Katy Shayne creates imagery that will break through your comfort zones

Currently based in Los Angeles, Katy Shayne documents everything from street trash, Texas funeral homes, two-step saloons, fashion objects, artists and their interiors.


How did your characteristic style develop or how has it changed over the years?

I think it just kind of grows with technical experience, collaborations, seeing light and life differently. I think the initial foundational interests are still there and innate to who I am, not just as an artist. But, spider-webbing off those interests and exploring ideas, other people’s ideas makes you see things differently.

Still life or portraits? Or fashion? Or trash? What do you love shooting most in general?

People, trash, clothes are all the same to me. Particles floating around each other, light playing off them. Trash is relevant for many reasons, and the by-product of people and fashion.

What influences are there in your work? Where does your inspiration come from?

Music influences me greatly. I walk a lot in LA and listen to music, books -especially art books foster that inspirational energy. With my work requiring daily creation in the realm of fashion object capture,  fashion-based commercial imagery heavily has influenced my eye and how I approach shooting now.

 Strong colors and also close-up shots are characteristic of your work. Is this stuff you also notice in your daily life? How do you see your day-to-day experience reflected in your work?

I started out in the black & white darkroom. I took a wet darkroom color course in college, and that was when I began to understand the importance of color and how it plays with our mood, can induce emotions/memories/ and mimics the reality we experience. I think fabricating a photographic story,  capturing what you see around you with color as a subject is one of the reasons I never get bored with photography. Close-ups are unsettling, they break through our comfort zones, they require confrontation and focus. I like that tension.

Who (dead or alive) or what (anything anywhere) would you dream of shooting and why?

I  am interested in astronomical photography as well as microscopic imagery but have not explored them fully. I always wanted to flat-bed scan a dead horse as well. 

What are you currently working on?

I just moved back to LA from London, so I have just enjoyed getting back into daily image-making at work after the last two years of meandering. I am enjoying story-telling again, and I am grateful to have the trust and creative freedom, so now it’s about learning new approaches to imagery in the digital realm and beyond 🙂

Instagram: @katyshayne