Kaye Kittrell received a BFA with Honors in the graphic arts from the University of Tennessee. “I knew from the time I was five that I would be an artist of some kind,” says Kaye. “My mother was always profoundly creative, making everything from clothes and handwork, to sculpture and furniture, and that rubbed off on me.” Kaye began a serious pursuit of photography in 1990 with the birth of her son, Walker, her muse, which accelerated two years later when she began a collaborative friendship with the noted New York fashion photographer and commercial director James (Jimmy) Moore. Moore, considered one of the most accomplished photographers in the U.S., mentored Kaye in the development of her photographic eye and her emphasis on black & white fine art portraiture. Moore also suggested the thematically linked photo project that became her extensive folio entitled “Old Friends” which has seen Kaye crisscross the country photographing nearly 100 people who have been most important in her life.
Kaye has shot fine art portraiture for a variety of clients, and her photos have also appeared in national magazines. She had her own darkroom built and mastered the art and mechanics of developing and printing her own photos. Since 2004, she has been swept along in the photographic world’s shift to digital, but she still enjoys shooting with her 1953 Rolleiflex, one of the best cameras ever made, a favorite of Jimmy’s as well as former Life photographer Jack Birns, who took Kaye under his wing from 2003 till his death in 2008. All of the medium format photographs shown on this site were taken with the Rolleiflex. “I love to photograph people, simply, in their own environments.” Kaye also enjoys photojournalism and shooting stills for films.
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