Katelyn Ferguson is a Minneapolis-based photographer and an enthusiastic New Petzval 85 Art Lens owner. Her love for wedding photography is evident in her photos, and especially highlighted in this series of shots taken with the New Petzval 85, which she talks about in this exclusive interview.
Name: Katelyn Ferguson
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Gear: The New Petzval 85 Art Lens
Katelyn Ferguson has a very unique perspective of bridal shoots. Armed with a New Petzval 85, she worked on a wedding-themed series, one with a twist. Her mission: present the life of a wedded woman after the wedding day. Although hectic and oftentimes stressful, the whole process of getting married is something that women find enthralling. When the big day is finally over, however, the fun wears off and the aftermath seems lackluster. Katelyn begs to differ, and proves her point with a non-traditional and whimsical wedding photo series.
Hi Katelyn, please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Katelyn Ferguson and I am a Minneapolis photographer. I’m the kind of girl who falls in love with simple moments and that is what I like to bring forward through my photography. There is a million and ten things I’d like to do in my one and only lifetime that includes a heap of traveling and a whole lot of spontaneity! Beyond my passion for photography is an even bigger passion for people. I love taking the time to get to know others and hearing of how they see the world. It’s an eye opening and breathtaking experience to learn how each of our lives both differ and relate to one another.
How did you get involved in photography?
I first became interested in photography after taking a class in high school. My teacher actually gave me an old film camera that I traded in for my first DSLR. I’ve always wondered what my photography would have been like had I kept that older camera. I’m totally kicking my younger self for making that silly mistake! I grew more passionate with photography as I continued documenting my family and friends. I am intrigued with how much emotion and expression can be captured from each passing moment. So many elements change in the passing of seconds. Capturing those in-between moments is stealing a sacred second in time. I think that reviewing the moments I’ve captured is what sealed my relationship with photography. It’s exciting.
How would you describe your style as a photographer?
Spontaneous, Dreamy, Vibrant/ colorful, and sometimes whimsical. I enjoy being creative and not aiming for perfection, but instead trying new things. It’s not always successful, but I see it as an important factor in helping me grow as a photographer.
What was your first impression of the Lomography New Petzval 85 Art Lens?
When I unpackaged my beautiful new Petzval 85, I was attracted to its brass body. Once I mounted it on my camera body, my fingers immediately gravitated towards its old-fashioned knob and began turning while I looked through the viewfinder in awe. I feel like I’m holding a piece of history. The new Petzval 85 is the best tool that I own for telling a story and telling it well.
Please describe your experience with this lens.
I fell completely in love with it’s non-traditional process. I’m used to shooting fast and in the moment. The new Petzval 85 lens forced me to slow down. I’ve quickly adopted this lens as my favorite. It helps me tell the best stories. The Petzval has allowed me to push my creativity to the next level. By forcing me to slow down, the new Petzval 85 also pushes me to think about other elements that could improve my shots.
Please tell us more about this wedding-themed photo series.
I call this particular series of photos “The Bridal Project.” The Bridal Project was created to display the undeniable obsession with weddings that exists in our culture. Many women, though they may be happily married, experience post wedding blues going into their newly wedded life. If you really think about it, it makes sense why these women are experiencing this wave of sadness after a particularly awesome time in their life. After a year or two’s worth of planning and preparation, parties, and showering of attention from loved ones offering forms of congratulations and marital advice, it all comes to a screeching halt after the wedding day passes by. Sure, there may be the photographs to look forward to, but one day people stop asking you how the cake tasted and life becomes normal again.
For this series, I asked women who are already married to hop back into their wedding dress. I entered their homes, tagged along on their shopping trips, and documented their daily routine in a brand new form. I have to be honest, it was kind of amusing watching these ladies struggle in their wedding dress while performing simple tasks. I hope you believe me when I say I wanted to offer a helping hand. However, it was supposed to be problematic. Maybe the observable outside struggle that you can see in some of these images will be something that certain newly weds could relate to as a translation to the internal struggle that they may be facing.
When I began to photograph the women in their dresses, I was intrigued by the condition that the dresses were left in. They are each very beautiful in different ways, but when I looked at them closely I soon realized that these dresses are each a unique map of their wedding day. There are trails of dirt that trace the bottom, splashes of wine that happened through the cause of celebration, along with other spills and stains that were seized by the dress. It was an interesting glimpse into their special day. I’m so happy these women decided to be a part of helping my visions come to life.
What inspired you to shoot it?
The idea was born from a conversation with my sisters at happy hour. They both are happily married and helped me shape this idea into a beautiful reality.
Do you have any advice for current or future New Petzval 85 Art Lens users?
Become familiar with its process and make a mental plan of when you will be using this lens throughout your shoots. Be careful when shooting vertically, as the aperture plates may slip out. Most of all, open yourself up to all the creative endeavors that it can bring you!
What do you like to do besides photography?
I really enjoy creating. I am currently finishing up my degree in Art Education. When I’m not photographing people or creating art, I am on my bike, reading a good book, or spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy traveling! Once I graduate, I plan to spend a good chunk of time in Australia with my brother.