We had the good fortune of connecting with Kat Calaway and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kat, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’m a very visual person, in love with history & storytelling. Documenting life with heartfelt photos is fun & fulfilling work. However, photography is more than just my profession. After my diagnosis with lupus & fibromyalgia, photography naturally evolved into a therapeutic outlet, allowing creative freedom to express my inner emotions. With eyes wide open, I observe the world and capture seemingly ordinary, yet meaningful moments of connection… with others, with nature, with myself, and with God. This mindset and approach behind the camera is the gentle shift that’s transformed my photos into art.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My documentary-inspired, storytelling approach and the soulful black and white images I create definitely set me apart from other photographers. I got where I am today my investing in my own continuing education and allowing God to direct my steps.
It hasn’t been easy, especially when my home was broken into and my external hard drives stolen. I lost ALL of my photos… years & years of personal and client images just GONE. Weeks later my health began to unravel, and eventually I was diagnosed with lupus. Everything felt overwhelming; depression and anxiety paralyzed my creativity and work.
Then, one day I came across an Ernest Hemingway quote: “Write hard and clear about what hurts.”
I already knew the word “photography” came from the Greek and literally means “to draw, write, sketch, or paint with light.”
My camera instantly transformed into the pen I now use to write about internal struggles. Photography became more about documenting how life FEELS, not just how it looks. This was a pivotal moment in both my personal and professional life.
However, “hurt” and “struggle” are not the focus. As a Christian, I know there is a Balm. There is Hope.
I believe the Balm, the Hope, the Light of this world is Jesus. And that Truth is woven into the fabric of every photo I now take. I am currently writing a book based on this philosophy.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There is so much to see and do in the DFW area!
Arlington has Six Flags (my favorite time to go is during Holiday in the Park); and sports fans can watch the Cowboys play at AT&T Stadium, and the Rangers at Globe Life Field.
Ride the Trinity Railway Express from Fort Worth to Dallas and spend a day at the Dallas World Aquarium! Dallas and Fort Worth each have pretty amazing zoos!
You could spend a whole day walking around the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. Watch a cattle drive, listen to live music, shop, and eat. Sundance Square is magical at night! There are several museums, too. Walk, run, or bike the extensive Trinity Trails. Certainly don’t miss the beautiful Botanic Gardens!
One of my favorite places to get away from the big city is Glen Rose, where you can visit The Creation Evidence Museum, camp at Dinosaur Valley State Park, and watch “The Promise” at the Texas Amphitheater!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am especially grateful for the love and support of my family, especially my four sons. They are the reason I picked up a camera in the first place. They encourage me to set and go after big goals, and they are the reason I keep going! Being their momma brings me the greatest joy! Motherhood seeps into every aspect of my work.
There are four women I must give a special shoutout to:
Michelle Gardella, for teaching me to embrace soulful black and white imagery.
Sarah Cornish, for inspiring me to artistically capture moments rather than poses.
Sarah Hill, for helping me feel beautiful and confident as I unapologetically build a life of my dreams and help other women do the same.
Jasmine Star, for sharing everything she knows about creating a profitable business and marketing it online.
Any success I have, or could ever hope to dream of, is evidence of the grace & mercy of Jesus Christ, from whom all blessings flow! He is the One guiding my eye and heart behind the camera, illuminating Truth and Hope. Without Him, my work is meaningless and in vain. I owe my all to Him.