My name is Kathy Slamen and I consider myself to be an imagination specialist.
I am from and live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. A two time Graduate from Concordia University (BA, BFA), I studied cinema, photography and worked extensively in both fields for many years. I am also a writer, which became a new thing for me this past year because I happened to write a play that sold out all 14 performances since July; but film (either the moving or still image) is, and will always be my first and true passion.
What’s my technique?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. I basically shoot what feels ‘right.’ I rely on intuition, and often compose a shot through the viewfinder of my camera before I even begin to look at the whole picture. I dream and think in colorful images, so it’s easy for me to ‘pre-visualize’ what I would like to capture. For my people portraits, I try to engage the subject, make them feel at ease, and try to keep the camera from becoming a barrier between us.
Almost all of my self-portraits are taken on a whim, when the mood strikes. I rarely plan the shoots in great detail ahead of time, if I plan them at all. Cindy Sherman and Duane Michals have to be my ultimate inspirations when it comes to this style. Their way of fusing the marriage between the cinema space and photographic frame is so close, sometimes, the boundaries get blurred, and that is exactly what I am trying to achieve.
My interest in erotic photography stemmed from my exploration into self portraiture. I loved the idea of creating a complete scenario for each image, placing myself in the center of the metaphorical and hypothetical story, using props, lighting, my own body movements and expressions to convey what words did not. It was an exercise in communication - a different language in a different medium, which yielded some pretty fascinating results. In my latest photographic endeavour, I have chosen erotica and the human body as new vehicles of my current artistic expressions. Through this genre, it is my goal to put the sensual elements back into sexual and pure definition of Eros back into erotica.
My current tool of the trade is a Canon 10D. I used a Canon EOS Elan II e for the longest time, and was very reluctant to go digital, and am still not 100% won over. I still take my 35mm out for a spin every once and a while. I am old school – I love the depth and grain and character of film.
Flickr – what an amazing place! I stumbled across the site by accident about a year ago. I was pleasantly surprised as to how many talented photographers were out there, sharing their images, and sharing their thoughts! I loved the idea of being able to critique other people’s work as well as have others critique mine – what a great way to get feedback and opinions from other artists who use the same medium.
From experience, it’s quite difficult to get your work out there– galleries are hard to break into and the ability to show your photos to the world can be quite limited, but Flickr has made that easy, and fun! I have met so many wonderful people on this site, have received a great deal of encouragement and guidance, which has helped me to define my direction and gain confidence in my work.
I was leery about ‘coming out’ as to my interest in erotic photography; but I became discouraged as to how and where I would be able to show my work to the public; it’s not the kind of thing that you can share with your parents, or hang in a local quaint art gallery, but because of Flickr, I found an audience who respected my photos for their artistic merit. But nonetheless, it came as a complete surprise to me, (and great honor) to be nominated in the ‘Excellence in Erotic Photography’ award. I came in third, but that didn’t matter – what mattered was the discovery of this new side to my art, and to my delight, have been a source of inspiration to many fellow Flickrites who have gone on to do the same.
I am beyond delighted and elated to be a part of this exposition!! It will be my first time in New York and I know that this experience will change my life, both personally and as a photographer. I am looking forward to actually meeting and talking with the fellow photographers whose work I admire and friendships I cherish.