Friday, July 25, 2014

Feature Friday with Kate Luber Photography!

We're thrilled to learn a bit more about Kate Luber of Kate Luber Photography, the winner of last week's 'grace' challenge.

1. Please tell us about yourself...
I’m Kate. I’m a mom of one, soon to be two. In addition to my photography business, I work full-time in a bank, and I also teach ballet. I’ve lived in Oklahoma my entire life and while I feel I probably belong in NYC, I still kinda like it here.

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?
Bold, elegant, meticulous. I love dramatic light and deep, rich colors. I’m not often called subtle…in any aspect of my life. Just ask how many friends and family members I’ve forced to paint walls in my house bright red or orange or deep eggplant…I don’t believe in pastels. I am blessed, and cursed, with an appreciation for beautiful (and expensive) things. I love simple elegance. Think Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly. I’m a perfectionist, and it is reflected in how I shoot as well as how I process my images. I strive to create an illusion of perfection in my work. I don’t think I consciously decided to shoot this way. I started out with bright, fun images that I see so often online. As I dug deeper into photography, I found what images I was drawn to and they inspired me to shoot that way. It took a while for me to figure out WHY I was drawn to those in the first place.

3. What sparked your passion for photography?
I picked up my first camera soon after my daughter was born. My love for photography started much before that…even though I didn’t know it. My uncle is a photographer. He visits once a year at Christmas. He takes candid shots of our family enjoying the holidays. And when he returns the next year, we receive prints of the shots he took the year before for our Christmas present. When I was little, he was a novelty following me around the house with his HUGE camera. It was always fun to look back at the images from the previous year (and you always crossed your fingers you weren’t wearing the same shirt in the photo that you were wearing at that moment) but I never fully appreciated them. After I had my daughter, it hit me. She wouldn’t have those great photographs that I grew up with. She would have the same photos I got once a year, but with more family, I couldn’t even guarantee we’d be in town for every holiday he would visit. And let’s face it, my uncle won’t be around forever. I was devastated that my family wouldn’t have the same quality photographs to document the years. So…like any unknowing person, I bought a big camera, because surely that would give me the photos I wanted. Then there was the realization that it wasn’t as easy as it sounded, so I started learning and it just kinda snowballed from there…

4. What's in your camera bag right now?
Canon 5D Mark III, 70-200, 28mm, and WAAAY more junk than I care to admit. I should really go clean it out so I can close it…

5. What is your dream shoot or project?
My dream project is to visit theatres around the world and shoot dancers backstage. I realize this kinda contradicts my goal of showing perfection, but I just find the story behind the ballet so much more compelling than what takes place in view of the audience. I love the mix of calm and panic backstage. I love the last minute costume fixes and the routines of stretches that a dancer has developed over the years of training. My dream shoot isn’t really my own. I recently saw on Facebook that Patrick Demarchlier, one of my favorite photographers, did a shoot with some of the most famous ballet dancers in the world, including my absolute favorite, Diana Vishneva. What I wouldn’t give to just bring them coffee on that shoot!

6. What are some of the misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey? Have they changed, and how?
I knew that I couldn’t do what professional photographers could do, but I didn’t know why. I actually was not appalled by the high prices as I valued good photography and knew that if I wanted it for my family, I would have to pay for it. I do think I underestimated the learning curve when I purchased my first camera. I tend to think I can do anything and teach myself by reading tutorials online or watching YouTube. I call it dumb confidence. Unless someone tells me I can’t, I assume I can. And even when they tell me I can’t, I’m stubborn and try to prove them wrong…I’ve had mixed results in this situation… It can be a good thing, because I go into new things already knowing that I will be successful and all I have to do is work towards it. It’s not so good when what you’re attempting involves fighting gravity… I think I now have a more accurate assessment of what goes into making a good photograph, but I still believe that I can grow to where I want to be if I keep working towards it.

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?
I would tell new photographers to be open to critique. I’m a critique junkie. I think the best way to grow is by learning what you’ve done wrong and how to fix it. And be open to the critique you receive. I see a lot of people getting defensive when someone points out a flaw in their work. They’re not saying you’re a bad photographer, a bad person, or even that the photo is bad. They’re just pointing out a mistake so that you can learn and not make the mistake again. At the same time, you have to know what comments to filter out. I was receiving critiques from a photographer who was telling me to shoot a certain way. Being new, I blindly thought this seasoned photographer knew everything and I needed to change how I was shooting. And she’s a great photographer…at what she does. But it’s so far from what I want to create that it actually got in the way of me progressing in my own vision. Once I figured that out, it was like a weight had been lifted and I could allow myself to shoot what appealed to me. Find a photographer whose work you admire and seek out help from them. Don’t ignore critique from other photographers, but learn to filter what will and won’t help you toward your personal goal.

You can find more of Kate's beautiful work here:


  1. I love this! Katebis so wise, and so generous with her help and honest gentle critiques. Kate I just Adler your studio work. It is beautiful elegant simplicity!

  2. Stupid autocorrect... I ADORE you studio work. And Kate is so wise. ;)


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