The Other Kate Berry is an online photography project shared by two professional photographers, coincidentally both named Kate Berry, that documents their daily lives 17,000 kilometres apart.
With one Berry in Daylesford, Victoria, and the other in London, the pair met online by chance and struck up a friendship built on a mutual interest in each other’s work. “I received an email from the other Kate Berry months ago,” says Australian Berry talking from Daylesford. “I almost just deleted it, because I thought my ass had sent myself an accidental email.” Finding similar sensibilities through the lens, the idea for The Other Kate Berry was formed – each Berry captures one snapshot of their day to be placed side by side on the site. There’s no context, no caption and no explanation – only a timestamp and location, leaving the viewer to create their own narrative about the goings-on behind each lens.
The Australian Kate Berry lives with her partner Rohan Anderson (author of the popular blog and accompanying cookbook Whole Larder Love) and their four daughters at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in Daylesford, Victoria, where she works as a photographer, bakes and cooks. Occasionally she travels to Melbourne – the “big smoke”.
Although sharing a name and profession, the British Kate Berry lives quite a different life. Aside from being deeply fascinated with light, a passion she shares with Australian Berry (“what photographer isn't?” she says), Berry is a single city-dweller in the London borough of Hackney, and confesses her photographs contain less of a human element than Australian Kate Berry’s do. But it’s this contrast between their daily lives that is the spirit of the project.
It’s its simple elegance that makes the site so appealing. One particular day might see the cold and blustery urban landscape of London’s Croyden at 1.15pm paired with the vanishing point of a tree-lined country road via Clarke’s Hill, Victoria during the early light of 6.50am. Another day sees a group of fur-hatted men pictured in black and white walking in Hackney paired with a shot of Australian Berry’s daughter watering plants inside a misty greenhouse. Some days, the images are not so different and could’ve been shot in the same country. But others tell a tale of two wildly varying existences, linked only by a name.
Having never met in person, the two Berrys have become friends through regular, fleeting communication when each photograph lands in their respective inboxes.
In June the pair will meet in London for the first time. How will this change their relationship? “I am quite wary of the fact,” says the Australian Berry, “that people do present the best of themselves [online] and you don’t get to experience the bits they don’t want you to see … But I can’t wait to get to know the other Kate Berry. I am hoping to see some twists and turns in our lives reflected on the site. I also hope other people can become engaged in our stories.”