Geoff Jaeger | I Was Out Walking…
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I Was Out Walking…

An Interview with Photographer, Katherine Millard.

Katherine Millard loves walking, and just as well, because her photography relies on her ability to focus in on the everyday in urban environments. I was lucky enough to interview Katherine during her exhibition with GkJE Galleries at Sydney’s Canvas Bar.

She tells me, “it began with a Tumblr blog while in New York during 2009, walking around with a small pocket camera, I was posting the images to my blog.” This first photographic excursion has since evolved into the I Was Out Walking series, encompassing various famous capitals.

“I was always interested in photography,” Katherine says, “I remember being obsessed with the family camera as a child, taking photos of family and everything. There must be endless strips of film somewhere with everything macro in the world on it,” she laughs.

“I loved collecting cameras too, and recall one Christmas – I think I was 12 or 13 – my dad had bought me a bunch of old cameras, and it was one of the best presents I’ve ever received.”

I ask her about how she finds or collects her images. “I don’t like putting the camera in someone’s face, the shots are more spontaneous – quiet, but quite vibrant – streetlife, the buildings behind, a poster stuck on a poster, stuck on a poster nearby.

“In Paris there were more people, and they stood out to me more. I find there are always things that quintessentially speak of the place I’m in; like the architecture, the energy of the people going about their daily lives, people typical of where I am.”

She cites the New York and Paris experiences as being very different, with her shift to mobile photography and deliberate ways of walking. “ I’d take a different path every morning, choose a different metro station to find a new place and walk back home from there.”

And how did these casual walks turn into a formal exhibition? “I moved over to Instagram, it was then people started liking and commenting on my work, and so I kept going. That’s actually how I came to exhibit as part of the 2016 Head On Photo Festival, because a lot of people said you should exhibit these photos. In the end this series of people just emerged.”

Katherine tells me she’s taken photographs every day for the past seven years or more. When asked about her photography practice, vibrancy comes to the fore again.

“I like the scenes to be vibrant and vivid, I’ve been known to turn greens pink and pinks green, reverse the saturation, create some quite extreme contrasts, like a green sky and all-pink wasteland near a housing project outside New York. I like the warmth these intense colors and contrasts bring to the images.”

It’s been a long journey into the formal process of photographic exhibitions, but I get the strong sense Katherine Millard and her work will be with us for some time. She’s currently planning a Sydney series and looking ahead to Shanghai and another European destination. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @iwasoutwalking, and see photographs from her Paris series at GkJE Galleries until 21 July 2016.

Blog Image : Rue De Castiglione © Katherine Millard, 2013
Katherine was interviewed by Geoff