine. Can you hook me up?

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