Katy Smith Empowers Womxn to Embrace Themselves
A conversation with feminist photographer Katy Smith on inspiring other womxn through her artistic work.
Katy Smith is an emerging fine art photographer from Hertfordshire/ London, UK. The 20-year old artist is part of the Girlgaze community and has been reposted by the Instagram page Feminist. As a white feminist herself, she feels the strong urge to use her privilege to inspire and empower all womxn through her photography and storytelling. Read on to get to know the boss babe Katy Smith!
Tell us a little about yourself! When did you start getting into photography?
I started getting into photography when I studied both Media and English Literature as two of my A-Levels. The combination of visual stimulation with presenting a meaning through art intrigued me, and made me want to try it myself! Since then, I’ve become obsessed with spending most of my free time working on my photography, discovering new ways to make art convey meanings in a thoughtful way that’s also pleasing to the eye.
What type of photography do you focus on/ enjoy the most?
Throughout the few years I’ve been doing photography, I’ve discovered that I enjoy creating art that inspires people. I’ve had a few occasions in which people have messaged me telling me that a photograph of mine has encouraged them to embrace themselves further, which is honestly a massive reason why I do what I do, and it makes all the hard work worth it.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Mostly my inspiration comes from other photographers and artists I see in online magazines and know from within the photography community. I often see a photograph from other photographers that spark an idea for a shoot of mine, then I’d try to think of a model who might fit the concept in my head.
How would you describe your aesthetics?
I jump all the time from one look to another. If you scroll through my Instagram feed you can see a clear pattern of times that I prefer more neutral colour, cold or warm tones, or even times when it’s just plain chaotic with colour! Recently I’ve been experimenting more with editing Using Adobe Photoshop and Affinity Designer, therefore I’m learning more and more as I go about what colours work best where.
Do you prefer to use film or digital?
Digital 100%. As much as I completely understand why people enjoy shooting film (it requires more skill and leaves you feeling perhaps more connected to the shoot overall), for me personally I don’t have the budget for the film, developing, and scanning, plus- you need a lot of patience when doing film photography, which is something I lack in.
How is Feminism influencing your art?
I feel that feminism is so essential for everyone to understand fully and be on board with (as it’s such a large topic with so much information and history involved), especially with the current political climate. I feel that, being a white feminist, obviously I am more privileged than others in the fact that I am white. Therefore, I feel I must do what I can through art and storytelling to work with all womxn and inspire whoever I can through photography, as I’ve been given a small platform online and intend to use it the best I can.
What is the main message that you want to convey with your work?
I don’t consciously have a message in mind usually when I’m planning a shoot, but subconsciously guess it’s mostly about empowerment. Anyone who sees my work is going to consume and interpret it in a different way to another person, which is what I love about photography.
Which photographers inspire you the most?
Two photographers that have always inspired me are Maisie Cousins and Petra Collins. With their incredible colour palettes and experimental visual direction, they create the kind of shoots I can only dream of.
What else do you enjoy besides photography?
Between my 9-5 job and shoots at the weekend and after work, I don’t have much time to do too much else; although creating resin art for my small side business, I find it very relaxing to create in the evenings if I’m not editing or planning more shoots!
What are your goals for the future?
Honestly, I just want to have enough money to feel financially secure and do what I love at the same time. That may be doing photography full time, or just carry on pursuing photography creatively whilst focusing on another paid job full time (like I’m currently doing).