Side Hustle with George Katz
Who: George Katz
At McCann: Design Director
Side Hustle: Photographer; Instagram’s Top 20 Featured Accounts
Instagram Followers: 16.4K
Camera of Choice: Linhof Large Format 4x5
Some know him as half of “MashburnKatz” or by his meow calls when you pass by the McCann design area, but what you may not know is that when George Katz isn’t designing client magic, he’s hustling as a photographer.
A natural extension from a childhood interest, George caught the photography bug back in 2010 when he and David (the other half of the “MashburnKatz” dynamic duo) were running their own business. When Photoshop wasn’t cutting it, George decided to push himself and shoot their work first-hand. After some guidance on camera, lighting and other specifications, George was hooked: “When you’re looking at something behind that glass, you start to think about what you’re looking at differently."
With new gear and equipment in hand, George started exploring different styles and imagery until he landed on his specialty: landscapes on film. Initially inspired by the design-focused architecture of NYC, George became fascinated by all the different landscapes that not only surround us but also frame the world in which we live. On his choice in film in the digital era: “When you look at a film print…it’s like a whole different experience. There are a lot of beautiful palettes and depths that I just can’t figure out on digital.” There’s also the amazing notion that, with film, you only have a few shots in the can, so every shot needs to be well planned and well executed.
As a part of the commitment to the hustle, George takes at least two trips a year to the West Coast to develop his portfolio. Why the southwest? “It feels so alien to me -- deserts and mountains -- and I’m not used to that. I’m used to urban spaces, so when I go out there, it’s a new sensory experience I get to capture with film."
George has plenty of stories from his travels and getting that perfect shot. Here’s one. On a trip to LA, he committed to getting a night shot under a series of highway overpasses. This meant climbing a restricted zone fence, running through car-filled street, getting the shots and switching out film -- all in the dark. When he rushed back to safety and to the lab to process his shots, he discovered that there was no film in any of the film holders. But the perils of getting caught (or killed!) didn’t stop George from going back to get the money shot. Check it out here:
With goals to one day travel and develop his style further, there is no doubt that the dreams of having a gallery or a book or both will be in this seasoned photographer’s future.