Experiments with Film 2: Ilford Delta 3200

I had been playing with Pete’s dad’s Nikon F a few years back. It’s a beautiful piece of machinery that’s built like a tank. Unfortunately my enthusiasm for taking pictures with the camera did not extend to getting the negatives developed or prints made. I finally dropped the negs off at Hunt’s Photo (I’m a shooter, not a printer). Below are a few of my favorites from that first roll. I edited the 2 of me on my phone to darken them. Compare the results to shots in the same lighting from my DSLR and my iPhone.

Peter Haas

Cat Laine

Cat Laine

Amanda Palmer at the Columbus Theatre (07/11/2015)

Amanda Palmer in concert at the Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI on July 11, 2015.

Amanda Palmer in concert at the Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI on July 11, 2015.

This past weekend, a very pregnant Amanda Palmer brought her fierce fabulousness to the Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI. [Read more…]

Highlights from the Providence International Arts Festival

Squonk Opera's Lady Pneumatica.

Squonk Opera’s Lady Pneumatica.

First Works and the City of Providence teamed up to put on the first annual Providence International Arts Festival this past weekend. The 3-day event boasted 15 stages, 500 artists and over 40 art installations in and around downtown Providence. Among my favorite sites and sounds of the celebration were the public skate park set up in the Dean Hotel parking lot and Angélique Kidjo’s get out your seat and move your feet performance.

Skater © Cat Laine

Skater at the public skate park designed by The Avenue Concept.

[Read more…]

One Providence Experience: Jorge Elorza Fundraiser and Concert at the Columbus Theatre

Providence Mayoral Candidate Jorge Elorza
Providence Mayoral Candidate Jorge Elorza with emcees Peter Glantz and CJ Jimenez

12 days away from Election Day 2014, Providence Mayoral Candidate Jorge Elorza held a singular event at the Columbus Theatre meant to introduce/reintroduce him to artists, musicians and other creatives that help make Providence a vibrant city. Five bands performed throughout the evening: Death Vessel, Roz Raskin, Medusah Black, the Low Anthem, and Black Pus.

In between sets, the performers posed questions to Elorza, ranging from his policy for protecting arts and music education in local schools to jobs opportunities for youth and young adults, from whether he was a feminist to the impact of zoning and redevelopment on local artist enclaves. The most lighthearted part of the night occurred when Elorza joined the Low Anthem on stage to sing a verse and take a swipe at his opponent, Buddy Cianci. “Independent Voter vote for me,” he sang. “I’ve never been in jail for a RICO felony.”

Joel Thibodeau of Death Vessel
Joel Thibodeau of Death Vessel

[Read more…]

Fashion: Niell, Dawn at Olney Pond

Cat-Laine-Niell-Dawn-001

“Call time will be pretty darn early (530 AM).”

I hit send on Facebook Messenger and cringed waiting for the reply. Niell Miranda, who I had worked with previously, would have a 45-minute drive to get to Olney Pond for our pre-dawn shoot. He’d likely have to be up at 4 am on top of having undergraduate classes and his job later in the day.

“Alright, that’s fine with me,” he replied.

No muss, no fuss. No whining about the hour. Just agreement and tacit trust that we would make beautiful pictures together. I really like this kid’s work ethic. Game on. [Read more…]

Family Portraits at a Funeral: Photographing Life in the Midst of Death

Cat-Laine-Nana-Funeral-001

My beloved tante Nana (1929-2014) is survived by her husband Alphonse Laurenceau and their 9 children.

I looked into the the soft grey maw of my camera bag deciding what gear to pack. I was flying to my aunt’s funeral that afternoon. I’m from a large tight-knit family that I’m not close to. It’s not them; I’m the one that holds myself apart.

Down in a Fort Lauderdale, I’ll be with cousins I haven’t seen since they were babies and cousins who haven’t seen me since I was a shy big-eyed child well over three decades ago. My brother will be there, but I need something extra. I need a buffer from excess emotion, from awkwardness, from a reticence to start conversations. I need my camera. My camera lets me be myself when I want to shrink away. It lets me take control. It forces me to be still, to slow my heartbeat and my breathing, to be calm. [Read more…]

Fashion: Brief Encounters (at the Providence Public Library)

Niell Miranda and Raeana MonroeNiell and Raeana. Dress from Foreign Affair. Tux and headpiece
from Simply Dainty. Earrings and necklace from Domaine Designs.

[Read more…]

Music: Chill Playlist I Use to Get Ready for Shoots

Music I Prep To
Before I go to a shoot, be it a portrait session or event, I need to get in a particular quiet zone, not too different from the pre-race state of mind when I used to run track. On the track, there was a generalized ritual: two laps, ballistic stretching, static stretching, etc. With photography, I use music to get my head in the game. Here is my current playlist. [Read more…]

Fashion: Reflections on “About Face: Supermodels Then and Now”

I have such ambivalence towards fashion. On the one hand, it offers participants (models, photographers, stylists, designers, and consumers) opportunities for wild experimentation, creativity, collaboration, and self-expression that many find uplifting and empowering. On the other hand, the industry can be surprisingly unsophisticated with regards to body type and race. It can be toxic not only to the women (and girls) whose faces and bodies sell the fantasy of glamour, but also to those who observe them on the runways and in the glossies. This ambivalence has been heightened for me these past few weeks as my colleague Mihaela Hinayon and I finish casting for a fashion shoot taking place this Friday.

Casting is an interesting process. You don’t realize the subtle prejudices you have about race, body type, age, even hair color as when you are picking a girl who “fits” your preconceived notion of a series of photographs. Why does a pale blond girl with blue eyes fit a specific scenario and not an darker skinned Asian girl? A 20 year old and not a 50 year old? Is it conditioned laziness and an inability to stretch one’s outlook or does it actually just make more sense based on the image’s content?

With all this in mind, I was delighted to have come across the HBO Documentary “About Face: Supermodels Then and Now”. It gives the model’s perspective of the industry from women who were in some of the most iconic fashion images from the 1950-1990’s. But most importantly it features women who are grown, meaning they know who they are and they are past the point where they would face major career and financial repercussions for being candid about their past experiences. Carmen Dell’Orefice, China Machado, Beverly Johnson, Isabella Rossellini, Jerry Hall, and Paulina Porizkova are among the women who reflect on their work, adventures, and insecurities. They speak of the economic independence gained from working, the uncertainties inherent in making a living off one’s looks, the liberation of being a conduit of someone else’s creativity, the decision to intervene surgically in the aging process or to forgo the underlying misogyny of not being able to grow old without judgement, etc. etc. [Read more…]

Event: Gina Raimondo Kicks off Gubernatorial Campaign

RI State Treasurer Gina Raimondo kicks off her gubernatorial campaign.RI State Treasurer Gina Raimondo kicks off her gubernatorial campaign at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, January 13, 2014. [Read more…]