The Photographic Journal


Essay 218 • Nov 8th 2017

Persona is companion to the lens. It always has been. To strip the portrait of persona is to photograph vulnerability - this is no simple task. You see, portraits are records. Fossils of character. In many ways, I’ve grown to cherish strength in my vulnerability and invite the intimacy in trust. Yet, I am simultaneously ever-changing, and often, this transition is one neither the lens, nor myself, can properly preserve. In Kate’s images, however, I see that moment. It is of truth, of growth, and of individuality. It is of me - every single part of me. Her commitment to the individual does not go unnoticed, and is unquestionably the source of power in these images. For this and so much more, thank you, Kate.
- Hana Mendel


Kate Sweeney (b. 1987) is TPJ’s Photographer-In-Residence. Kate is a self-taught photographer whose work has been featured in Dazed, Refinery29, The Huffington Post, and Glamour Magazine. She currently lives and works in Columbus, Ohio, where she continues to make work that focuses on the human form, color, and our connection to nature.

Website | Instagram


Model: Hana Mendel


Check out all of Kate’s TPJ photo essays:

Alayna at the Farm

Frances in the Field

Pink Ladies



A Sunday in Ridgewood

Kate x Vans Vision Walk

A Butterfly Underwater

A Night in Nashville





A Day at the Inn

In This Place

Kelsey x The Impossible Project

Butch & Femme

Color Therapy

24 Hours in Catalina, Part Two

24 Hours in Catalina, Part One





Kelsey x The Impossible Project

We Took the Cake