For the last eight years, Catherine Powell has been the Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief of NKD Mag, an online music and pop culture magazine featuring some of the biggest names in young Hollywood. Straight out of Nashville, Tennessee, Catherine has always had a eye for photography since she was a teenager. In addition to NKD Mag, she is touring with Dan + Shay and Kacey Musgraves plus four of her photos made it to the Country Music Hall of Fame this year. As NKD Mag reaches the end to it’s final issue, Cliché Magazine chatted with Catherine Powell about the end and what’s next for her future.
Cliché : When did you know that you wanted to be in the industry?
Very young. I started going to shows when I was 13, and about a year and a half later started shooting at a local all ages venue. I was beyond obsessed with music and just wanted to be a part of it.
Where did the inspiration behind NKD Mag come from?
Truthfully, it started because I was 17, had been shooting for over three years, and no one would hire me because I was so young. So, my friend Ariella Mastroianni (who was 19 at the time) and I started it so we could shoot and write about the artists we loved, and go a little more in depth than a lot of the publications we were reading at the time.
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
As an editor in chief, I think taking the magazine to 100 issues is something incredible. It’s such a massive body of work to be able to look back on.
As a photographer, I spent my entire college career being told that photographing music wouldn’t get me in galleries or museums. So, this summer when four of my photos went up in the Country Music Hall of Fame, it felt like an extra special win.
Did you ever think that NKD Mag would become such a huge success?
Not in the slightest. I think Ariella and I both had high hopes for it, but nothing like what it’s become. It’s truly the greatest thing I’ll ever do and I’m so proud of it. We’ve been able to reach over 50 million eyes in over 190 countries and that was just (and still is) unimaginable to think about.
Once the final issue of NKD Mag comes out, what is next for you?
I’ve been touring in the country world for the past year and will continue to do that for the foreseeable future. I’ll be out with Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Dan + Shay and Miranda Lambert this fall, and there’s some fun stuff on the calendar for next year that I’m very excited about.
What advice can you give young adults about trying to start their business in photography?
The business of photography is much more than you see on Instagram. More than anything, you need to build a network of other photographers that you can go to for advice, referrals and inspiration. It doesn’t need to be the competitive industry so many people make it out to be.
Who has been your favorite artist to photograph?
I’ve been having a blast with Kacey Musgraves this year. She’s incredibly creative and a true visionary, so it’s fun to bounce ideas around and create moments both on and off stage.
If you could say one thing to your readers who have been with you for the last 8 years, what would it be?
Thank you for sticking with us for so long, and letting NKD be a part of your fandoms. This magazine has been my entire life, for a third of my life, and it’s really fulfilling to know it meant something to so many people.