Interview & Kat Alyst
Photographer: Kat Alyst @katinthecloudz
Male Model: Tate Gibson @tategibson
Makeup Artist: Cici Maasen @cici.maasen
Fashion Designer: Sloane Lenz @thisissloane
Production: Natalie Dee @nataliedeeee
Location: Swan Dive @swandiveaustin
Where are you from Originally?
And what got you into photography?
Honestly, I just lived in the middle of nowhere. I was far away from family and wasn’t really a cool kid at the schools I went to. I moved a lot. I forgot where I got it, but someone gave me a camera that was falling apart… I think it was like 4 megapixels (laughs), and I just became really obsessed with creating symbolism and stories within each frame. Everything else just evolved into what I’m doing now.
Do you run your final images by anyone close to you in your life? Someone that will be brutally honest in feedback?
Oh yeah (laughs). My best friend for sure— Edgar.
Who’s work inspires you to push the envelope creatively and why?
Forever, I have said David LaChapelle throughout my career as my biggest inspiration. From his early years and on, he has always been dynamic and without restriction to make his visuals come to life. He’s still producing incredible work in the industry, and anyone that knows him has only mentioned good things too.
“Chuck” Grant is also a great visual artist. I mean, anyone shooting on film and killing it is an inspiration… and though I’m predominately digital, there’s something beautiful about not having to talk about what you just photographed and immediately reviewing it. I think I found her work right when I started out, and I enjoy her film and natural approach to her creative flow— plus she covers a ton of genres in the industry. I enjoy the idea of not sticking to just one style of photography and exploring who you are as an artist in more than one genre.
What makes an image iconic?
Definitely an image that can speak. It’s timeless because it can relate for years… for forever… An iconic image will be one that reaches all people and nationalities… and really just expresses the ‘human’ in everyone.
Did you mention you use symbolism in your work?
Yes. It’s not always as literal as you would think [anymore]. Sometimes it’s in the title, or location... sometimes it's an easter egg you don’t see right away, like a specific texture chosen for the fabric that the model's wearing. Or not wearing.
What about this title, “Seeing Red”, is it symbolic?
Yes… it’s my anger, but fashionably speaking.
Your personal work's aesthetic in two words:
Colorful….. apathy (laughs).
What is the single most important outcome of an image when creating a campaign or editorial story for a client?
You have to get the shot. Period. It can really range to whatever the job wants… but overall you have one moment to capture the feeling they’re looking for. Feeling will rise above the technical skills any day.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with GMARO magazine?
Thank you for this opportunity and your time. I’m honored to be a part of your issue. This was fun.