Kate Jackling, Photographer
We first came across the work of UK photographer Kate Jackling through a collaboration with COS that was endlessly re-pinned a few months back. That campaign — with its clothes draped over pink, yellow, and blue geometric forms — was so good that we had to know more about the photographer responsible for styling such a fun and playful set. Once we came across her website, we knew we’d hit the jackpot. Jackling’s photos are clean, playing with shadows and reflections to elevate product photography into something more artistic — photos that sell the product, yet also sell Jackling herself as someone who clearly understands her craft. In addition to her collaboration with COS, she’s photographed campaigns for Linda Farrow and Jo Malone, while her images have graced the pages of publications like Salt, Wallpaper*, and Hole & Corner, to name a few. But though she may be better known for her editorial campaigns, her personal work is even more compelling, showcasing her experiments with materials, reflections, shadows, and patterns so vividly that it’s easy to visualize her voice as an artist. We recently caught up with the London-based photographer to find out more.
Describe your most recent project and how it was made.
I recently shot a small story for Hole & Corner magazine. It’s not necessarily my most recent project as it was shot last September, but it’s the last project that I photographed and styled myself which meant I could put all of my creativity into the story. A fine art jewelry artist named Linda Brothwell was being featured in the magazine, and I was lucky enough to shoot her pieces alongside objects she’d collected as inspiration for her work. I brought these elements together and introduced the use of beam splitter mirror, which is essentially a two-way mirror, but its front is surfaced which means it’s optically clean and super sharp. The story was about materials, textures, influences and past inspiration. I truly enjoyed the process.
Describe your next project and how you’re currently making it.
My next project involves me stepping outside of the studio and into nature. I have a couple of projects underway; one is a personal story and the other is a collaboration with an artist friend of mine. The first one involves taking elements that I use in the studio out into the landscape, looking at fragmenting nature using simple tools and trickery. Part of the fun is to get your backpack loaded up with cameras and gear, then go for a walk on the beach — I can spend all day there, its really exhausting stuff, sinking into the sand, but you get a great feeling from it. Anything for a challenge!
My other project running alongside it is a slow burner, but it’s super exciting to be exploring the concept behind it. It’ll be a mixture of storytelling, human gesture, nature and performance.
Tell us one thing that’s been inspiring you lately and why.
One major thing that is always inspiring me is being out in nature. It’s actually the one place I rarely take pictures. Being up a mountain or by the sea is incredibly inspiring. It gives me the space and peace to breathe, to give way to new thoughts and ideas. Living in the city you have to fight extra hard to have that mental space. Reading a lot of books and articles on human nature is also super interesting for me, that and staring at the old masters of photography and the simplistic beauty in their art….and I watch A LOT of movies! Something about the escapism.
Show us your studio and tell us what you like about it. If you can’t, tell us what is your favorite piece of art or design from the last ten years and why?
I can’t show you my studio at the moment as I’m between spaces, but I’m moving into a studio in Stoke Newington down a little mews, right by Clissold Park. It’s a real gem of a place, sharing with an artist friend of mine Sarah May and a few others – lots of light. I’m looking forward to getting settled in and having a more permanent space, filling it with trendy succulent plants! So far most of mine seem to have died. I must be doing something very wrong. In answer to your other question, I guess my favorite piece of art and design over the last 10 years would be my large, brass John Kostick star I have on my shelf at home. It has a considered, geometric simplicity to it.
COS commission Concrete personal series
Babinets Playground Personal Series