Kate Sweeney is a queer, self-taught photographer based in Columbus who aims to make honest, vulnerable portraits that are defiant and inviting simultaneously. She takes an empathetic approach in her work to create a safe space for her subjects to go to their deepest places of self-expression and is interested in the transformative nature of image making and how it can change our perception and shape our identity. Documenting herself and other women has changed Kate’s life, and she wants her photographs to take others on that same journey.



Kate Sweeney is a self-taught photographer based in Columbus, Ohio. Since she became serious about photography in high school, she has described her process as therapy. “Taking self-portraits and photographing other women has been the most transformative part of my life,” she explains — “to see our bodies as art made autonomously and authentically instead of sexual objects of be owned and desired.” Working collaboratively with her subjects, Sweeney strives to make honest, vulnerable portraits that are simultaneously defiant and inviting. Her photographs are celebrations of the human form, color, and our connection to nature, bearing witness to her subjects, and to them witnessing themselves.

In recent exhibitions, Sweeney celebrates human form, color, and our connection to nature, while exploring themes of memory, identity, and freedom. Her lifelong inspiration with the natural world, by our bodies and the connection they have to nature and how they mimic and reflect one another, is investigated in intimate interactions between figures and their surrounding environments. They are enveloped, unaware of the camera, being one with the earth that surrounds them resulting from spontaneous, unplanned moments.

Kate has shown her photographs in numerous group and solo exhibitions across the United States. Kate’s works have also been featured in magazines and publications ranging from Columbus Weekly to Teen Vogue and Glamour Magazine as well as 6 self-published books.