Rachel Cabitt: Night, when words fade and things come alive

 
 
 
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Looking at Rachel Cabitt’s imagery awakens deeply buried nights-out souvenirs and sentiments. The kind of nights where you felt like expressing your true self and confessing your deepest secrets and fears to your tribe. The ones where an outrageous influx of melancholia went through your whole body, suddenly making realize you would not be anywhere else, with anyone else, no matter what.
Rachel Cabitt is a talented photographer inspired by life at night, where colors allow her to depict sweet, dark and intimate portraits of a young generation in their safest space, through their relationships with their closest friends.

She also is Digital Director of the dope Brooklyn-based POND Magazine with her friend Natalie Leonard, an underground music, culture and art bible featuring artists of the local and international scene with a unique eye - who she also became good friends with.

We had the opportunity to meet with Rachel in her Ridgewood spot under a cosy red light to discuss her photography, her love for the Brooklyn musical scene, and her aspirations as a creative.

Tell us a bit about you Rachel!

I’m a freelance artist based in New York City, originally from Massachusetts. I primarily focus on photography but also have a background in web and graphic design. My work centers a lot around nightlife and the contrast between light and dark. When I’m not concentrating on my own work, I’m working as Digital Director of POND Magazine, an online culture publication based in Brooklyn, NY.

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - Amber Mark for Pitchfork

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - Amber Mark for Pitchfork

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - Editorial for Refinery 29

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - Editorial for Refinery 29


What led you to become a photographer? Why do you feel it's the best way to express yourself?

I got into photography my freshman year of high school and when I was applying to college I decided to study it full time. But it’s only been a year or two that I really feel like I’ve found my voice. My attraction to color and light I feel can be immediately captured and translated by photography but sometimes it’s not always the best way to express what I’m thinking. Sometimes I gravitate more to film, or painting, or drawing, or making something with my hands. I’ve recently gotten into projection mapping which I’m really loving. I’m able to create the light and shapes I’m attracted to, while also collaborating with the energy of the room.

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Who are some of your favorite photographers?

Right now I’m really into Hannah Wilke and Chad Moore. But I also really love Julia Margaret Cameron, Duane Michals, and Mickalene Thomas.

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“surrounding myself with my friends who are all different types of artists is a constant source of inspiration”

Rachel Cabitt

What is your personal motto?

Do what you want to do.

What are some of the things in your life you feel most grateful for?

Being able to sustain a freelance life, pursue my creativity, and be surrounded by those that support me.

Credits: Pond Magazine

Credits: Pond Magazine

Can you tell us who are some of the people that inspired your creative journey?

My parents are both self-employed, so I grew up in a household with a do-it-yourself mentality that really influenced me. My high school photography teacher and college professor also instilled within me the motivation and perseverance to do projects myself and create my own opportunities, not to wait around for them. Now as a graduate, surrounding myself with my friends who are all different types of artists is a constant source of inspiration.

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - “I like you better at night” Series

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - “I like you better at night” Series

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How do you pull yourself out of really low moments?

I try something new.

And where do you usually take your inspiration from?

I love going to bookstores and flipping through art books and magazines to get ideas flowing again. Museums, libraries, and galleries too. I find that when I’m too stuck in the digital realm I become oversaturated and my inspiration starts to dwindle.

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What is the best advice you’ve been given

Everyone has their own path.

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - “Wish you were here” Series (Constellation Mag)

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - “Wish you were here” Series (Constellation Mag)

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - “I like you better at night” Series

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - “I like you better at night” Series


How do you incorporate self-care into your life?

Forgiving myself, eating chocolate, and taking walks.

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Can you share some of your go-to restaurants in NYC?

Kiki’s in the Lower East Side, and Los Hermanos and Falansai in Bushwick.

And your favorite coffee shops?

Kávé off the Morgan stop, A/D/O in Greenpoint, and Roots Cafe in South Slope. But I also really love going to libraries to do work instead of fighting for a plug in cafe culture.

Take a further look at Rachel’s work on her website and follow her on Instagram @rachelcabitt and @pondmag.

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - Blu Detiger

Credits: Rachel Cabitt - Blu Detiger

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