The Photographic Journal

We Took the Cake

Essay 17 • Oct 8th 2015

Sami and I were suddenly spending loads of time together. We're both photographers based in Columbus, Ohio, and a gallery had contacted us to do a collaborative show of new work. We had hung out and photographed each other in the past, but this was like a hyper form of speed-dating. These are photos I took of Sami during those couple months that flew by like a fast storm- in the still, quiet moments we had away from all of that stress. It felt therapeutic.

We were meeting over coffee, over cigarettes, spliffs, over food, over drinks, over computers, in our homes, in the gallery, in the wood shop. We learned how to build frames. We spent hours using our hands. We were covered in sawdust, hands cracking, skin dirty, throats dry. We laughed, we bonded, we didn't sleep. We were reclusive, and then we'd be loud. We were seamlessly conjoining our work as two women who had a voice. Sami had words pouring out of her into elegantly personal poetry. We made self-portraits inspired by our experience with the gallery. We fought for our fair share. We mutually admired each other's quality of work. We supported each other in a way that women should always support each other. We put our heart and souls and blood and tears into a little collection of our art.


Kate Sweeney

Kate Sweeney (b. 1987 in Columbus, Ohio) is a self-taught photographer whose work has been featured online in Feature Shoot, Dazed Magazine, Refinery29, and The Huffington Post, as well as in magazines such as Austere, Clear Nude, Babefest, and Latent Image. She currently lives and works in Columbus, Ohio, where she continues to make work that focuses on the human form, abstraction, and color.

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Model: Sami Harthoorn