Film Folk: Kate Bellm

Name: Kate Bellm
Location: Deia, Spain
Genre: Fashion, advertising, skate, nudes, underwater, landscapes
Camera count: 20 or more
Film stock of choice: Fujifilm 1600

Tell us about your path to becoming a photographer.
Since I was 12 I have wanted to, and have been, a photographer. So I shot my friends at school and on trips and then just moved onto magazines and then shooting for brands. I have always tried to shoot what I love.When was the last time you picked up a digital camera?
Everyday…I switch between digital and analogue.

What is your preferred set-up and why? Do you still experiment with different stocks?
I always have a penchant towards a compact 35mm but I use so many cameras. I just like to work with the cameras I know like the back of my hand so I can know exactly what kind of effect or vibe they will produce. I am forever using experimental stocks… I have the weirdest most obscure films in my stock just waiting for the perfect moment to use them. You’ve got an extremely distinct style, how did you land there?
I guess everything and everyone that surrounds me throughout life inspires my style…I like the contrast between things like glamour and grunge, and of course continuous experimentation.You have photographed for a number of magazines including Playboy, Interview and Vogue UK, tell us about one of your most memorable experiences.
Playboy was very recent and it was epic as I got to hop across to the island next door and shoot my old friend Bonnie who just had her baby. It was such a fun and empowering shoot. The cover shot was done by painting a wall in her house red and using her baby play rug as the carpet…thats the kinda thing I love..just creating good times and beautiful pictures with friends in an easy, uncomplicated way

Your client list includes brands such as Gucci, Audi and Barbie (to name a few!), how did you break into shooting for such incredibly big names?
If you shoot what you love and keep making your own projects happen the bigger names take notice and get you involved on their projects too. Who/what would be your ‘bucket list’ model, brand or magazine?
I have always wanted to shoot Abbey Lee Kerhsaw or Charlotte Carey.

How many rolls do you find yourself shooting for an editorial or brand campaign and where do you get your work developed/scanned?
The amount of rolls is never the same but I just brought back 40 rolls from a trip to Portugal for my new hardcover book that is coming out later this year. I have finally found my perfect team for developing and scanning..for so many years I just did it wherever I was and the result were inconsistent ..Now I have my friend Jacobo in Palma doing everything for me and I am so happy with this collaboration. For commercial projects I tend to shoot more with digital anyway. You’ve held quite a few exhibitions throughout Europe and the USA, tell us about these.
I love having shows as my work is so varied between themes, so it’s a chance for me to mix all my work together in the way I see it. I make big collage walls that look like my sketchbooks.If you don’t have a camera in your hand, what would we find you doing?
Drinking tea, editing and smoking.

If you could go back in time and photograph anyone, who would you choose and why?
Basquiat – I just find him so beautiful.

Mac or PC?
Kodak or Fuji? Fuji
Colour or B/W? Colour
Frontier or Noritsu? Either
Self-Develop or Lab? Lab
Portrait or Landscape? Landscape
Lightroom or Darkroom? Darkroom
35mm or Medium Format? 35mm
External or In-Built Light Meter? In-Built

Check out more of Kate’s work on her website and follow her on Instagram.

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