Kathryn Farmer Interview - Craftsmanship & Artistry


Meet Kathryn Farmer, one of Australia's most unique and artistic music photographers. Kathryn calls herself, "a fool for film photography" and it becomes apparent why, when you look at her work. Shooting with a mix of film and digital, Kathryn's craftsmanship, and underlying desire to create photographs with substance and life emanates through each image.

Get to know the woman behind the lens revitalising the old school, and bringing back the artistry of film photography. We had a chat to Kathryn about how she moved into film photography, her love for music, and what 2018 is going to bring to the table.

(All Images Supplied Courtesy of Kathryn Farmer)

Futuremag Music: How'd you move into the music scene?

Kathryn Farmer: I went to my first concert when I was 8, it was Avril Lavigne. She opened with 'Sk8r Boi' and I guess I’ve just been going to gigs for the past 14 years trying to chase the high from that magical night haha. In all seriousness, I live for music and was just going to heaps of shows and taking some photos from the crowd as a fan and it happened really naturally from there. Now I’ve shot a ripe 30 gigs since mid 2016 and I’m still not sick of it.

Futuremag Music: You shoot exclusively on film, how'd you move into that?

Kathryn Farmer: For personal projects I shoot film exclusively but for live music I shoot a mixture of film & digital because of the demands on the publications, restrictions and pressure to have photos ready ASAP. The process of shooting film is what makes it special for me. It has an inherent sense of substance because of everything that’s gone into it. The process is a lot slower and more intentional and with the limited amount of frames, the results are really special. I always listen to the artists that I just shot while I edit the photos. For a regular gig, I’ll have shot between 150-500 digital photos and 1-4 rolls of film. I get my film developed at a local lab and scan them myself. I bring all of the photos up in Bridge to narrow it down to my favourites which I edit in Lightroom and export from there. Sometimes I also run a handful of my favourites through the nik collection in Photoshop. 


Futuremag Music: What's in your bag when you go to a festival or event?

Kathryn Farmer: I couldn’t live without my 5Dmk3 + Sigma 50mm 1.4 art and my Contax T2. In my bag may also be the 20mm 2.8 and 24-105 lenses, Nikon FM2, Pentax 67, Polaroid 103, Nishika and Nimslo film cameras plus 5-10 rolls of film. I’m always saving for a new camera or lens so it’s an ever-changing lineup.

Futuremag Music: If 'Kathryn Farmer' was a cocktail what would be in it to best describe yourself and your music taste?

Kathryn Farmer: I listen to a lot of music so it would end up being some sort of gross punch being ladled out of a 15L storage tub with everything from cheap boxed wine to Absinth.                                                 

Futuremag Music: What does 2018 hold for you?

Kathryn Farmer: I can’t ask for any more than to be able to keep shooting artists that I love. I also really want to develop my skills with video, animation and illustration work.