I recently had the privilege of interviewing Katherine Squier. If I had one word to sum it up, it would be refreshing. Reading through her answers, she exudes an excitement & the wonder that I have always loved & associated with photography.

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Empty Stretch: Age/ Location/ Favorite things in life?

Katherine Squier: 24, soon enough 25 / Austin, Texas/ good hugs, belly laughs, traveling, music, kind people, natural light, finding the right words, feeling grateful, animals

ES: What got you into photography? What keeps you photographing?

KS: I just decided to try it out as a hobby, I had been seeing a lot of commercials for nice cameras and thought it would be a good investment. I would randomly go out and take photos at first but then fell hard after my dad gave me his Canon Ae-1 after cleaning out the attic. I take my camera everywhere with me because it feels like I’m missing a piece of myself if I don’t. It also feels like an ultimate type of awareness, like I’m really appreciating my life by acknowledging and capturing the uniqueness and beauty in all the moments.

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ES: Who is your favorite person to photograph? Who is someone you’ve always wanted to photograph?

KS: Both of these question are hard- I don’t know if I have a favorite person, I love photographing all the people I’m close to. I have never thought about who I would love to photograph, as there are so many people out there that I think would be so interesting to capture!

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ES: You seem to be extremely attracted to light & it’s placement, it makes it seem like you’re more interested in an internal moment as opposed to external. Is this something you’re conscious of & does that make the photos hold a special place for you?

KS: I love interviews because a lot of the time the interviewer has insightful questions about my work and it even helps me gain better perspective sometimes. I take photos never trying to produce a certain type of look or feel, I just go with instinct, so your observation about light and internal moments hit a chord with me. Light moves me and I think it places a special spotlight (no pun intended!) on each moment– the most ordinary, mundane scenes become beautiful and heightened experiences with the right light. So it’s much more an internal recognition of what I see as the external manifestation of how special a moment is? Photos with special light aren’t necessarily more special than other ones, but light is a powerful factor in terms of what moves me.

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ES: You’re Ground work photographs seem very much about mark making & remind me a lot of abstract paintings, is that something you are influenced by or interested in?

KS: I wouldn’t say it influences me but I have been developing more of an interest in it since I started photography.

ES: Your portraits show very little if any of people’s faces is this for their sake or your own?

KS: I’ve always wanted to show people’s full faces but unfortunately because most of my photos are of my close friends and family, and during times when they aren’t necessarily wanting to be “seen,” photographing them when you can’t see their face is the only option I have in that moment, out of respect for their privacy and not having my camera always intruding into their lives. Also, my sister is a big subject of mine and she almost never wants her face shown. For all other cases, unless they are obviously happy I am photographing them, it’s because I’m afraid it would make them uncomfortable since I can get that way when someone wants to photograph me.

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ES: Who has the best beard you’ve ever seen?

KS: My future husband? (kidding, kidding– maybe)

ES: What is your favorite place you have been?

KS: So hard. Over my entire life, I honestly don’t know!

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ES: Any projects we should be keeping an eye out for?

KS: I spent 5 months solo in Europe traveling around during the later part of 2012, and I’m self-publishing a photo book out of the mass amount of film I shot. It’s taking me a while now that I have more obligations than ever— but it’s happening. And I’m excited– so keep an eye out for it and get excited too! :)

Please find more of Katherine’s work on her website & tumblr.