Today we’d like to introduce you to Katrina Barber.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
It really started for me when I was writing for my high school newspaper—I began to use the paper as a means to interview and photograph bands as they came through Austin, getting to every show I could get my mom to drive me to. I was borrowing our school yearbook’s shared Canon Rebel, and eventually got my hands on my dad’s Nikon D200—totally mind blowing for me at the time—and my obsession with live music photography exponentially grew from there.
Fast forward a few years, and I found myself with the opportunity to shoot marketing imagery for ACL Festival 2015 (shoutout to Roger Ho for that!). That opportunity led to a full-time job doing graphic design and photography for C3 Presents, a company I still call home today. Through C3, I’ve been able to travel to and shoot festivals all over the country, including Lollapalooza, Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, ACL Festival, and Music Midtown.
This year, I was named Best Live Music Photographer 2018 by the Austin Chronicle’s Austin Music Industry Awards and am still blown away by the response.
Please tell us about your art.
I consider my work to be mostly documentarian. I aim to capture my subject’s energy and passion for the art they themselves have created—my goal is to portray them in a way that not only speaks to their fans but is also completely unobtrusive to the fan experience and to the band. For me, live music photography is about documenting in a creative way, it’s about the moment and the passion of the performance.
I create these photographs to not only satisfy the creativity inside myself, but to also make images the musicians can use, keep, and look back on in 50 years. I’ve always been a very sentimental person, that sentimentality is the driving force behind my always having a camera on me. I put a huge value on my own photos from years past, just having the physical memories in my hands or on my screen is so important to me, and I want to create images that other people can value now—and later—as well.
Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
The role of artists has definitely changed in recent years. I deeply believe it’s our responsibility to encourage, empower, and educate those that are just starting out or looking to expand their knowledge and talent—whether it’s a helping a budding photog who’s asking about settings at a show, becoming more inclusive with your work, or showing that local or national tragedy cannot keep people down, and cannot keep us from coming together and celebrating our love for music.
Safety at major music events has been at the top of my mind as a festival photographer, and luckily C3 Presents has added a lot of new, improved security measures to their fests. I definitely believe those measures really help photographers documenting the festival to feel safe, leaving us to do our work without fear.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I’m very active on Instagram, often posting work that may not be posted anywhere else. You can see that at @katrina.barber.
- Website: katrinabarberphotos.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katrina.barber/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katrinabarberphotography/
Photo of myself is by Cubby Mellinger, everything else was shot by me.
SIDE NOTE: I put Downtown as my area above, but am actually from Austin.