An Interview with the Intern: 3-Minute Q&A with Katy Hale

Photography interns are our unsung heroes. They quietly handle the necessary but often thankless tasks that keep our studio — and our photo shoots — running smoothly. More than taskmasters, our interns are incredibly talented, and deserve recognition for their creativity on and off set.

We’re honoring our intern Katy Hale, her photography, and how she discovered her work passion at an early age.

Q: Tell us about yourself, and what sparked your interest in photography.

I graduated from Hiram College in 2014 with a major in Management and a double minor in Entrepreneurship and Art. I took many different art classes, Intro to Digital Photography being one of them.

I’ve always been interested in photography as a hobby, but never envisioned it as a career option until I worked as an editorial intern for a website/blog. With the company being so small, they had me assist on a few photo shoots when extra help was needed. That’s when I really felt the pull towards photography and started taking my work seriously.

Q: Why did you apply for the KP internship?

I was looking into different photo studios around Cleveland and was drawn to that fact that KP does work for an array of different clients. I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn the different types of commercial photography, whether that be photographing food or furniture.

When I came in for a visit, the KP Photo staff was incredibly welcoming and willing to share advice. I just knew I had to intern here.

Q: During your internship, you had a chance to do your own photo shoots. What specifically inspired your dessert photos/series? What was your process on creating these images?

Because I was working on this shoot around the holidays, seasonality was an inspiration. Whenever I think of the holidays, I think of desserts. So naturally, I wanted to see what I could create using desserts as a theme.

Once I knew what I wanted to shoot, I made a sketch of my idea to get an understanding of how to create a balanced image. Then, I picked out props from KP’s expansive prop storage with different textures that would be complimentary of each other.

Because I love incorporating texture into the images I shoot, I chose desserts that are naturally very texturized. By using a white v-flat to bounce the natural light throughout the shot, I was able to showcase the textures in the desserts even more. Take the blackberry galette for example: the natural light emphasizes the light, crumbly crust against the contrast of the dark colors and the softness of the berries.

Using this process allowed me to learn and experiment with the successfulness of each texture within the desserts that I shot. From there, I made adjustments based on what worked and what didn’t until I was content with the images.

Q: What are some of the most important things you’ve learned during your internship at the studio?

I had minimal studio photography experience at the beginning of the internship. Learning the names of all the equipment and the proper ways to use them has been a big learning curve. I was also taught how to correctly set up studio lighting, which will be very helpful moving forward in commercial photography.

I have been encouraged to become more diversified in my work and to keep learning commercial photography. For example, understanding both photography and food styling would create more opportunities for myself as a professional. It would make me more well-rounded in this business and would also help create a better understanding of the processes used.

Q: What advice would you give future interns?

Observe and absorb. I’ve learned so much by doing just that. One thing that I’ve found incredibly interesting is observing how photographers make their final decision on when a shot is "complete".

Paying attention to how the decision was made and what factors were considered will definitely influence how I make decisions like these in the future.

Q: In addition to cultivating your photography skills, have you learned anything about yourself that has surprised you?

Yes. Starting this internship, I was more focused on learning the photography aspect of the business. But seeing the food stylists come in and create different foods for certain shots has become something of a curiosity for me.

I never thought I would be interested in that part of the process, but food styling is something that I would love to explore more post-internship.

Q: And just for fun, what is the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard/witnessed during your time at KP?

Literally every single story that Craig Brown (studio co-owner) shares.

Good answer, Katy.

Following her internship at KP, Katy hopes to continue to gain experience by assisting photographers on photo shoots and cultivating her skills in food styling.

We wish you the best of luck, Katy!

Feel free to check out Katy’s website here.

If you’re interested in learning about internship opportunities at KP Photo, follow us on social media for updates and application deadlines.