Kaitlyn Jo Smith

Tucson, AZ, USA

Who are you?

Hi I’m Kaitlyn. I am an optimistic Midwesterner with an old soul and a closet full of floral dresses. My favorite color is yellow, I have an orange cat named Smells and I love singing country music off key.

What do you want?

I moved to Tucson, AZ, almost one year ago to pursue an MFA degree in photography at the University of Arizona. I want to explore, I want to teach, and I want to make art.

Why photography?

I am not strictly a photographer, though the majority of my works are image based. I have always been fascinated with time, memory and those who came before me. Vernacular photographs are what I am most drawn to; I am interested in humans and all of their untold stories.

What gear do you use?

I am a true believer in using the tool that best fits the job so I don’t have any one specific set-up. I love instant cameras and I also make a lot of contact prints. My favorite camera is a Nikon One Touch that I bought at a thrift store for two bucks. The way it handles light never ceases to amaze me.

Any interests, hobbies, or passions outside of photography?

I am currently in graduate school so I am completely immersed in art. I do love camping and hiking (which I hope to fit in this summer) and am passionate about house plants.

Music, movies, books, TV, games. What are some of your favorites? Any recommendations?

I mostly listen to country music, namely Miranda Lambert, the Turnpike Troubadours, and Tyler Childers. Kacey Musgraves just released a new album that I’ve been listening to in the studio on repeat. I’m not a huge movie or TV person, but I do love to read. I highly recommend anything by Rebecca Solnit or Jeannette Walls. Currently I am reading The Poetics of Space which has been a huge inspiration this semester.

Who or what is inspiring you?

Odette England, Christian Boltanski, Letha Wilson, Rachel Whiteread, Cy Twombly, and the list goes on and on...

What's your most prized possession?

A letter my mother wrote to me when I was a week old that she gave to me on my sixteenth birthday.

Got any words of wisdom or a favorite quote?

I honestly believe that anyone can do anything that they put their minds to. You just have to believe in yourself. If you don’t, who will?

Any other photographers you think people should check out?

Leah Netsky is a fellow grad student who is doing incredibly interesting things with bologna.

What do you wish someone would ask you?

Do you think your ten year old self would be proud of who they would become?

What’s the answer to that question?

I would have been shocked to discover that I would move two thousand miles away from home to follow my dreams and proud for having dreams that big to follow.

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Kaitlyn Jo Smith