Artist of the Month: Kaitlynn Henderson (’20)

Artist of the Month Kaitlynn Henderson ('20) focuses on texture and details in her photos // Photo courtesy of Kaitlynn Henderson / Contributor.

Photos may seem like a click of a button, but there is actually a lot of thought behind the whole shooting and editing process. Kaitlynn Henderson (’20) is taking AP photo here at Westhill with Ms. Dilworth. This course includes an end of year project with one big sustained question that the student’s photos are supposed to circle around.

Henderson chose as her big question: how can I change a preconceived biased using art? 

“No matter where we look or what we speak, it is always going to be at a different angle, and that is what people do not realize,” Henderson said. 

Henderson wanted to choose a question that she could really get into someone else’s head with. She mainly focuses on portrait photos that have a story behind it. 

“Anyone can just take a photo, but if the photo has a meaning behind it and people can get just a slight look into their heads, that is something not all can do,” she said. 

Aside from portrait photography, she likes to make her photos stand out physically. She tries to remain logo-free in all of her photos to keep the distractions out of the photo and really focus on the person in the story. 

There are not a lot of photographs that have embroidery on them or even just drawings over it. In a specific piece of Henderson’s, there is a girl who has a blank face, but there is a deeper meaning behind it. The photo looks to be scratched off a bit or run down. The main focus of the piece is the two eyes, both of which have a drawing that emphasizes this to show that each eye will see something different. 

Another piece that Henderson is proud of is something called the “milk bath.” This is well known, and it involves another person soaking in a tub full of milk that has flowers around them in the bath. The person is meant to be seen as floating in this milk bath, but each can have a different meaning. 

Henderson meant for people to see this milk bath as a symbol of purity. She really wanted to focus on how people can be born in a figurative different sense. Once someone hits “rock-bottom,” people can develop a new character and attempt to better themselves. The milk is white, and the color white is often associated with purity. You have this innocence that you can only really experience when you were first born. 

In the photo, the two main focuses are digital or film, but Henderson likes digital photography better because you can immediately go back to look at the photos and decide if you need more. With film, you just shoot and you do not know what you have until after you develop a roll of film.

Henderson enjoys using Photoshop and lightroom to edit her photos. Once she shoots the photos, she edits and focuses on adjusting the contrast in the photo. This works for any style of photo and you have a full range of editing with either of these photos. 

Henderson gets inspiration simply from the people surrounding her. 

“I like to get inspiration from people because talking to my friends every day I learn something new about them and possibly something that I can connect with myself. I think that bond is special,” she said.

 One of her main inspirations is a photographer named Brandon Woelfel, whose main focus is unique lighting that focuses on portraits. He also focuses a lot on nature and the surroundings of the models when taking the pictures. 

“I would love to do something with photography in the future. [Being] a photographer, concert photographer, [or] videographer… and [being] able to go around the world and travel with an artist and show their true story would be something special,” Henderson said.

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