An interview with Aspen-based photographer Kate Holstein


Kate Holstein, Photographer 

Aspen

Interview by Laura Piety


Kate Holstein is a photographer based in Aspen, CO. In addition to living in Chamonix, New York City and New Zealand, she studied photography at Parson's School of Design and has travelled all over the world taking pictures. We discovered her amazing work on Instagram and were instantly drawn to the sheer beauty she managed to capture in her panoramas and asked if she'd be interested in answering a few questions about her profession and passion. Luckily for us she agreed. 

How long have you been taking photos and how did you get started as a photographer?

I began shooting at a very young age. My grandfather and father never left the house without a camera, so going everywhere with a camera became a very natural part of life for me. My family travelled a lot, and taking pictures was a way to capture the beautiful places we went. In the beginning, photography was simply a way to for me to tell a story, more than trying to create beautiful images or art. 

It’s often said a picture is worth a thousand words. What message do you want your images to convey? 

I love organic shapes, textures, colors and soft natural light. I see the world as an immensely beautiful, curious, and mysterious place, so my wish is that my images provoke that same feeling. I think a great image is one that makes us pause, slow down for a moment, and reflect on the incredible beauty of the world around us. 

I think a great image is one that makes us pause, slow down for a moment, and reflect on the incredible beauty of the world around us.

What equipment do you use?

I use both film and digital cameras, depending on the subject matter. Most frequently I shoot with my Nikon D800 or D810 and Contax 645. I like to keep it simple with as little equipment as possible. If you have a bunch of different cameras, lenses, lighting, you end up being so focused on your gear that you miss all the amazing things that are happening all around you!

 
 

What are some of the favorite places you’ve traveled to and would recommend to explore?

I love places that are off the beaten path. This past summer I went on an assignment (for Cereal Magazine) to the Yukon - Canada's western most province. The entire province has a population of 34,000 and around 28,000 live in the capital city of Whitehorse. Essentially, the vast majority of the province has little to no human impact, leaving the landscape incredibly wild and naturally stunning. It was an amazing place to shoot.

It’s important to move around a lot when shooting and composing - keep trying different angles, different light until you see something that takes your breath away.

Your images powerfully capture mood and culture. What is the relationship between having a natural, intuitive eye and a learnt skill for framing the image? 

I think it has a lot to do with how present you are when you capture the image. If you can be completely present with the subject matter you're photographing, you can't go wrong. I always think of looking more through my heart than through my eyes when composing an image. It's important to move around a lot when shooting and composing - keep trying different angles, different light until you see something that takes your breath away, then you know you've got it. For me, it's far more of an intuitive process than a technical process. 

What advice would you have for a budding photographer?

Shoot what you are drawn to. Pay close attention to the things in the world that touch you deeply and let that be the inspiration for your photography. 

 

For more information visit: http://www.kateholstein.com

 

All images: Kate Holstein