KATIE FORBIS UNRAVELED: AN INTERVIEW WITH VEIN & VESSEL STUDIOS

Katie Forbis is one half of the Vein + Vessel duo based in St. Lois. She runs Vein + Vessel with her husband Mike and the pair is crazy talented --shooting both weddings and everyday life. If you are looking for images that are out-of-the-ordinary, adventurous, honest and creative, then they are likely the photographers for you. We particularly love the way Katie captures their son Fox and her incredible knack for finding the most magical light in the everyday moments. Please check out their work here.

Here is Katie Forbes Unraveled....

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What inspires your art? Real life and real emotion. Before I became a mom I was very into trying to create "pretty" images. I think my work lacked a lot of substance. After becoming a parent it became important to me to capture our life as it really is so I have documentation when I get older and my memory fails me. I also want the same for my clients. I want them to be able to look at their images 10, 20, 50 years down the road and remember what life was like in that moment. 

What do you shoot with? Camera body and favorite lens? I'm a Nikon shooter, but I'm not a die-hard "NIKON PERSON." It's just what I learned on and what I got used to, so I stuck with it. My favorite camera and lens combo is the D750 + Nikon 35 1.4.

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What other ways do you express your creativity? I have always loved painting and drawing, although these days mainly that's limited to coloring with my 4-year-old. It's something I really want to get back into eventually. I also love music. In my early 20's I sang in a couple of bands but never really had what it takes to be a musician, mostly due to my crippling stage fright. My husband bought me a ukulele 2 years ago, so my kiddo gets concerts at bedtime most nights. He's the only person I can sing in front of without wanting to throw up.

How do you de-stress at the end of the day? We have a screened-in front porch where we hang out on nice nights. There are also so many great TV shows we follow (Game of Thrones, Handmaid's Tale, Fargo, and The Leftovers - to name a few of our favorites). Also, wine ;)

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What kind of music do you listen to while editing? It always changes, but I'm definitely drawn to moody/sad music. Current favorites are Dawn Golden, Lord Huron, and Balmorhea. I learned recently that a surefire way to completely cry while editing a wedding is to listen to non-stop Sigur Ros. If I want something more upbeat I throw on some Tokyo Police Club, Islands, or The Strokes.

What is your favorite book? I have always loved to read. I'm a huge fan of crime/mystery/serial killer novels. I was weirdly obsessed with Stephen King in my teens. Recently I read the entire Harry Potter series in about a month's time - I loved it. I went through a Chuck Palahniuk phase in college, and Invisible Monsters might still hold the title for my favorite book. My favorite book as a kid was Charlotte's Web - I read it so many times that the cover basically disintegrated and the entire book fell apart.

Name one movie that inspires you. Probably cliche, but Amelie is a movie that I could watch over and over again and never tire of.

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How do you handle self-doubt or creative slumps? Cry/drink a lot. Just kidding (kind of). I took a lot of art classes in high school, and went to art school in college, so I've dealt with TONS of self-doubt and have done a lot of soul-searching over the past 15+ years. And hopefully I'll continue to do so. I honestly think it's an important part of the process when you're an artist or in any kind of creative field - a certain amount of self-doubt is healthy and will push you to do better. And it's really important for me to always want to be better. I've definitely had my fair share of shoots that didn't turn out how I wanted, I compare myself to others and get disappointed in my work, I can't even count the number of times I've questioned why people even hire me. But I just push forward and use it all as a learning experience to try and improve.

What has been the most difficult part of your creative journey?

Finding my style and my "voice" as a photographer. For a long time I was trying to be a carbon-copy of a few local photographers that I admired, and it just didn't work out for me. I couldn't nail any of their looks. It took a long time for me to realize that I had my own unique style and to just embrace it.

Who is one of your favorite photographers? Currently obsessed with the moody, mysterious, gorgeous work of Rafal Bojar. 

Coleen Hodges