Cat Holmes

Cat Holmes

My Life In Stills — Hypnotic analogue photography that takes you on a journey through the places, spaces, people and moods Cat Holmes encounters on her travels.

Sometimes, getting lost down the internet rabbit hole of found and original images, you stumble upon a tumblr or folio that totally stops you in your tracks. Cat Holmes’ collection of stunning stills is one such phenomenon.

Sat quietly under a enigmatic header that simply says ‘Room With A View’, Cat’s images don’t scream or shout to be heard, they’re soft half-moments that hint at beautiful and remote worlds to be discovered. Through her experiments with light, Cat has created a phosphorescent original body of work that is lifetimes better than a lot of the visual trash flooding our computer screens. We caught up with the talented photographer to find out more about her awesome images.

When/why did you start shooting pictures?
Being a visual person from a young age I’ve always loved playing around with cameras. It’s something I have always enjoyed; I find it fascinating how one click can capture a moment in time and life. With travelling, photography enables me to document and capture the world around me.

What cameras do you use and what do you like about them?
I use a Pentax K1000. I love the heaviness of the camera, it has great depth of field and it produces beautiful photographs. I also use an old Mamiya point-and-shoot that I picked up at a flea market in Austria. It leaks light so the images always look faded as if they are from the past. Lately I have also been enjoying my self-made pinhole cameras. They all produce such unique images, almost as if they were paintings.

What things/subjects/locations are you drawn to in your photography?
Foreign countries, different cultures, places with great lighting, human body parts, the movement water can create and its reflections, the eeriness of the night, the people of the world, fine art, strange cropped angles. I find the possibilities endless!

How would you describe your photography style?
This question stumped me a little. I still use film so it’s analogue photography. It’s quite spontaneous and I feel as though it goes between on-location documentary and artistic photography. I like to create images that tell a bit of a story, photographs that leave something for the viewer’s imagination. Lately its also become much more experimental with the colourful lens filters and pinhole cameras I have been making.

Who/what inspires your work? Any other photographers?
I find a lot of inspiration from the people and the places I tend to find myself in. Also fine art photography. I resonate with the artistic style – images that are a little different and mysterious Also travelling photographers, the different cultures and countries they document. Whether they are well known or a friend’s photography, I find inspiration in them all.

What do you do for a living and how does photography fit into your life?
For the past six years I was a part-owner of a fashion boutique in Melbourne, Australia. Since closing early last year, I have been living in Europe and travelling. Photography has always played some role in my life. With the shop it was more for business and now it’s a spontaneous part of my everyday life.

How do you share your work? And what’s the editing process like for you?
About a year ago I created a blog, so that’s been my main outlet for sharing my work. The editing process is quite minimal as I use film so I like to keep the images as raw as possible, if anything I will lift the levels a little but most images I don’t touch at all. I do like to tell stories with my images, to give the viewers enough to create the essence of the scene. Whether that’s with a great location I’m in or a personal idea I want to shoot. I like to hope that I create images that are emotive.

Are your photos staged/posed or documentary?
I would say a bit of both. I like to document what’s surrounding me, the people and the places I see. Keeping it natural, not posed and completely in the moment. This for me is a constant reminder of life itself. There are also some staged shoots that I often have building in my mind. Ideas I want to try and a certain way I would like the image to look.

How do you hope viewer’s respond/engage with your photography?
I like to hope that the viewers become inspired in the world by my photography, to want to travel and see its beauty. To allow their imagination to continue further beyond the image, I often take photos of just feet. As I feel for the viewer something is left a little unknown, as the subject’s face will so often tell a story instantly but not being able to see the person’s face leaves you wondering a little. At the end of the day it’s something that makes me happy and if it triggers visual happiness for others that’s a great feeling.

What are your plans for the future?
For this next year I’ll be living in Barcelona where I’ll study Studio Arts. I hope to further my photography and define its style. For the future I aim to continue to see the world and all its cultures whilst continuing to document and create in whatever means possible.

You can see more of Cat’s amazing work on her blog Room With A View.