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Meet The Artist

Holly-Marie Cato

Meet the newest artist in the Social Pictures family – Holly-Marie Cato! With a background studying architecture, Holly-Marie is fascinated with how people occupy space and thrives on creating visual narratives through street photography.

We asked her some questions to get to know her a bit better…

Who or what inspires your work?

The work of Gordon Parks and Eli Reed as well as contemporaries like Ruddy Radcliffe Roye and Andre Wagner hugely inspires me. So much of history has been told by the white western world; it’s empowering to look at the work of these artists and see black narratives being told by black people.

How has Instagram affected your work? Do you think you’d be a different kind of photographer without it?

Instagram has been the vehicle to catapult my career and put me in front of companies people wait a lifetime to work with. I’m very grateful. Beyond work, I’ve met some of my closest friends through this platform. I’ve travelled to their countries, I’ve stayed in their homes and now I’m blessed to say I have a global family of friends I would never have had without this platform. Instagram has not changed my character, but it has enriched my life.

A lot of your work is documentary-led, some of it from travels around the world…can you tell us a little bit about your process and approach to travel photography?

People can make or break your travel experience. Sometimes too much focus is placed on the environment and pretty views, but when I sit on a plane heading back home, the moments that linger in my mind are the encounters I had with people. It always feels richer than any tourist attraction or ‘must see view’ and I think the body of work I produce reflects this. Like meeting 73-year-old Martha from Tennessee, waiting for her grandkids on a wooden bench beside me in Forth-worth Texas, just before my first rodeo. Or Kaniki the acrobatic street performer in London, who failed to get a prime spot in Covent Garden but decided to work a slightly apprehensive crowd at Trafalgar Square instead. People have shaped and enriched my understanding of places; they have allowed these otherwise empty spaces be vessel for human connection.

See Holly-Marie’s work here!