Meet Kate Warren and Martin Swift: to put it simply, they’re a creative power couple. She’s a photographer, constantly bouncing around the city shooting campaigns and events, and he’s an artist with a keen attention to detail. We caught up with the two in their cozy home studio to take a peek at their individual works, joint projects and foster kitten.
What was your introduction to photography?
Kate: I began taking pictures in middle school and studying photography more seriously while living in Barcelona in 2009. I returned to New York a few months later and began apprenticing, assisting, and shooting as often as I could. I also was auditing every photography class my university offered—even then I was a little intense in my immersive approach!
How about your introduction to art?
Martin: I was born when my dad was attending Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) for graduate school, so I was raised around a passion for art. I fondly remember drawing time with my dad; we sat down with a stack of blank paper and he encouraged me to experiment and explore my own concepts and vision from a very young age.
Any recent exciting projects?
Kate: I just wrapped up shooting American Express’ Small Business Saturday campaign for Washington, D.C., and I’m excited to share my favorite small business. The project was an awesome blend of portraits, reportage, and lightly-styled editorial.
What are you currently working on?
Martin: I’m in the conceptual stages of a three figure, 9×12′ painting that reinterprets the Greek myth of the Three Graces, who represent charm, beauty, creativity, and fertility—all traditionally feminine traits. I’ll be recasting the myth with three nude men, exploring the male capacity for such female traits.
Whose work inspires you?
Kate: I’m inspired by photographers informed by fashion who ride the line between the realistic and the aspirational. Portraitists like Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz are masters of light, photojournalists like Henri Cartier-Bresson capture fleeting moments, and Helmut Newton melds the two with an edge.
How do you feel about the surge of iPhone photography?
Kate: Many people are fixated on the type of gear professional photographers use, but you take the picture, not the camera. The rise of the iPhone has put a camera in the hands of the masses, leading to the democratization of the image. While that has lead to a lot of bad photos being made, I think it’s a good thing. It forces professional photographers to up their game—we have to be more creative, more technically savvy, more plugged in, and more driven than ever before. The iPhone and Instagram are just more tools in the development of the field, but tools are only as good as the person using them.
Martin’s also helping Kate put together her book. Rather than just a binder of her best prints, they’ve collaborated to fabricate a wooden-framed book with protective (and decorative) leather pages. With more publisher meetings on the horizon, it’s bound to leave a lasting impression.
Photos by Collin Hughes