Fashion Spotlight: Katie Thompson
Katie Thompson (pictured below) is a notable Munich based American photographer whose stunning captures have gotten attention on Tumblr and beyond. Some of her clients have already included W, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Marc Jacobs, Airbnb, and J.Crew, among many others. We’ve caught up with Katie on her work, motivations, and inspirations.
When did you realize you can do this professionally?
Growing up I was into all different kinds of art, but I think I realized pretty early on in my teens that photography in general was an industry that had a more clear-cut path as a profession. This may have come from looking at fashion magazines or watching shows like America’s Next Top Model and knowing that someone was getting paid to take all the photos we see everyday. I decided when I was 16 I was going to be a professional photographer, and for the rest of high school I was shooting family and senior portraits. I remember when I got to college we had an advisory class, and in one of the first ones we had to share what kind of jobs we’d had during high school. I was embarrassed to say that I hadn’t had one, but I realize now that I did have a job and income. It just happened to be something I enjoyed.
What work excites you the most?
I have a lot of fun with some of the quick editorial portrait jobs I’m assigned. Time is usually limited and I’m not able to plan much, but I think it can lead to some cool results when I have to work with what’s available. Among the images that I’ve made, the ones that I’m still most excited about are from personal test shoots with models that I style myself.
What’s the most challenging part of your day to day?
Most of my time is spent retouching or emailing, so I’d say remembering to take breaks and get off my computer. Staring at a screen all day makes me feel pretty awful but it’s easy to forget.
What’s your most unforgettable Fashion Week memory?
This isn’t really a positive memory, but it is unforgettable. On my first ever fashion week assignment I was supposed to shoot a NYFW Men’s show. I checked in and got my badge, then was told to go backstage. Being totally new (and there being no signs) I didn’t realize that there were two different shows going on and I ended up photographing the wrong one for over 90 minutes! I remember seriously panicking and rushing over to shoot the right one for 15 minutes before the show started. Fortunately, 15 minutes was enough and the publication that hired me was really happy with the images.
What brings you satisfaction in fashion photography?
I like working with the colors and patterns in clothing. I think with fashion you have a lot of room to experiment. I actually get the most satisfaction after the shoot once I start post-production and putting images next to each other.
What are you most proud of?
I’m proud of myself for being able to support myself and make a living with something I love. I set a loose goal that I’d be working as a photographer a couple years out of school and I made it happen. Getting to that point was filled with a lot of stress and self-doubt, but now that I’ve reached it I’m pretty content with where I’m at.