Interview With Plus Size Fashion Photographer White Cedar – Catherine Oshanek
By Shannon Hiett
From photo journaling car accidents and performing nightclub critiques to securing campaigns with Wrangler Jeans and pioneering a bullying awareness campaign entitled, “I’VE BEEN BULLIED”, photographer Catherine Oshanek is ever evolving and inviting everyone on her journey. Join PLUS Model Magazine as we enter Cat’s world and she speaks honestly and candidly about being bullied as a teenager and pushing through it, only to end up on top of her game. I am certainly inspired by Cat’s courageous battle for bully awareness, enough so, that I would like to join her battle and become a part of her campaign. I’m hoping she’ll allow me to hang on for the ride.
Shannon: Catherine, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with PLUS Model Magazine. We are so excited to feature you in our March 2012 Issue. According to your website, you’ve been a photographer for nine years now. How did you get into photography and where did you come up with the name, “White Cedar”?
Cat: I originally got into photography when I decided to get into journalism. I was always into art, but also loved to write. So I went to college, majored in print media and minored in photo journalism. I have a learning disability that makes it hard for me to read and spell, so I was instantly drawn to photography.
In the beginning of my career, I was a reporter and photojournalist for a major newspaper, shooting everything from dying people in car accidents to reviewing concerts. I decided to create White Cedar early on during this time as a creative outlet on the side. The name White Cedar actually came from when I was a teenager in high school. I grew up wanting to be like Martha Stewart, so I dreamed of owning my own bed and breakfast.
All of my friends and family knew about the dream and I even began collecting items for it, such as tea sets and paintings. One day, when I was about 16 or 17 years old, my best friend and I were doing a project in math class and had to come up with a name for the assignment. So we opened up the dictionary closed our eyes and pointed. And there was the word White Cedar, which is a coniferous tree indigenous to Eastern Canada and the United States. At that point I knew I wanted the name of my B&B to be the White Cedar Inn.
Of course as I got older, the dream changed and became White Cedar Photography. Over the years, I contemplated changing it to just my own name, but White Cedar has become a brand and I am proud of where it is going. I have been shooting for almost four years as White Cedar full time now, focusing mostly on fashion, commercial and celebrity photography.