About Kat Shanahan + The Photo Seen Podcast

Image of dock in the lake on a cloudy day with a purple and blue hue to it.
My second attempt at IR

A long story made unnecessarily longer…

By day, I’m a sales and marketing executive at a non-profit in Madison, WI. By later in the day, I’m a photographer specializing in infrared/full spectrum photography and polar panoramic images. And on the weekends, I run a small business selling pottery and concrete projects

I got started in photography after receiving a Canon point-and-shoot camera from my sister for my 16th birthday. By my 20th birthday, I saved all of my coffee shop tips and with the help of my parents and grandfather bought my first DLSR – a Canon Rebel XTi. 

I’d love to say I picked it up and was a natural, but I can’t lie to you, dear listener (reader?) – I struggled for a long time to learn how to use the camera. I was often frustrated by blurry images, not realizing the limitations of lenses and automatic controls. So, I worked very hard to teach myself everything I could about photography.

After many years, several new DSLRs, a short black and white film photography class, and a year where I took photos every. single. day., I felt confident enough to venture into wedding photography…two years before I promptly ventured right back out. I thought wedding photography was the only way to be successful and build a business, but the truth was, it didn’t make me happy. So, at the impressionable age of 28, I retired as a wedding photographer. 

No Thank You, Wedding Photography

My very first IR photograph

The one area of photography that I always gravitated toward was creating photos that couldn’t be seen by the naked eye. Whether that was long exposure or HDR, I loved creating images that seemed “ordinary” but were actually unable to be seen naturally by humans. As I explored other photography mediums and struggled to find my passion, I stumbled upon infrared photography.

Like many IR photographers, I dipped my toe in the pool by purchasing a hoya filter, gathering up my tripod, digging my remote out of a box, and venturing into nature. I think I went on two photo trips before I was hooked and bidding on used cameras through eBay. In 2019, I purchased a used Canon Rebel T3i and sent it off to Washington to get converted.

Just as I had when I purchased my first DSLR, I scoured the internet trying to find resources to learn to take and edit IR photos. Over time, I curated an amazing collection of photographers to follow on Instagram, but it was still difficult to find the educational resources I was looking for. And that’s when The Photo Seen Podcast was born. 

The Photo Seen Podcast

The podcast was born out of a desire to bring together amazing artists who were creating photographs that could not be seen in the visible world. I want to help these artists share their story and provide up-and-coming artists with the resources they need to fall in love with creating images that go beyond visual limitations. I want to remove some of the frustration and make the process just a little more enjoyable. 

The marketer in me says this story is way too long and I should simplify and cut 90% of this out because no one wants to read this, but the creator in me thinks it’s important to share the messy details of how I got here. There’s no right way to pursue photography and you, sweet reader (listener?), are doing a great job. 


I sincerely hope you enjoy the podcast and thank you for listening.