Since 2003, I have been photographing live music. I started shooting with automatics at local shows in Arizona simply for the enjoyment and sentimentality. It was my insatiable appetite for concerts, dedication to documenting my experiences, and my tenacity for pristine artwork that led me to professionally embrace photography. My history with cameras, however, goes back much further.
My maternal grandfather was always taking photos on the occasions we spent with my grandparents since before I was in grade school. My elder sister Nicole was bought a Polaroid camera, and she would laugh as she took candid photos of unsuspecting victims. My parents made sure that my sisters and I all had disposable cameras on vacations, and introduced us to panoramic photos. I took my camera to school and photographed my friends during recess, and of animals at the zoo on our field trip.
My father also bought a video camera with which my sisters and I made one-shot music videos and skits, and I made it my duty to document vacations.
Music has always been my lifeblood. As with photography, I was strongly influenced by my family to cultivate that passion. I grew up with a piano in the house, which my big sister and mother played, and I followed and took piano lessons with the school music teacher. Nicole was also in the school chorus, which I was eager to join once it became available to me. I also joined band class and fell in love with the alto saxophone. My father was the lead singer of a rock band, so I grew up with instruments and sound equipment surrounding me. He had a massive vinyl collection, which I indulged in with his record player. Few things soothe me the way hearing a piano or an acoustic guitar being strummed do.
Nicole took gymnastics, and my little sister Heather took ballet. After I completed training in swimming and diving, I joined Heather and became a ballerina at the dance theatre. (Later on, I would train in many other forms of dance as well.) Heather was by my side for many of my earliest concert experiences.
I had an incredible photography teacher in college, an admirably strict German woman, who was so kind as to allow me to complete my assignments using a higher ISO (speed) film than the other students because I was photographing concerts. I shot with an SLR for the first time, and learned to develop film and prints myself. She taught me all of the most important principles to photography that set my work apart to this day.
One of my primary media arts teachers – a charismatic, loud, constantly storytelling lesbian from Wisconsin – taught me to use Photoshop and the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite in many ways, and she gave me more valuable tools and knowledge than I ever could have anticipated while majoring in web design. The diverse skill set I was gifted with, along with the editing standards ingrained in me through her legendary teaching, have truly given me an arsenal against my competition.
There is nothing that is not interesting to shoot with my cameras. I even enjoy the challenge of making something dull come alive. Looking through the lens has opened my eyes and heart to so many things I may not have explored otherwise.
Naturally, I am compelled to shoot performing arts and all things artistic, and I would love to have the opportunity to photograph more travel and animals. I have an affinity for the unique and interesting, which draws me to capture fashion shows and alternative, non-normative weddings. I am happy to be an LGBTQ wedding photographer, and to capture brides in dresses that are not white.
I run a media, design, and branding business named Kataklizmic Design, an independent online publication called Burning Hot Events, and I manage a wonderful community of photographers and journalists that contribute to that webzine — Team Kataklizmic. I have more than a decade-long web design and development career behind me that goes back to 2007. I also do freelance production gigs on the side, playing the roles of Production Assistant, Camera Assistant, and Photographer for things like tv shows, ad campaigns, corporate videos, and films.
I’m a passionate person who observes the aesthetic of everything that surrounds me, and I enjoy producing eye-catching images that enable others to see through my eyes. It feels almost altruistic — to be able to remind viewers, who may take it for granted, that beauty surrounds us.
If you are looking for a photographer that has their heart in it and is dedicated to professionalism,
Katherine Amy Vega