On Tuesday Sept 2nd, we teamed up with Tumblr to host a fashion photography event in New York City with some of the most exciting photography talent on Tumblr.
Kate Owen has shot for publications such as Nylon, Interview, Papermag and Elle. We chatted with her about photographic influences and style.
Why did you start your blog?
I started it about four years ago because I had all these photos that I was just manually updating on my website with code. It would take about three hours for just one shot. I wanted to find a way to get the work out that I was doing on a daily basis.
Basically I take my camera everywhere, I’m always taking portraits of my friends so I have a lot of pictures! My blog, http://thekateowen.com/ is a mix of my friends, going out…it’s a sort of diary of my life. And then I throw in pictures if I have a cool shoot with a magazine or something.
How did you get to shoot for some of the magazines you’ve worked with?
It’s been a lot of word of mouth, you get one job and then you get recommended for another. One thing New York will teach you is that there’s a lot of opportunity here. None of the work I have done would have been possible if I lived in another city. You have to be on your game here and keep putting yourself out there. Most recently I did a shoot for Nylon, that happened because I found a location and this old car and then I found a model and a stylist and I pitched the idea to them.
A lot of what I’ve been able to do is because I’ve pushed for it to happen. I’ve seen something I’ve wanted to do and then I’ve made it happen.
How would you describe your style of photography?
Every time I do a shoot, my girlfriend always makes fun of me because I’m like, “I want to make it punchy! I want it to be fun, energetic!” Punchy is the word that always comes up!
I like photos that tell a story. What I like about fashion week in particular, is the ability to capture moments. A lot of people get stuck on the clothes but I think the clothes help invigorate the mix of emotions that are going around. There are the serious shows and then the more playful shows and you can really capture the emotions of the models and the designers. There’s this sort of nervousness before they go on the runway, they are excited but there’s also the pressure to not mess up, you know?
What designers or models are you looking forward to seeing this season?
Well, I always have my crushes! There’s this one girl Marine Van Outryve I’m hoping to see and also Tilda Lindstam, she’s fun. And Karlie Kloss is just this total sweetheart.
The funny thing is that when I first started shooting fashion week, I was really intimidated by everyone…there was all these beautiful people everywhere, running around. Then you realize that these girls are aged between 17 and 22 for the most part and they’re just like you!
Describe your dream shoot.
I have new ideas for shoots like every day so I’m not sure…. I’ve been thinking about a lot of studio stuff lately which is a new turn for me. When I started shooting for Paper magazine, I went in a slightly different direction because most of their stuff is studio work. Before that, I was doing all environmental stuff and now I’m playing with the idea of setting up a space in the studio and having different colors…and lines! I’ve always been really obsessed with lines because my Mom is an interior designer and my Dad is an architect so I’ve grown up with a sort of architectural vision.
Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Right now I’m obsessed with Maurizio Cattelan, he shoots for Toilet Paper magazine and he’s a big inspiration for this whole studio thing. I also love Juergen Teller, he’s got this great ‘offness’ to his work. It’s really cool and not overly polished like a lot of fashion photography. David Sims gets the most amazing movement in his photos which I think is incredible.
Also, I feel like this might be controversial but I actually really like Terry Richardson’s work. As a female photographer (although I don’t like describing myself that way), I find him super controversial. Whether or not he’s a good guy? I don’t support any of those stories I hear but he captures an energy in people that I think is really special.
For fashion week we are repicturing style. What does the term style mean to you?
What I’ve always loved about going to London actually is that people there have such bad ass style! You get those individuals walking down the street who just own it and they don’t care what you think! They’re wearing something crazy and their hair is going all one way and for me that is style. It’s owning your personality and rocking it! You could be wearing whatever you want, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing something cool and it feels good.