Marketing And Media Matters

Issue 102

Kate Buckingham - Photographer

Did you always envisage a career in the Media Industry?

From an early age I had an interest in photography, I think I got my first film camera when I was eight years old and always loved looking at imagery, newspapers, magazines, documentary photographers work and exhibitions. I remember going to the National Portrait Gallery to see the David Bailey exhibition and was captivated. So I guess it was just photographs to begin with. The media route materialised organically during both my degree and photography training, I guess, as I developed my own skills and found what I enjoyed taking images of the most.

What has been your career path so far?

I have been a professional photographer now for almost 20 years, beginning my career as a trainee staff photographer at the Northumberland Gazette before moving to the Hexham Courant and now working as a freelance photographer under my own name for the last three years as an interiors and architectural photographer.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far?

Redundancy I would say has been the biggest challenge I have had to overcome. Covid saw the end of my career as a staff photographer and adapting to life outside of journalism took a lot of effort and time. They say its a vocation rather than a job and I think it is fair to say you do it for the love rather than the salary. Becoming my own boss has had its own challenges, don’t get me wrong, however being the captain of your own ship is so rewarding it has been a journey I have mostly enjoyed.

Who has been your inspiration?

For me, the great documentary photographers like Don McCullin or Larry Burrows captured my interest in the first instance. I love Steve McCurry’s work, his portraiture and the feeling he is able to portray through his lens is truly magical. Closer to home I guess it has been the press photographers around me who’s work I saw every day and made me want to follow in their footsteps.

What is your greatest strength?

My ability to talk to people I would say. Being able to put someone at ease when you are photographing them. They also help you to understand the background to the piece/space so I can tell a story through my images whether its interiors, architecture, property or press.

What is your biggest weakness?

Thinking others are better than me! Its the biggest thing I’ve had to overcome when working for myself.

What do you enjoy photographing most?

I have always loved interiors and architecture, so my natural path to follow after press work I felt was down the property and interiors route. I love portraying beautiful spaces and structures. My other love is sport photography – covering Alan Shearer’s testimonial match at St James’ Park definitely stands out in my memory as one of my favourite experiences as a press photographer.

What are your future career aspirations?

My hope is to just keep building on my early success and establish long-lasting relationships with my clients and continue to take great pictures for as long as I am able.

How do you see your industry evolving in the next 10 years ?

Its really difficult to say – with the ever evolving use of AI and the ease with which anyone can create an image thanks to smart phones etc. it could go many ways. I’d like to hope that it goes full circle and people realise the worth in professionally trained photographers and videographers and are prepared to pay for our expertise. I guess only time will tell!

How do you like to unwind?

Being outdoors, there is nothing better than breathing in fresh air and listening to the sound of life around you. Whether it be going for a walk or watching my son do whatever sport it is at that point.

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