As a commercial photographer who specializes in conceptual, product, and lifestyle photography, Tucson, Arizona-based Katelin Kinney‘s portfolio is colorful and surreal with a cartoon-like quality. Her work embodies a flair for the eccentric, adding fun, originality, and a playful edge to every project. On a recent quest to push past the mundane and into the imaginative, Katelin set out to create a miniseries that would reflect how her style can translate from static studio scenes to imagery with models, all while achieving one cohesive look.
Inspired by the intense Arizona heat and the creative problem solving behind making a product appear to be melting, without using any CGI, the Meltdown miniseries is a self-assigned project that combines still life product, model beauty photography, and conceptual retouching.
I tend to love the look and movement of “gooey” things- dripping, melting, spilling, splashing, glistening, etc. So this project really embodies all of my favorite things in the style I work with.
This unique project was shot by Katelin at home in her kitchen. Some projects require studio rentals, while others are on location, but a creative venture like this one worked well in her home, where she and the talent were able to listen to music and relax throughout the shoot.
The challenge for this project was what drew me to it. I love the preproduction aspect of using creative problem solving to figure out how to create a certain effect. I brainstormed ways to create a dripping material and landed on slime. I played around with it and figured out the best ways to color and dye it to match the products.
Using her special skills during post-production, Katelin enhances the design of her photographs to create unique works of art. Her highly stylized and polished look screams originality and is what distinguishes her from other photographers.
An aspect of this project I didn’t originally plan for was the cinemagraphs. As a photographer I’m looking to get more into motion work. Gifs and cinemagraphs are a natural way to do it. Once I had the studio still life scenes set up I watched the slime drip and realized this would actually be perfect for little motion files. It was definitely a learning experience to figure out what parts of the scene to shoot in video and what parts should remain an isolated frame grab in order to create the blended melting effect.
By combining some simple objects with a highly creative composition, Katelin’s Meltdown project resulted in some seriously eye-catching imagery, telling a visual story through her ingenuity.
I always tell my clients if you want to hire me for my style then 50% of that comes from how I style and light the shoot and 50% of it comes from what I do in photoshop afterwards.
See more of Katelin’s work on her website.