“What drew me to fashion was how it kept moving. Nothing’s iconic any more. It’s always, ‘What’s next? What’s next?’ I like that!”
KT Auleta’s high velocity love affair with fashion continues to take her around the world. The New York City-based photographer and director is in perpetual motion, travelling from country to country shooting with clients like Hugo Boss, Sephora, Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs, and titles including Vogue, GQ Style, Elle and Glamour. But on a layover en route to China she somehow found the time to visit Vancouver, Blanche Macdonald and her close friend, Fashion Director Tyler Udall, to give an engrossing presentation to students at Canada’s top Fashion School.
Over the course of a fascinating hour KT revealed her journey from intern to globetrotting photography superstar, the changing face of fashion imagery (including why she now shoots stills and video simultaneously) and the art of building a great creative team.
“I’m looking for good communicators,” she explained in response to one of many questions from the floor. “I want people to take pride in their work. I want people I can trust to do their job well. I want them to feel empowered. I love working with new models, giving them wings and watching them blossom.”
After fielding questions about professionalism, agents, and the potential for creativity unleashed by Instagram, KT shared her portfolio along with a hefty dose of inspiration. Her most powerful message is that by beginning their journey surrounding themselves with passionate and creative people at Blanche Macdonald, whatever fashion ambitions students are aspiring to, they’ve already taken their first step.
“This School is perfect for discovering your voice,” she insisted. “You’re in the perfect place to start building your portfolio.”
We asked KT eight questions in a quickfire Q&A session on our Snapchat!
Blanche Macdonald: If you could have any superpower what would it be?
KT Auleta: If I had a superpower, I think it would be to be able to jump from place to place. I like travel but I don’t often like the travelling part.
BMC: What colour do you think your aura is?
KA: I think my aura is the colour of ice blue. I have a spiritual teacher that always says surround yourself with the colour of ice blue and I always liked the way that sounded.
BMC: How do you feel your photo and film work intersect?
KA: I think my film and photography work intersect in that I like to capture a real true moment of expression from a model. I feel like my photography work is the moment between a movement, and I’ve always seen my photography work as a film still, like the captured moment.
BMC: Describe your shooting style in three words.
KA: If I had to describe my work in three words it would authentic, expressive and playful.
BMC: Three traits that are vital to your team on set.
KA: Three things that I think are really important on set are communication, to empower my team, and to collaborate.
BMC: Most difficult shooting situation?
KA: One of the most difficult situations for shooting is weather. If the weather is off, it’s bad for everybody: the light, the model, the comfort of the crew.
BMC: Advice you would have given yourself 10 years ago?
KA: If I had to give myself advice ten years ago, it would be to be myself at all times and stick with my vision of my woman, my character.
BMC: Advice you would give yourself now?
KA: Advice I would give myself now: keep growing, stay inspired, keep learning… inspiration is key!