All images by Kate Hook. Used with permission.
Photographer Kate Hook was always into film photography–it stems from when she was really young. When she went to college, her friends never understood film and how to use it. But like a number of us millenials, Kate grew up in a world that started out with film, then went digital and is now going back to film. In college, she was the one who had to teach all her colleagues how to use it. Kate went digital for a while and then went back to film with the belief that you don’t need a whole lot of gear to create the best photos; just the right gear for you.
With that in mind, Kate has used the experimental Lomography LomoChrome Purple a few times to create some fantastic portraits. Along with shooting the film, she soups it in lemon juice. This is all part of Kate’s expressive creative process–which has roots partially in the loss of both of her parents.
“I found solace and peace with film photography. In my dark days I use to force myself out of the house with a camera and photograph the beautiful light and colours I could find. Essentially I looked for the light through my viewfinder to pull me out of the darkness of depression.”
Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.
Kate: I pretty much grew up with it. One of my earliest memories is my Granddad Arthur taking a picture of me with his Polaroid camera. My Great Uncle Vic use to take pictures of me and my Big Brother all the time when we were kids too. My late Dad gave me his Canon AV-1 when I was a teenager, which I still use today. I’m part of the generation that grew up with film photography, saw it all transition to digital, and see film come back round again. By the time I was 16 I was already pretty seasoned with film photography, when I went to college to study it I remember classmates asking me to roll on their film in their cameras because they didn’t know how to!
“I don’t think you need to spend loads on gear, it helps to know what you need and really that’s part of the journey growing as a creative photographer.”
Phoblographer: What made you want to get into portraiture?
Kate: Honestly I used to shoot portraits all the time when I was shooting more with digital. Then I wanted to focus on being able to photograph the world around me. I love taking pictures of architecture and nature too. But I genuinely enjoy working with people and creating interesting pictures with them.
It’s always fun to bounce ideas off each other and share the excitement of seeing how the pictures turn out! A lot of trust needs to be had on both parts because you can’t take over a 100 pictures like you would do with digital, you’re limited and I like that.
Phoblographer: Your work is fantastic, so what made you want to try Lomochrome Purple all souped up in lemon juice before development?
Kate: Thank you! I like throwing caution to wind. In life you can’t play it safe, that goes with my creative process too. I souped previously with lemonade and it gave the pictures a lovely pastel look, so I thought to give it go with diluted lemon juice to see if I get a stronger effect and I did! Lemon juice is actually my favourite liquid to soup with, it’s natural and high in citric acid, which is key to souping with natural ingredients.
Phoblographer: Do you feel that the colors help you express yourself a bit better as an artist? How?
Kate: Not to sound too much of a downer, but I’ve had a pretty sad life up till the last couple of years. Both my parents passed away by the time I was 23. I found solace and peace with film photography. In my dark days I use to force myself out of the house with a camera and photograph the beautiful light and colours I could find. Essentially I looked for the light through my viewfinder to pull me out of the darkness of depression. That’s why I tend to have such vivid colours in my pictures, it represents the beauty I see in the world as there was a time I couldn’t see it at all.
“A lot of trust needs to be had on both parts because you can’t take over a 100 pictures like you would do with digital, you’re limited and I like that.”
Phoblographer: You seem to love using the Double Exposure technique a lot. Do you have very specific ideas in mind when you do this or do you typically just like playing around and being experimental?
Kate: It’s a technique I’ve always enjoyed doing. The main inspirations come from the movies Interstellar and Howl’s Moving Castle. When I do doubles or multiple exposures I’m sort of trying to create other worlds, dream like imagery, stuff that just wouldn’t normally exist in our day to day lives!
Phoblographer: What gear do you use and how do you think it helps you deliver better photos?
Kate: I primarily use my Nikon FM2 and my Lomo LC-Wide, both of which have multiple exposure functions. I don’t think you need to spend loads on gear, it helps to know what you need and really that’s part of the journey growing as a creative photographer.
Phoblographer: How do you want your work to evolve? By that I mean, if we take you right now as an artist and we see you next January, how would you have changed?
Kate: Really I want I to move more into celluloid cinematography, it’s so expensive though! But it’s something I’m working towards, hopefully by January 2018 I would of made some progress with that. Also I plan on getting a lot more physical and hands on with my negatives, but we’ll have to wait see what I turn out in the next few months!