She's The (cole)Man

by Courtney Lyons


"I always have to break the rules a little bit when I shoot," Katherine Coleman told me as we made our way to the top of an arbitrarily chosen building in New York City.

If you know anything about the talented 17-year-old photographer, then you know that she does not follow the rules. For a Junior in high school, Katherine Coleman is quite accomplished. Shooting everything from weddings to local businesses, Katherine is one step ahead of her peers when it comes to pursuing her dreams. Katherine has been a longtime friend of mine but it was only recently that I was lucky enough to go out and shoot with Katherine. I decided this would be the perfect time to ask her a few questions as well!

LF: What attracted you into photography in the first place?

KC: I started photography in 6th or 7th grade because I really liked flowers and wanted to take so many photos of them. I then discovered that I could take photos of people too, and it was so interesting to me that I just kept at it.

LF: What camera do you use?

KC: I use my Canon 6D and mostly my 50mm 1.4 lens. It's my favorite thing in the world.

LF: What is your favorite go to outfit and what do you like to wear when shooting?

KC: Ripped jeans, a comfy sweater, and my duck boots (I'm so fashionable)is my favorite go to outfit.When I'm shooting I like to wear things that are practical and comfy to help me move around. Usually some jeans where I can store lens caps or batteries, and a solid t-shirt.  

LF:When you are shooting how much is planned and how much is instinctual?

KC: Before every shoot I always know who I'm photographing and a general location, but after that the rest is mostly spontaneous. I've ended up on rooftop hotels and in the middle of a closed amusement park before!

LF: How has social media player a roll in your photography?

KC: Social media has led me to meet people through photography and inspired me to create new ideas. Without it, I would just share photos with friends and family members. With it, anyone in the world can see what I create. 

LF: What do you think are some clichés of photography you steer away from yourself? 

KC: On Instagram, there are always clichés that half the people you follow are trying to do. I try to steer away from the monotonous 'hair flips', however you can always change up a fad by making it unique or your own.

LF: What are some difficulties you face in your photography? 

KC: The most difficult thing in shooting people is having a subject that doesn't connect to the camera or feels nervous around it. It's always a lot harder to get good images if your subject isn't willing to put in the same effort you do.

LF:Who are some of your favorite photographers, and how did they influence you? 

KC: I love love love Kat Irlin and Jordan Matter. They are both so talented in using usual types of photography, like dance or fashion, and turning it around into something completely theirs. I'd love to spend a day with one of them just walking around NYC and looking at how they see the world. 

LF: What do you want your viewers to take away from your work? 

KC: I want people that see my work to understand a balance between who is in my image and what's around them, and how they play a role in that environment.

LF:What are some tips you would give to an aspiring photographer?

KC: If I could give one piece of advice to an aspiring photographer, it would be to create ideas and images that are different and make them your own. Being an individual in photography is so important

LF: What are your goals for the future when it comes to photography? 

KC: Looking into the future is always risky because you might plan for impossible scenarios and wind up kicking yourself in the leg when you don't reach them. I just want to be able to share my art with whoever is willing to appreciate it and as long as I can do that, I'll still love what I do. 

You can see more of Katherine's work on her website!   http://www.katherine-coleman.com/ 

Or follow her Instagram here!  https://www.instagram.com/ezieek/ 

Until next time xx

Courtney