Monday, February 8, 2010
Kathryn Cook on Working Abroad
There is a wonderful Q&A interview with Kathryn Cook from the NPPA blog The Visual Student.
VS: Describe your current work situation and how you got there.
Cook: “I have been a freelance photographer for nearly 5 years and am now represented by Agence Vu’ (France) and Prospekt (Italy). I try to focus on long-term stories which I which I balance with assignments.
How it all began - I studied journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder and found photography through 2 elective courses. After a few internships, and a fellowship at the Poynter Institute, I started interning/freelancing at the Miami Herald when Maggie Steber was the DOP. She gave me a chance to continue working there, which I did until I decided to move to Guatemala in 2003 to take some Spanish classes. From there I was hired by the Associated Press to take the post in Panama. I stayed there for almost 2 years and then left my job to pursue a freelance career.”
VS: How important is balancing work and personal life?
Cook: “When I first started my career in Panama I wasn’t interested in balancing a personal life with work because I was too excited to think about it. I was quite ambitious and determined, so I just wanted to focus on work and not much else. But that changed after a couple years. I think I realized that I had nothing to balance my emotions and my energy. I’m inspired by the people in my life, my family, my friends, and my boyfriend… and now my 5-month-old baby. If I don’t have them, I don’t nurture the range of emotions that are normal and natural and it is harder for me to refer to them when I am connecting to people I photograph. So for me, my personal life creates me and molds me as a human being, and then I can carry that into my work.”
To continue reading the interview, click here.