Central Creatives: Photographs from Kathryn Gaitens

This week we were able to catch up with Nosara photographer Kathryn Gaitens, whose thoughtful work explores a range of subjects and style.

Kathryn Gaitens
Where do you live? I divide my time between Costa Rica and Toronto, Canada.
What is your main artistic practice?
Contemporary portraiture: expressions of beauty with layers of meaning. The majority of my projects are editorial with a focus on people, portraits and fashion. I love the challenge of editorial projects which are deadline-oriented in nature. I thrive artistically and creatively when I have to capture a moment, a person, under pressure. Personal projects, however, allow me to slow down and be in the moment.

Tell us about a project that brought you to Central America
I have been coming to Costa Rica for many years and have always been drawn to the unique and surreal beauty of the land and the locals. The stories and spirits of the people I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with throughout my adventures have inspired various projects of mine.

One of my projects seeks to capture the passion and tireless effort of the entrepreneurially spirited women of Costa Rica. One woman, Dona Claudia, has been raising and selling chicken eggs for over forty years to provide for her family (below). Another woman, Jessica, is a student I photographed in the dry river bed she crosses, in the rainy season when the river comes up to her chest (above). She needs to wake up at at 4:30am to walk an hour to the bus that leaves for school at 6am.

Another personal project of mine was inspired by the amazing waves and free-spirited surfers I’ve met on the beaches of Costa Rica. Whether walking along the beach or through the village, the light here is always beautiful and that in itself is an inspiring way to start shooting.

Where can we find your work?
My personal website: www.gaitensphoto.com

What are you working on next?
There are a few projects on the horizon. I am excited to continue a series of First Nations portraits born from a commission for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

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