Interview With Katrine Moite of Moite Production

Interview With Adrian Schaub for Ferris wheel in the moonlight
February 2, 2024
Interview With Yosh Hase from Singapore
February 2, 2024

Katrine Moite

Katrine Moite is a photographer from Ukraine who started in New York City with a small camera and two lenses. She began taking photographs of weddings, families, and sports but then discovered food photography.

1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?

My name is Katrine Moite. I'm originally from Ukraine, but now I take photos in the heart of New York City from my spot in Manhattan. Here's how it all started. I didn't know much about photography at the time. My first camera? Got it in the United States. I started with just a camera, two lenses, and a few free shots. I asked my neighbor if I could take pictures of her and her baby. That's where it all started—a mix of weddings, family photos, love stories, sports, portraits, and events.

Then, out of the blue, I went into food photography. I messaged a few bars and a coffee shop on Instagram, offering my skills for free, and they said yes. That's how I got into food pics.

During the COVID-19 mess, I had a lot of time in quarantine to think about my career. I had some gear, passion, and determination, so I thought, why not my place? I took a chance and got my first studio in Midtown Manhattan. It was small, but it was mine. I started with photography as my main thing. I also took maternity shots with my pregnant neighbor, just to try them out.

Going from no studio shoots to being fully booked wasn’t easy. For months, I had zero studio gigs. I did outdoor shooting and restaurant work to pay the rent. But with every click of the camera and every free shot, my portfolio grew. It took time, but things started happening.

Now, I'm in my third, bigger studio, and guess what? I'm still longing for more. Every time I click on my camera, it’s like adding a new chapter to my journey. It's a story of chasing dreams, facing challenges, and keeping creativity going, and it's far from over.

2Where did you study photography?

I graduated from the School of Photography in Kyiv, where I gained a basic understanding of photography. As for food photography, I delved into it independently through various online platforms like YouTube, Udemy, and books.

3What equipment do you use?
I'm using Canon R5, just switched this year from 5D Mark IV. Lenses: 100 mm, 50 mm, 24-70 mm.
4What do you hope to achieve?
My ambition is to shed light on the ongoing war in Ukraine through my project entitled "I Don't Have My Home Anymore," a documentary that captures the stark reality of this conflict. This project includes a photography section, 15 interviews, and a documentary film. My primary goal is to ensure that this documentary reaches a wide audience, serving as a poignant reminder of the human toll and devastation caused by this enduring war. By sharing these 15 stories of Ukrainian women who left their lives behind and came to the United States, I aim to inspire empathy and understanding for those affected by the conflict, striving to make their voices heard on a global scale.
5What compliment inspired/touched you the most?

The most touching compliment to me comes from my maternity photography sessions. I've noticed that some women may feel a bit vulnerable at this particular time in their lives. However, the most rewarding moment for me is seeing the sparkle in their eyes when they see how amazing and confident they are. These sessions serve as a means of capturing memories and as a form of therapy.

The most meaningful compliment I've received is when someone shared that I helped them feel beautiful and confident again, embracing their sense of allure and grace during a time that can feel uncertain. Knowing that I have played a part in restoring that sense of beauty and self-assurance is incredibly touching and fulfilling for me.

6What inspires your unique storytelling?

The inspiration behind my storytelling comes from observing the evolution of emotions throughout a maternity shoot. Witnessing initial apprehension or vulnerability transform into trust and radiance is an incredibly inspiring journey. It is in those moments when a woman sees herself in a new light, feeling empowered and beautiful in the midst of change, that my storytelling finds its spark. Ultimately, it is the true emotions, the beauty of this transformative phase, and the radiant strength of these women that fuel my storytelling as a maternity photographer.

7What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?
Sensuality, Confidence, Intimacy.
8Congratulations! As the winner of the New York Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?

Thank you! Winning the New York Photography Awards is an incredible honor for my photography journey. This recognition validates the passion and hard work I have put into perfecting my craft. It's a humbling acknowledgment of my ability to tell stories through my lens and capture moments that resonate with people. This achievement fuels my determination to continue to explore new artistic horizons and push the boundaries of my photography.

9Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 New York Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

The winning entry, titled "Behind the Curtain," encapsulates the profound essence of anticipation and curiosity in the journey of motherhood. It features a pregnant woman, her eyes strong and determined, peeking out from behind an orange curtain, proudly displaying her baby bump. The vibrant contrast between the bold orange hue of the curtain and the nurturing presence of the woman evokes a striking visual harmony, emphasizing her inner strength and confidence.

This project was a deliberate choice for entry due to its compelling storytelling. The image captures not just a moment but an entire narrative of excitement and preparation for the imminent arrival of a new life. The act of peering behind the curtain suggests a sense of mystery and longing for the future while symbolizing the quiet resilience and determination inherent in the journey to motherhood.

The woman's steady gaze reflects her silent resolve, reminding viewers of the remarkable strength and fortitude required in the path of motherhood. "Behind the Curtain" is not just a photograph; it is a powerful representation of the beauty, wonder, and incredible strength of women who bring new life to the world. Its ability to encapsulate this profound journey made it the ideal choice for submission to the 2023 New York Photography Awards.

10How has winning an award developed your career?

Winning this award has been an important catalyst for my career development. It's not just recognition; it's validation of my artistic vision and storytelling skills. This achievement has ignited a renewed sense of motivation within me. It serves as a constant reminder that hard work and dedication pay off.

Moreover, this accolade has inspired me to push the boundaries of my creativity even further. It encouraged me to explore new techniques, delve into different storytelling perspectives, and consistently strive for innovation in my work. Winning this award has provided me with a platform to showcase my talent, attract a wider audience, and foster new opportunities within the industry.

Ultimately, this achievement not only raised my profile but also fueled my passion for photography. It's a driving force behind my continued growth and determination to produce compelling, thought-provoking visuals that resonate with audiences on a deeper level.

11Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.
Patrick Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz, Maley.
12What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out, by a mentor or your role model?

Even without a direct mentor, I found guidance and inspiration from the wisdom shared by famous figures like Winston Churchill. His words, "Never, never, never give up," became a guiding principle for me as I embarked on my photographic journey.

In the absence of a formal mentor, I have found that the most impactful advice often comes from observing and learning from the experiences of those who have succeeded before me. Churchill's resolute quote became a beacon, reminding me of the importance of persistence, resilience, and unwavering determination in the face of challenges.

Also, while I didn't have a mentor in the traditional sense, I found guidance in the concept of consistency. Recognizing that success often comes from continuous effort and dedication, I committed myself to showing up every day, refining my skills, and staying true to my vision, drawing strength from the idea that consistent hard work can yield remarkable results.

13What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?

If someone is thinking of entering the field of photography today, my advice would be twofold. First, maintain an unwavering commitment. The path of a photographer often presents obstacles, but persistence is key. Don't let setbacks deter you; instead, see them as learning opportunities and keep moving forward.

Second, focus on consistency in your efforts. You don't necessarily need a formal mentor to excel. Commit to continuous improvement. Show up consistently, practice your craft diligently, and stay aligned with your creative vision. Consistency in your dedication and practice can yield remarkable progress and results over time.

Remember, the journey to becoming a photographer requires dedication and perseverance. Embrace the learning curve, draw inspiration from a variety of sources, and stay true to your artistic voice. By staying persistent and maintaining a consistent practice, your growth and success in photography will steadily unfold.

14What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

For me, the key to success has been a blend of persistence and consistency. Never losing sight of my passion, coupled with an unwavering determination to continuously improve, has been pivotal. Embracing setbacks as learning opportunities and staying consistent in my efforts have propelled me forward.

As for the parting words of wisdom, I would say: Stay true to your vision. Your journey may not always follow a straight path, but staying committed to your passion and consistently working toward your goals will ultimately lead you to success. Embrace challenges, learn from them, and keep nurturing your creativity. Above all, never underestimate the power of persistence; it is often the driving force behind achievement.

15How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?
I stay open to new knowledge by exploring diverse photography styles, and trends, and engaging with fellow photographers. Experimentation, seeking feedback, and staying curious are key to my continuous learning and growth.

Winning Entry

Behind the Curtain | 2023

Bright Side of Maternity ...
(Read more at New York Photography Awards)

Katrine Moite

Katrine Moite is a photographer from Ukraine who started in New York City with a small camera and two lenses. She began taking photographs of weddings, families, and sports but then discovered food photography.

Read more about this article from Adrian Schaub of Ferris Wheel in the moonlight, Silver Winner from the 2023 New York Photography Awards!