After Hours blog featuring Brooklyn based photographer Kate McCall - Thread Spun

After Hours 28: Creative Process with Kate McCall

After Hours 1.15.24

Discussion 28: Creative Process with Kate McCall

Meet Kate McCall, a self taught photographer living in Brooklyn, New York. Our first mention of Kate was actually in her older sister Dal's After Hours blog, as she was the photographer who shot all of those photos featured, and wow were they gorgeous. That's the thing, Kate just has this natural talent for photography. She has a special eye for detail, especially when it comes to shadow and light. Her photos have this sweet feel of nostalgia to them, reflected in her editing style as well as her composition. She's worked for several brands now, has done multiple weddings and editorial shoots, and has actually shot for the shop a couple years back. Read on to learn more about Kate's creative journey, take a peek at some of her photography, and see rare photos of Kate in front of the camera instead of behind it (shout out to Dal for stepping into some big shoes behind the lens and filling them well.)
After Hours blog featuring Brooklyn based photographer Kate McCall - Thread Spun

What first drew you to photography?

I’ve been very observant since I was young, and I think I got to a point where I wanted to steal some of those observed moments forever. I liked the way the action of photo-taking required me to slow down and be still, while also prompting me to make a decision on how I wanted to compose. It’s always been an area of my life where I’ve felt fully confident in my ideas and opinions, so I think the freedom I experienced in that space from an early age kept me captivated creatively.

After Hours blog featuring Brooklyn based photographer Kate McCall - Thread Spun 
35mm film photo captured in Upstate New York by Kate

After Hours blog with Brooklyn based photographer Kate McCall - Thread Spun
Kate in Louise Misha's Marta Coat

How have you evolved as an artist since you began taking photos?

I feel that I’ve evolved in the way that’s made me realize my identity as an artist is ever-changing. I used to be tied to the idea that I had to be extremely successful in one area of my art before I could exercise another, and holding on that tightly to photo-making actually hurt my ability to create. I was so attached to the idea of what I thought I “should” be doing, that I couldn’t see how many artistic avenues I was cutting myself off from. I had to accept that a lot of my interests surrounding photography were changing, and it took me months to say it out loud because that realization made me feel so lost. I could feel the discomfort of not fitting into the artistic mold I had made for myself, but didn’t quite understand that it meant I was growing closer to the artistry I’m meant for. Giving myself permission to not know what’s next has been the greatest thing during this era of my life because no form of making feels off-limits.

After Hours blog featuring Brooklyn based photographer Kate McCall - Thread Spun
AFter Hours blog featuring Brooklyn based photographer Kate McCall - Thread Spun

The Roxanne Loafer & Marta Coat, captured on 35mm film by Kate 

What do you feel inspires you to start creating?

Light, color, sound, and texture are the initial elements that draw me to creating. When I’m on my morning walks, listening to music, watching the way the early sun interacts with everything around me, I can’t help but want to make something that allows other people to feel what I’m experiencing. I’m really inspired by the interaction between all of those components, and think it’s fascinating how many ways there are to combine them to tell stories.

After Hours blog featuring Brooklyn based photographer Kate McCall - Thread Spun

How do you find balance between sharing work you love and work you think will do well with your audience?

I think sharing work I love makes the latter a non-issue. If I’m sharing something I really love and believe in, and people receive it well, that’s really cool...if they aren’t interested in it, that’s cool too. I’ve come to this point where my art doesn’t have to be for everyone, and it's brought a lot of fun back into my creating. I also think that sharing work I love will better attract the audience and working opportunities that align with my style of creation. There was definitely a time where what I
thought would “do well” dictated the way I made and shared my work, but that led to a lot of burnout and ultimately pulled me from the self-expressive nature of art making. Truthfully, I’m not the best at regularly sharing what I create on social media, so when I do, there’s no point in worrying about whether or not it will do well with my audience. I’m just happy to be creating and to have a small community of people who appreciate it! 

After Hours blog featuring Brooklyn base photographer Kate McCall - Thread Spun

How do you beat creative block?

I lean into it. Typically, I’m dealing with creative block in terms of not being able to come up with new concepts for photoshoots or videos. Instead of forcing myself through it and creating something just because, I let myself feel the pause and acknowledge that my body needs to do something different. It always helps me to get out of my head and physically make something with my hands. Usually I’ll put on music and start painting without a reference. It’s cathartic to create something that feels nonsensical and unplanned. Inadvertently, the ideas I was once struggling to imagine start piecing themselves together as I play around with colors and textures to the tune of my favorite songs.

A peak at Kate's portfolio -


What do you want to do next?

As far as my photographic work goes, I’m eager to get into the interior design space. I think it’s one of the most inspired forms of art, and one that allows people to express themselves so uniquely. I’m big on creating feeling through imagery, so capturing spaces that are designed to simultaneously inspire people and bring them a sense of home is something I’m really passionate about.  

After Hours blog featuring Brooklyn based photographer Kate McCall - Thread Spun

 You can find Kate's portfolio here on her website,
and you can follow her instagram here as well. 

Shop Kate's Thread Spun shop picks 


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