We had an amazing team document the Inspire 2015 experience. Kate McElwee of Kate McElwee Photography was our “fly on the wall” photojournalist. Melissa and Tom Dowler of Long Haul Films produced our video. Besides being super talented at what they do for work, these three are fascinating individuals. We cooked up a little interview so that we could all get to know them a bit after seeing their gorgeous work. We'll introduce Kate here:
What is your favorite movie of 2014? Why?
Kate: Boyhood. I loved the concept and it was just a really sweet, touching film. No crazy effects, just a great story well done. I also really enjoyed The Grand Budapest Hotel which was visually delicious and very fun.
Inspire: What is something that you are you really good at, outside of your business?
Kate: Making friends with dogs! I have a really strong connection with dogs, and I find it really hard to pass a dog on the street without petting it. I started volunteering at MSPCA Angell to put this weird talent to better use, and I'm hoping to be one of their dog photographers by the end of the year.
Inspire: What work are you most proud of to date? (link please)
Kate: Probably my personal work, which includes documenting our trips and our dogs (mostly on Instagram - http://instagram.com/katemcelwee). I was also pretty excited to have a slideshow of self portraits featured by David Alan Harvey on his Burn Magazine website: http://www.burnmagazine.org/essays/2013/06/at-home-loft-workshops-2013/ (mine starts at 01:22)
Inspire: Describe your most adventurous trip?
Kate: Probably a visit to Japan a few years ago. My husband got asked to go on a last-minute work trip, so we had all of 2 weeks to book it and prep - I'm a planner (and a terrible flyer) so this was pretty adventurous for me! We ate some crazy stuff there, including nato which I don't recommend. We spent a few days up in the mountains in a traditional ryoken (spa hotel). No one speaks English, and when you arrive they take your clothes and shoes and give you traditional Japanese robes to wear. We had to take an underground train, three overground trains, and a bus to get there, and I have no idea how we managed it, but it was so worth it. One of my favorite ever photos is us standing on a rickety wooden footbridge, in the snow, in our robes.
We also go on a major sailing trip each year; last year we took off for 15 days in the middle of wedding season and sailed down to Long Island and Block Island. We had a 14 hour day sailing through storms which terrified me at the time, but is kind of cool to look back on. We also went paddleboarding most days, and my favorite adventure took us paddling right over a couple of sharks off Fishers Island. This summer we're sailing Croatia with our best friends and I may also visit Iceland.
Inspire: If we were coming to your house for dinner, what would you make? what would you show off?
Kate: I would show off my husband's cooking skills - he's pretty awesome in the kitchen. Or I'd make a hearty roast chicken dinner, English style. We've also started a weekly open invite spaghetti and meatballs night so that's what visitors are most likely to eat at our home these days.
Inspire: What is something that other people find weird/endearing/unusual about you?
Kate: I think people sometimes find me a little elusive. In fact, I'm just an introvert, and although I'm pretty good at disguising it, I'm often happiest retreating into my own little world. I love being a documentarian in social situations because it gives me the perfect escape route. I'm much happier getting to know people one on one. If you manage to persuade me to join you at a social function, it means I *really* like you.
Oh, and my good friend Jenny says I crinkle my nose and squint when I make a joke about myself, and apparently it's quite endearing. :)
Inspire: Who has influenced you in your life the most?
Kate: Probably my husband; he's confident and adventurous, and believes in himself and in following his dreams. He gave me the push to go into photography, and has such an optimistic outlook. He also forces me to get outside of my comfort zone when we travel and when we eat, which I really appreciate.