Photographer, Los Angeles
Kate Berry is a photographer from London living in Venice, CA. She’s drawn to the backgrounds and stories of her photography subjects and prefers to capture things as they are, in a natural and raw way. Living in California by the ocean, she has a constant feeling of being on holiday.
Where are you from, where have you been, and where are you going?
I'm from the UK, born in the North but was living in London for the past 8 years before moving to California. Where am I going? I'm always going somewhere, usually on a road trip or back to Europe or Mexico. Maybe Hawaii?!
Can you tell us a little more about the people and events we see on your pictures?
I'm attracted to people and places, music and art with soul and I guess that's something I try and capture as a photographer, or at least that's what I'm told I'm good at. Yes I have the capability to make something glossy and amazing for a magazine/my commercial work, but what I really love as a photographer is capturing the essence and realness of a place - transporting you there. Increasingly I love shooting people, for the same reason. I'm really interested in all people, their backgrounds and stories, so whether it's someone with notoriety or just a little old lady on a beach in Italy I want to get to know that person and form a connection with them in order to shoot them and capture them in their real state. At this point I don't really use lighting, I just like to capture things as they are, in a natural and raw way.
I shot this roll mainly where I'm living - in Venice and a little in the desert. Venice is a fascinating place to me, there's a side to it that I really don't like but the old school, slower, unchanged feeling of community and diversity still remains and that's what I love about it. Plus the ocean is good for my mental wellbeing.
Would you care to describe the difference in the types of plantlife in Southern California and UK?
I love plantlife in this city, how you can turn a corner and see a shock of colour from flowers - it gives me a constant feeling of being on holiday (as does living by the ocean). And as someone from the UK, succulents and desert plants fascinate me. They're unique and characterful like little friends, although obviously not too friendly when you touch them. How at different times of the year they'll also errupt in flowers. In the UK plants are leafy and still varied, and the seasons mean you get wonderful colours all year round, but I think desert plants are more about shape and form.
Bedside table books?
Currently, Women Who Run with Wolves and Just Kids by Patti Smith. And Broccoli Magazine.
What do you do if you can’t sleep at night?
A cocktail of natural sleeping remedies (I've just got through a period of insomnia), some Indica, a herbal tea, or just get up and write everything in my mind down and go back to bed.
Do you collect?
I used to collect matches from hotels and bars, I have loads of them. I am a hoarder by nature (Cancer - sentimental) but my lifestyle means I can't hold on to much stuff. I think a clean, minimal home helps my mind stay clear and focused. As William Morris said 'Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful
Tea or coffee?
Coffee (pretty much my only vice these days)
What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?
I had a wild imagination as a kid and as an only child completely made up roles, lives and characters for our cats.
Aqua/ The colour of the ocean.
Mexico City or Rio
What are your plans for this weekend?
Yoga, a street party in Crenshaw, maybe to see the Black Madonna, shooting on Sunday with friends
Your idea of happiness?
I'm in a really happy place right now. I feel content in the moment and am not worried too much about where I'm going (only how I'm going to fund Hawaii lol). I am lucky enough to support myself through something I love doing, and live in a place where I experience beauty everyday. I eat well and look after myself and spend time only with people who are on the same level and bring me happiness. Music, colour, food, travel and meeting all sorts of different people and hearing their stories/ learning from them makes me happy. And balance. I think balance is key to happiness.
Your idea of misery?
Being trapped or not having freedom, living somewhere grey and dark.
If not yourself, who would you be?
It's always a challenge for me being happy being myself, so I'm gonna stick to that! Maybe plan B would be a musician or DJ though, I think they get to travel even more than I do.
I'm lucky enough to know a lot of my heroes. My heroes are people just trying to make the world a better place, through their art, music, whatever their output is and however they choose to break the mould and escape what society tells us to follow their dreams and spread happiness and some sort of message, as cheesy as that sounds. If you're talking names though, like who would I want at a dinner party - hmmm, Grace Jones, Dave Chapelle, Alejandro Jodorowsky, George Harrison.... That'd be an interesting start...!!
What is your present state of mind?
Focused, motivated, excited.
One song, argghh! Missing Person's Bureau (Womack & Womack, Frankie Knuckles mix!)
Right or left handed?
What is the best dish you can cook?
I can make lentils taste amazing. Or fish tacos.
What is your middle name?
What do you do in your free time?
Think about work, yoga, do explore somewhere new, listen to internet radio
What inspires you?
Colour and light, new places, going somewhere I've never been and getting under the skin of it, talking to locals, getting off the beaten track
What do you do for money?
Take photos of people and places
What do you do for pleasure?
Take photos of people and places, listen to a lot of music, see friends, eat, swim, yoga