Kate divides her time between Berlin and London.  At age 23 Kate’s work has already been featured in publications such as; GQ, Nylon, Indie, Tatler, L’Officiel, The Herald Tribune, and Esquire, to mention a few.  Kate has a unique eye and view on fashion and beauty.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: Can you tell me how your career started as a fashion photographer?

Kate Bellm: It started when I was 14 at school.  I put all my energy into photography and the darkroom.  I would set up backdrops in my dorm room and use my friends as my team for models, styling and makeup and create full blown fashion shoots.  That was my foundation.  My career started with friends who were being shot with magazines in London and would take me on as the photographer.  My first proper job was a 6 page story for British Esquire aged 19 in South Carolina.  I then moved to Berlin where I worked for Vice and Lurve as Photo editor, during this time I looked at hundreds of different photos a day.  That kick started my inspiration and from then on I couldn't stop shooting.

EFM: How long have you been a fashion photographer?

KB: I have been taking fashion photographs since I was 14.  But, working properly for magazines at age 19 when I was living in Paris.

EFM: What is your view on fashion and photography?

KB: Fashion helps make my photos what they are and I love using clothes to develop a story and a character.  If the clothes don't work.  Then go nude!

EFM: Would you say that you're more of an editorial photographer than a fashion photographer?

KB: I do more editorial work as there are less boundaries involved.

EFM: Can you describe your style as a fashion photographer?

KB: I would stay its young, fun, colourful, but raw.  There is a lot of nudity and sunshine and colourful houses!!  I'm really inspired by Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Dan Martensen, and Martin Parr.

EFM: Have you ever assisted any established photographers; if so, who were they and what have you learned from them?

KB: I never really properly assisted.  I just asked A LOT of questions to a lot of people to try and find things out.  I am still asking questions to this day and just trying out different things in my shoots all the time.

EFM: You live in Berlin; do you think it's difficult to be a successful fashion photographer?

KB:  Berlin is full of inspirational people and places so it gives me constant inspiration.  I shoot a lot of fun editorial projects here in Berlin, but most of my clients are in London or Paris so I shoot a lot over there too.

EFM: Do you prefer shooting on location or in the studio?

KB:  Location, location, location!!!  I love being able to use a new setting in every picture and explore different places.  Also have the chance just to work outside is much nicer.

EFM: Do you ever find yourself trying to evolve or reinvent yourself as a photographer?

KB:  Yes, I think it's normal to evolve.  For me, I am still developing  my own style but I definitely know the direction its going in.

EFM: What advice can you give to aspiring fashion photographers?

KB:  Don't be afraid to ask questions.  Shoot as much as you can and the best way to learn is using friends and family because you can make them do crazy things without having to worry about annoying them!

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Interview by Rochell “E” James


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