Hi, My name is Catie and I’m a recent addition to the Your Living City: Stockholm team and also the face behind the name, Catie Rix Photography.
Although my job as an au pair brought me here to Sweden, I spend much of my free time behind the camera, both for clients and for pleasure. I have been asked to share with you, my philosophy and a bit about my art. I’ve chosen to organize the article in the form of an interview, making it easy to read and accessible to everyone, even those less familiar with the finer details of photography.
How would I describe myself?
Beyond my YLC bio: I’m a daughter; I’m a sister; I’m a follower of Jesus and I happen to have a crazy passion for photography. I love cooking; Spotify Premium and I’ve recently started this amazing little thing called yoga. My room is almost always a wreck (at least until I get sick of it), I’m a procrastinator and sometimes I stay in my pajamas all day – just because. I think surprises are awesome, puppies are cute and someday I want to move to the mountains.
When did I first become interested in photography?
I’ve been into photography for as long as I can remember. As hobbyists in the field, both my aunt and my dad sparked my interest at a young age. My family and I even still share equipment and tips from time to time. While I’ve been mostly self-taught, I did study photojournalism in university. While journalistic photography is drastically different from the art form, my skills were strengthened during the program and I was still able to take away valuable knowledge.
When did the business side of things begin?
Several years back, I was blessed to have met one of my biggest artistic role models, Angie Jackson, in my hometown of Columbus, Indiana. I was in university at the time and in a casual search for an internship experience when she and I connected and started doing some work together. Namely, we’d meet for coffee, chat for hours and I’d help with her blog and assist her on photo shoots. We became friends after our first Starbucks date and after many, many more I can say she has been an amazing catalyst in moving my passion forward. She has inspired both my art and my soul. It’s not every day you meet someone so willing to share their ‘secrets,’ so I know I am blessed to call her a friend.
In 2010, I decided to expand my horizons and start taking clients of my own; the like ranging from high school seniors to expectant mothers to families. I began posting some of my work online and the positive feedback I received gave me the confidence to proceed, despite an over-crowded market.
How would I describe my artistic style?
Although I’ve been shooting for as long as I can remember, I still consider myself a learning photographer. I think it’s important to keep an open mind when it comes to art, especially with the digital technology changing as rapidly as it does. I never want to get stuck in a feeling of contentment because I think it is there where the creativity stops.
I define my personal style as simple and organic. I’ve grown drastically over the last few years because I’ve devoted so much of my time to my art, especially post-graduation. As in many disciplines, my style has evolved and changed significantly as well. I now consider myself a lifestyle photographer, which means I shoot the real, un-posed moments life creates. For the last year, I’ve been scheduling in-home sessions that are designed to capture my clients’ in their realest state. More on that in a minute…
Why did I choose lifestyle over commercial photography?
To be honest, the idea of commercial photography has never appealed to me. One of the main reasons I fell in love with the art form is to be able capture the realness of the world around me with minimal equipment. I believe in quality over quantity and because of that, I’ve invested in a few high quality lenses that I use for all types of sessions, which keeps my bag light and easy to take just about anywhere.
When I was much younger, my subjects would often be flowers, animals and anything I could find of interest in nature. I admit when I was first starting out, I often over-edited, but since learning the inner workings of my camera, I’ve also learned how to shoot technically correct images, making my editing process much cleaner and smoother. My images now depict the realness of life, rather than what I want to be.
What constitutes a good photograph?
In one word: simplicity. Life moves so fast and it’s easy to forget about finer details, which is why my mission is to give my clients not only an experience during their session, but also images they will be able to cherish for a lifetime. The best photographs, in my opinion, are the result of genuine moments that lead to authentic human emotion. There’s nothing quite as beautiful as capturing love: in any sense of the word. Love is love and love is beautiful.
What makes a good subject?
Anyone who doesn’t think too much or get too caught up in his or her appearance. Most are awkward in front of the camera, at least at first (please note: I am absolutely included in this), but I make it my mission during the time I spend with my clients to really get to know them and understand what it is that makes them tick. I often share personal stories or jokes to make my clients feel at ease with me too.
What does a lifestyle session with me look like?
Upon initial dialogue with a new or potential client, I like to start by getting an idea of what their personal or family style is so I can best capture their reality. My introductory e-mail includes a few questions and a list of activity suggestions for our session together. Although I don’t like to go overboard in planning ahead, I find that it’s nice to have a few activities on hand that can get everyone involved; even if it just means mom and dad cooking while the kids play nearby. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or heavily thought out to be beautiful. It makes me so genuinely happy to capture the everyday that is often overlooked or written off as unimportant.
During my sessions I like to relax, observe and become a part of your family; whatever that may look like. My intent as a photographer is to capture you and your family just being you. We’ll get cozy, cuddle up on the couch, read a favorite book, or turn on some music and dance it out. I won’t ask you to clean up before I arrive, but I also won’t tell you not to. Whatever you’re most comfortable with is fine with me, but I’m a firm believer in the famous saying: a little mess never hurt anyone. Wait, is that famous? No? Oh, it must just be something I say then…
Every session is completely different because no two families are the same. Although most of my lifestyle sessions last around two hours, I find that the time spent is less of an issue for me. If we need to take a breather, make some coffee or tend to a screaming child, I can promise you it’s nothing I’ve never seen before. I’m a go-with-the-flow kind of girl and my job is to adapt.
Why is capturing intimate moments so important to me?
I’ve fallen into a deep love affair with this type of work for the sheer personal nature of it. The connection I make with my clients stays with me and I hope that I create memories for them to hold on to as well.
Additionally, I want to remind potential clients that they don’t have to wait for special occasions to have their photographs made. Most people don’t see their everyday life as something worth documenting, but it absolutely and 100% is! Those early mornings spent reading in bed, those afternoons in the backyard with the kids, those quiet evenings at home spent cooking together: those are the moments you’re going to want to remember years from now. I’m just trying to help people slow down and see that. Your life will never be the same as it is right now, in this moment, so let me be the one to help you tell your story.
What is my best advice to other photographers?
Don’t ever try to fit a style mold that’s not true to who you are, even if you think it’s popular. Brand yourself truthfully and people will see that. Those that love YOUR style will keep coming back again and again and those are the clients that will make it all worth it!
What is the future of Catie Rix Photography?
I’m only in Sweden for about six more months, so when I return home to the states, I’ll be picking up where I left off a year ago. I have a vision to start incorporating video, which will give my clients an additional take away from our session. It might be a few years out though, because that would mean hiring at least one other person to my team. A girl can dream though, right?
The nearer future for my business involves continuing to develop my in-home sessions. There are so many different meanings to the word ‘family,’ and I’d love to add all types to my portfolio. Will it be you?
Want more information or to schedule a session?
E-mail: [email protected]
Or… Just follow me on Instagram & Twitter!