The KOCO: Katie O’Connell


Katie is a photographer from California who now resides in Austin, TX (represent). Art and creativity have always flowed through Katie leading her down exciting paths. Her creative spirit transcends photography making her work intriguing as one can see that she really  loves what she captures in her photos and her innate abilities shine. Katie is carving out an exciting niche in this industry with her imaginative and ingenious approach; watch for her in the near future.

Katie O’Connell

How did you get into photography?

When I was a kid, I took a picture of our family dog. I was about 10 and I actually won a contest with it. I’ve always been interested since. I also studied photography, doing dark room developing, in high school. At that time, my interests were way different because I was really into taking pictures of abstract things. I continued a little in college but focused primarily on print screening.

How does your creative process work? Do you have a ritual or routine you subscribe to?

I start by taking a ton of warm up shots with the models which gets me into the flow. It allows me to adapt to how the models interact with the environment and keeps things organic. I don’t like making them pose; it comes off so forced.

Also, I always keep affirmations nearby and motivational tools at my desk which really helps. I mean, just the other day I was getting down about not being as productive as I had wanted to be, but then I opened up this book I have about success and it put things into perspective. Some days we won’t be as productive as we’d like to be, but that’s ok and I won’t beat myself up about it. It’s important, at times, to have those days to reflect on the bigger picture.

What are your influences?

I really get inspired by things I’m already interested in. For example, I love vintage cars and motorcycles, so it comes naturally to me to want to shoot those. I love the people I have met in that world, they inspire me.

Words inspire me as well. I think we’ve lost the meaning of so many words and have dumbed them down. I insert interesting words into my photo posts and use them with their definitions to capture the essence of my photos.

What do you get out of it on a deeper level?

There’s just something deep inside that drives me to create; I have to get it out. I’m not content with working just to work. In fact, I had a pretty comfortable corporate job that I quit to pursue this path. I was getting depressed and wasn’t working on anything creative, hardly at all, but there were times I would just paint or something in my bedroom, and it connected me to this deeper part of myself which always made me feel better. I also went to Europe and backpacked around which gave me time to reflect. By the time I was leaving, I convinced myself that I was going to move back because I needed to make a big change. Instead, I decided to pursue photography professionally.

What are some of your most treasured moments regarding your art?

I have a photography mentor who I’m nervous to shoot around at times because he’s so good. Even though I’m really just starting out professionally, I still get nervous. Anyway, we went on this shoot together and at the end he gave me really great feedback which made me feel amazing.

Another awesome experience was having my photograph featured on Grifter. It’s a company that sells motorcycle gear and I took this photo of my friend with his motorcycle and some gloves from Grifter and apparently they liked it. It was rad!

How do you handle failure? What keeps you motivated?

I know there will always be bad and unproductive days but I have this need to get my feelings and creativity out into something tangible. I can’t keep it bottled up inside, so that drives me to create.

How to connect with Katie:

The KoCo Website

The KOCO facebook

IG: thekoco

Katie’s playlist:


2 Comments Add yours

  1. My cousin rocks! Congratulations, Katie! Nice interview.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Her work is incredible!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s