In Conversation With Katy Smith
Saturdaze: Could you please tell us a bit about you?
Katy: Hi, my name is Katy Smith and I'm a 20 year old photographer from London, UK. For many, photography is a way to capture memories, remember something visually beautiful, or practice the technical side of the art-form. However, for me, it’s more than just picking up a camera and getting that perfect shot. For me, photography is a way in which I can express myself, and the camera is merely a tool used to illustrate this creative expression. Whenever I take a photo, I like to create a new world experimenting with materials and editing techniques. In other words, I believe that an image is viewed in order to escape reality for just a second. As well as photography, I'm also passionate about other artistic forms such as filmography and directing my creative energy towards my small business I run with my sister making and selling earrings called Gummy Milkk.
Saturdaze: Tell us about your introduction into photography.
Katy: So I actually missed out on taking photography in college because my school didn’t offer it. In what was supposed to be my gap year before Uni, I did an intensive photography A-Level. That’s when I really picked up photography and began to love it. From there, I started to branch out to new people through Instagram which later inspired my passion for photography.
Saturdaze: From where do you find your inspiration?
Katy: I honestly find most of my inspiration from other photographers. There’s a few photographers I really really like, so I’ll usually look through their Instagram pages. If I see something I really like, I’ll send it to a model who I think would fit the mood and tone of the photographs. We’ll sort of work from there to come up with our take on the photograph.
Saturdaze: What do you find most rewarding about photography?
Katy: The best part of photography is seeing yourself get better and grow as an artist. When I was first starting out in photography, I used VSCO to edit my photos. The photos wouldn’t be very good because of the quality of the pictures and the way I was editing them. Then I began to use Lightroom and Photoshop to edit my photos. Seeing myself grow as a photographer and learn how to edit my photos was very rewarding. Photography also helped my confidence since I met many new people.
Saturdaze: How do you find your models for your photos?
Katy: A lot of my models are my friends. I really have only worked with 3 professional models because I don’t really reach out to professionals. I mostly work with my friends because I feel more comfortable with them.
Saturdaze: Your photography has gotten quite a bit of recognition. Could you talk a bit about your most recognized photo?
Katy: The controversial photos I’ve taken have definitely gotten the most recognition. I’ve only taken a few photos that are considered controversial, which they shouldn’t be called that, but they are. Magazines and even models have reached out to me about those photos. When I do something controversial I get recognized the most.
*Note: Katy’s most recognized photo is shown below.
Saturdaze: How has quarantine and self-isolation affected your photography?
Katy: So I obviously can’t meet up with anyone at the moment, which I really love doing. In a weird way, [quarantine] has forced me to experiment with other art forms. Having the whole world at your fingertips gives you too much choice, but when you're forced to be at home, you have to be more creative within a smaller space. Being in quarantine has given me more inspiration for things I’d like to do when quarantine is over. I’ve also been doing Zoom shoots, which has helped me to connect with people from other countries. Quarantine has really been a positive experience for me.
Saturdaze: Could you talk a bit about your Depop business? What inspired you to start an online jewelry store?
Katy: So me and my sister actually do that together. We started our Depop business very recently. We got the inspiration from seeing jewelry made from resin on Instagram. I bought the resin and some molds online. I figured we should make this little investment since I’m not spending money by going out right now. It’s just another way for me to be creative during this time, [and making jewelry] has been a good way to express that. I’m having a lot of fun making the jewelry, and I enjoy wearing the earrings as well.
Saturdaze: What advice would you give to new photographers?
Katy: My one point of advice is you need to carry on with it. You should keep sticking [to taking photos] and don’t give up. No matter how experienced you are, there’s always room to grow.
Saturdaze: If you couldn’t be a photographer, what other creative career would you like to pursue?
Katy: I didn’t even know I was interested in photography until I got into cinematography. I wanted to be a cinematographer, and I still do. It would also be really cool to be a film editor.
Saturdaze: Do you have any upcoming photography projects or ideas you’d be willing to share with us?
Katy: I’ve been talking with people about future shoots after quarantine. But for now I plan on continuing to do Zoom photoshoots, because those are pretty interesting.
Saturdaze: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Katy: I don’t really like to plan ahead for the future. I used to plan everything about my future, but I’ve learned you can’t plan otherwise you’ll be disappointed at the outcome. In five years, I’ll see where I’m at. I hope I’ll have a roof over my head and be happy. I also hope to continue doing photography.
Katy’s Instagram: @katysmiithh
Katy’s Photography Instagram: @katysmithphotos
Jewelry Store: @gummymilkk