Spotlight On: Catie Cooper

Catie is a postbac/senior studying as a Graphic Design major at PSU. 

Q: Who are your favorite photographers?

A: Some are Carrie Mae Weems, Steve McCurry, Finn Beales, Alex Prager, among others. 

Q: What is your favorite environment to shoot photos in?

A: For atmosphere, I enjoy to shoot interesting lighting, with lots of shadows to play with, or in spaces with interesting colours. For general setting, I like shooting in more urban settings with lots going on; these settings give me a better opportunity to make interesting compositions. 

Q: What influences and inspires your art the most?

A: I’m most inspired by mundane, normal life, which sounds kind of pretentious, but it’s the best answer I can come up with. It’s always been most rewarding for me to take photos of people, places, and things as they are and try to make them look interesting, and maybe encourage people to look at things differently, or pay closer attention to what’s happening around them as they’re going through their daily motions. 

Q: Is it important that your art feels alive and in conversation with you?

A: I think so. I think it’s most important that art communicates something with the viewer, but that the viewer is able to come up with their own interpretation, understanding, and appreciation for my art, more so than I’ve made a photograph that communicates my exact intentions, or what exactly was happening in each photo. I think art is subjective and completely dependent on each person’s perspective and lived experiences. 

Q: How does your daily life influence your art?

A: My style is mostly environmental portraiture, so I would say daily life is the most important influencer in my photography. I think since becoming interested in photography it’s encouraged me to view the world in a different way; it makes me want to look at things from different angles, seek interesting textures, watch for shadows and colours, pay closer attention to what’s happening around me.