Do you enjoy some time behind the lens? We sure do and we love the work of talented local photographer Kate Harrison. Kate photographs a TON of weddings (including Sally's!) and is just a delight to be around. Her thoughtful, funny answers to our questions provide some great insight into what it's like to be a professional photographer...and how to make it out of a Mexican jungle on your own. Take it away, Kate!
When and how did you first become interested in photography?
I became really excited about photography in high school. I went to an all girls school and the men's room was our darkroom. It was the perfect little escape without any interruptions. I would spend hours of creative solitude in there after school; I lost all sense of time. I was constantly thinking/dreaming of new things I could try with the enlarger or developer. The darkroom provided such a hands-on creative process and the thrill of seeing an image emerge in liquid blew my mind every time. (I think this is why I was so reluctant to embrace digital photography.) Most of the time I used my sister's Canon with a 35mm lens and took photos for the yearbook. My parents gave me my own 35mm camera for my 18th birthday and I think I cried for about five minutes after opening it. I was so excited and moved by their thoughtfulness and generosity.
If you could take pictures of one thing or place what would it be?
I am itching for Iceland and their geothermal pools and breathtaking landscape. Seeing people swimming in the milky, pale blue & steamy water lights a fire inside of me. I also love the starkness of that landscape. It seems stunning & enveloping.
What's the most challenging aspect of your work?
I unfortunatley spend a lot of time alone! I love solitude and peace in my life and generally I love to be alone but most of my work day consists of me thinking aloud & talking to the dog. That's a bit pathetic. I have to be proactive about getting out into the world and engaging the social side of myself. Sometimes I can be reluctant, as if it's a daunting exercise, but it's important.
What advice would you give to someone who'd like to start their own photography business?
I think the best thing someone can do when they are starting a photography business is to trust their gut and instincts and then never let that quality go. Take risks but always trust your inner voice. And of course, do what you love.
What's the craziest project/job you've had?
I have a pretty classic story from a wedding I photographed alone in a Mexican jungle. I locked my keys in the rental car and there wasn't a phone for miles. After breaking three doors trying to jimmy the locks, I shattered the passenger window (surprisingly difficult) with the help of a total stranger I couldn't communicate with. There seemed to be millions of pieces of glass all over the interior. I drove out of the jungle holding my door closed, because I broke it, and was then chased by wild dogs. I was so sure they were going to jump in the broken window and devour me. Once I drove out of their reach, I was randomly stopped by the Mexican army. I had a shattered window, a door that didn't close, I didn't have my driver's license and unfortunately, I do not speak Spanish. It had the makings of a really bad outcome. Luckily, I made it out OK but it was a crazy, crazy night. It makes a great story...and terrifies my mother.