We are so excited to welcome the insanely talented Kat Gill of Katch Studios to the Rock the Shot Blog! Take a moment to learn more about her beautiful wedding and boudoir photography, and be sure to visit her website. Thank you so much Kat for taking the time to share your work with us today!
Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been the “picture-taker” amongst my friends and family. As a teen, I was never without my little point and shoot camera, and in my 20′s that love for photos segued into a love for scrapbooking and making photo albums. But like many female photographers out there, it wasn’t until I had my first baby that I went out and purchased a DSLR camera and my passion for photography really became all-consuming. Playing around with that first Canon 20D really inspired me and soon, I was rarely seen without it.
How would you describe your photography style?
My photography style has really evolved. When I first started out, I was really inspired by everything and everyone and my style was kind of all over the place. Over the years, I think I’ve really started to find my own voice, and now I love to try and have a consistent look & vision. I’d describe my photography style as modern, romantic, soft & natural.
Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?
I’m 100% self taught and am always pretty frank and upfront about the fact that I’m really not a “technical” photographer at all. In fact, I’m sure I’m doing things all wrong according to the bookI learned everything I know from just trial and error, and fiddling around on my own. Whatever talents I have in photography are really derived mainly from my eye and my gut. I know what I want my photos to look like and what I want them to say… and I get there by following my instincts.
Do you shoot Canon or Nikon, and what is your favorite lens?
I’m a Canon girl, and surprisingly enough, about 80% of my photos are taken with my 50mm f1.4. The f1.2 has been on my “to buy” list for a few years now, but my good ol’ trustee f 1.4 does such a good job that I have yet to trade it up.
Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
When shooting on location, beautiful light really just comes from knowing where and when to shoot. As with most photographers, I schedule most of my shoots during “golden hour” to get that beautiful warm, sunset light. And of course, some places with give you a view of that pretty light better than other places will. When shooting portraits or boudoir in my natural light studio, I’m always mindful of where the natural light is and how it works for all the different poses.
What is the most challenging thing about photographing boudoir?
Every woman just wants to feel beautiful. Knowing this though and trying to execute this are two different things! Shooting boudoir is so fun & inspiring but it is without a doubt, one of the hardest types of photography out there. There’s so many factors that go into every single shot– you have to find the light, come up with a pose, adjust the pose to make sure it’s flattering, find the client’s best angles, make sure everything looks effortless and not too “posey”, make sure the hair and the lingerie/outfits are in the right place… and then on top of all of that, you need to make sure the facial expression is just right. When clients are fully clothed in other types of shoots, all these things are already tough enough, but when your client is so exposed and feeling vulnerable, these things become that much more important and having a quick eye for detail really becomes crucial.
What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
Like most photographers out there, I’m always working on finding a good balance between my personal life and my work life. Thankfully, every year seems to get easier, and with experience, I’ve slowly found my way to a really happy place. I have 2 young kids and an amazing husband that has always been super supportive of my business. They’ve had to endure a lot of times where it seemed I was married to my job and my computer. Becoming more established and busy in my career has actually allowed me to really choose what it is I want to do and how often. It’s still VERY tough to say “no” to work, but in doing that a lot more, I’m so much happier and my life is more balanced. I make time for the things that bring me happiness such as yoga, family fun days with my kids, date nights with my hubby, and ladies nights with my girlfriends. And unlike before, if something doesn’t get blogged right away, or I have to turn down that extra client– then so be it
If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
This career is not for the faint of heart! It often requires a thick skin, lots of determination, and countless sacrifices– but it can also be so extremely rewarding and fulfilling. I’ve heard a statistic that says that most aspiring photographers quit within 2 years of starting their business and this doesn’t surprise me at all. I think a lot of people think “I love taking pictures so I should become a photographer!” but in reality, so much of this job has to do with customer service, long hours working in isolation in front of a computer, and the ability to manage yourself efficiently. It’s very often not glamorous at all, and if you’re not a self-starter and extremely motivated to succeed, it probably isn’t the right career path for you. BUT, if the passion is there, and you’re willing to really commit yourself, it’s an amazing job. My biggest piece of advice to new photographers is to constantly work on your craft. Shoot a TON and continue to work on refining your style. Put out into the universe more of what you WANT to shoot, and eventually that will be what starts coming to you.
What do you love most about being a photographer?
The fact that my job is also my passion. I don’t just go to work and punch in and out. Every day, I’m intrigued, I’m challenged, and I’m inspired. Also, having a job that touches others and brings them happiness is a feeling that never gets old, and when I’m feeling tired, overwhelmed, stressed out, or beaten down– remembering this is what lifts me up again. When I take a photo so beautiful that it makes me gasp, or when I hear from a client that I’ve affected their life deeply in some way– I reflect on how lucky I am that I get to call this “work” and I know that it’s something not to be taken for granted.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m pretty happy right now and there’s very little about my life that I’d want to change. I hope to continue to just grow as an artist and touch people with my work. In 5 years, my kids will both be in school so my schedule will probably be opened up a bit. Hopefully that means I can expand my business and take on more clients. I bigger studio would also be the cherry on top of this lovely sundae
About the Artist: Kat Gill is the photographer behind Katch Studios | Photography. When she’s not holding her camera, she’s holding her iphone camera. When she’s not taking pictures of her beautiful clients, she’s taking pictures of her beloved kids or the food she’s about to eat. When she can’t be found posing clients in her studio, she can be found doing yoga poses just about anywhere.