May 282011

At a recent concert, I was chatting with Jason Stoff when Ms. McDaniel approached.  I’ve been an acquaintance of Kate’s for a while now so we exchanged pleasantries before she leveled a good-natured shot at me: “I really like that series you are doing, but it’s a bit of a boys’ club.”

I responded that I was well aware of the need for some female subjects and that I had already lined up a couple (I had!) but she didn’t seem to believe me and simply said, “Yeah, right”.  So I pointed my meaty finger at her and said, “OK!  You’re next, Kate!”.  She smiled and walked away but I got in touch shortly thereafter and we arranged her session.

We decided to meet at Kate’s regular Saturday morning haunt, the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market.  Originally I thought I’d shoot Kate paparazzi-style as she shopped for stuff but the crowd and the layout of the market was not very conducive to such an approach.  But, I was really looking forward to the shoot since I didn’t know Kate well and wanted to learn more about how she got into photography, so the stroll around the market allowed us to chat a bit.

Like so many of us camera-toting folks these days, Kate got serious about shooting after graduating from a point-n-shoot to a “real” camera: a DSLR.  And like me, she turned that camera on her music-making friends and started snapping away.  After a while she started shooting for local radio station KDHX where she has (along with Nate Burrell and others) helped make the broadcaster’s website a destination for high quality local music photography.

After realizing that the market wasn’t yielding the photos I wanted (know when to fold em, folks) we decided to move to a different section of the park for a few portraits.  Kate had ridden her bike to the market and when she wheeled up in front of me I knew I wanted to include it in a shot or two.  I made her ride in circles for a bit while I snapped away, and then I parked her on a nearby bench while we finished our conversation and I made some more images and cracked jokes.

In talking to Kate I realized how vital photography has become to me, especially as a means for meeting interesting new people.  Every one of these sessions has allowed me to get to know my fellow image-makers on a personal level and yielded some amazing stories.  These are conversations I would never have had were it not for my camera and the passion I have for using it.

For example, I wouldn’t know that Kate has two masters degrees and taught in Guatemala.  I wouldn’t know about the horrible accident that Nate Burrell recently recovered from.  I wouldn’t know about the sweet shooting location that Bryan Sutter showed me, and a host of other things.  I have no idea how this series might evolve, but I do know that I want to meet more photographers and hear more stories, both of which enrich my life to no end.

And it’s all because of this silly little camera.

Kate McDaniel – Images by Corey Woodruff

  3 Responses to “Shooting The Shooter, Vol. V: Kate McDaniel”

  1. I didn’t realize a point-n-shoot wasn’t a real camera. The things I learn from well-written photo blogs.

  2. The word ‘real’ was in quotes for a reason.

  3. Photography art’s beauty is capturing the moment’s essence. Both you and Kate do it very well. I have some long experience in observing Kate at many different times throughout our lives…you’ve achieved capturing some beautiful moments.

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