Interview with Cate Underwood 119 139
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Real Name: Catherine Podlesnaya
Age: 20
Nationality: Ukrainian
Residence address: Kiev, Ukraine
Activities: Photographer
Links: cateunderwood.com, facebook, twitter, tumblr, blogspot, livejournal

— Three words to describe yourself…
— Don’t know why, but the only one word that comes to mind is «want».

— For those who don’t know you, tell them a little about yourself. How did you begin to create art?
— I shot during my journeys first. I shot people walking in the streets, architecture, looked for some special features and wanted to keep them as a remembrance. I always followed fashion development, thumbed through magazines, read blogs, viewed various pictures. I liked the beauty with slight imperfection and prominent collarbone. They were the main object of my inspiration.

— Who inspired you at the initial stage of your career?
— And now continue to inspire. Peter Lindbergh, David Sims, Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Alasdair McLellan, Jurgen Teller.

— What made you get into fashion photography?
— I think there was nothing that made me do it, I guess I have come to this myself. Fashion photography is not just a woman in beautiful new clothes. For me, it’s a certain kind of art where you have to transmute a model in the desired image and to find contact with her. I like to watch the emotions and motions. Clothing has a secondary role.

— Your tool?
— Canon 5D Mark 2, Contax g2, Polaroid, Fujifilm Instax.

— Describe your normal workflow. From the idea to result.
— Mostly I work with a stylist Venya Brykalin. Together we prepare for shooting. First of all we define primary targets, think over the mood and the connecting link in the story, then perform a casting. Venya is at work on styling (clothes, makeup, hair) and I work at a shoot (light, composition, position). Together we discuss everything and come to the decision. Then the team is going in the studio and everyone is doing his job. And at the final stage selected pictures are retouched and made up.

— Do you think that you need to adapt to people’s wishes, or in most cases do you shoot for yourself?
— Of course you have to adapt to what clients, magazines and modeling agencies want. But given the fact all the clients are aware of my work in advance. I’ve never had conflicts with people on this subject and moreover they give me enough freedom to realize their ideas.

— What is the most difficult to be a photographer and a model in Ukraine?
— First of all I am a photographer and in fact I didn’t work as a model. The most difficult thing is a very limited number of fashion publications, pricelessness of work results and applied force.

— What does the word «fashion» mean to you?
— Fashion is a kind of lifestyle. You don’t have to be all the time in the fashion, just be set in your ideas and live as you like.

— Your idea of beauty?
— Beauty is a very relative term. I like something that is abnormal, distinctness, expressiveness. Of course, the inner world plays an important role and makes the beauty more holistic and deeper.

— Your most memorable shot ever?

— The misconceptions about the fashion industry?
— The negation of fashion as a part of the culture with its own history and also the explaining away the fashion is no more than a cupboard, in which there is no place to hang up another bought thing.

— What kind of music do you listen to
— Klaxons, The Knife, Depeche Mode, Franz Ferdinand, Hercules, The Rapture, Hot Chip, The Killers, CSS, The XX, Trash Fashion, The White Stripes, Peaches, Apparat, Radiohead, Viva la Fete!, Shitdisco, Patrick Wolf, Justice, The Doors, Goldfrapp, Robyn etc.

— For you, what is the best way to relax?
— Spending time with my daughter.

— What is a clot?
— I think the clot is a life style magazine about contemporary art, its forms and the people who create it.

— Your favorite magazines / websites? And why?
Self Service, i-D, Dazed&Confused, Love, The Room / models.com, thefashionspot.com, fashioncopious.typepad.com, showstudio.com. Because it can be one of the source of my inspiration, help me to keep an eye on happenings in the field of my work and stay focused on the trends and interesting personalities.

— The best place on the Earth?
— Where you can be really happy.

— Can you give some tips to those who are just beginning to take photos?
— The main thing is the desire.

— What is the one thing that everyone should know about Cate Underwood?
— I’m doing well.

Text: Denis Kovalev
Translate: Olga Luksha
Photography: Cate Underwood

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