A bold study of reality with the Norwich University of the Arts graduate photographer
Katelyn Playford’s photography not only highlights but celebrates the realities in which her subjects are situated. She relishes catching them “half blinking or mid sentence”, as these characteristics create an air of authenticity that transcends a pose or colour palette. Katelyn also does just as well to communicate the atmosphere of the shoot as she does the humanity of her subjects. Fluently bringing together colour, tone and composition as one, she often adds texture through noise, in turn creating a raw, almost gritty ambience.
Collectively, these various elements allow Katelyn “to capture those small differences that interpret our own identities”. This speaks to a desire to do things a little differently, to take portraits that aren’t so painfully composed that they cease to resemble real life.
The textures and points of focus created by the skin and bodies of her various subjects—from children to young adults to pensioners—provide points of contrast in her work that ensure variety and novelty are well represented in her portfolio. Here, Katelyn doesn’t shy away from ‘imperfect’ forms, while her penchant for juxtaposition can also be seen in many of her other compositions, where she often uses negative space, contrasting angles and different visual languages brilliantly to display works alongside one another.
Intriguingly, she “stumbled” across this style in her final year at Norwich University of the Arts, and hasn’t looked back since. At NUA, she learned the importance of being selective when presenting work, and this ethos has clearly informed the way she works today with the boldest images taking centre stage. As she continues to develop this approach, we’re in little doubt that her masterful control of colour and texture will stand her in good stead.