Meet Kate Hailey: CreativeLive’s Gear Goddess


It’s fair to say that to work at CreativeLive, you need to have more than one skill. When the company started, content producers were their own PAs,  camera men doubled editors, while co-founders lead the broadcasts as hosts and talent scouts. Sure, things have settled down a bit, we’re all multi-talented. There are few people who demonstrate that better than Kate Hailey. Kate has been a host, social media lead, gear expert, production coordinator, the queen of contests and held countless other positions at CreativeLive. To find out a bit more about her journey, here’s our interview with Kate:

What do you do at CreativeLive?

Over the years, as CreativeLive has grown, I’ve done a little bit of everything. Since my background is in photography, I’m kind of the resident photo gear expert. These days, I help source gear for the photography workshops + work with a lot of our partners on contests and other opportunities.

When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?

First a Rock Star, then Annie Leibovitz during the Rolling Stone years; especially, as that brought together two of my loves, music and photography.

Processed with VSCOcam with g1 preset
Photo captured by Kate on her iPhone

What do you do for a ‘spirit break’ when you’re feel like you’re in a creative slump?

Go for a walk on the beach or around the neighborhood – something to get me out and about. Road trips! My last road trip was about 3,000 miles through 6 states over 2 weeks. Lots of fun and lots of pictures.

 Do you have any creative hobbies?

portrait of CL producer Lindsay taken by Kate

Of course! I’m a photographer! Along with traditional DSRL’s, I still shoot film and create images on mobile devices. Over the past four and a half years, I’ve completed 3 – 365 projects  ( and am currently in the midst of my 4th. I do a lot of urban exploration, trying to find the beauty in things, large and small and I also love creating portraits.

Where do you go to be inspired?

Lately, I’m reading books by Austin Kleon & Brene Brown. I enjoy a handful of blogs here and there, checking out the work of photographers like Brooke Shaden and Zack Arias Of course travel; exploring new places and cultures. Most especially, I love spending time with my fellow creatives, collaborating and having conversations about photography, art, life and the process of it all.

Who is your favorite cL teacher and why?

This is tough, I’ve been around since the early days and we’ve had a lot of amazing instructors on CreativeLive. So I’ll talk about the first one who really made an impact on me – Zack Arias. I was a part of his first workshop in 2010 and I still remember things from that workshop. Zack is passionate about the work he creates, the photography community and of course his family.

If you were a CreativeLive instructor, what would you teach?

Well iPhoneography/Mobile Photography! I did a short iPhone segment in January during the pre-show of John Greengo’s Fundamentals of Digital Photography workshop. It was only about ten minutes, so I’d love to do more!

I’d also love to talk about how we can use creativity, whatever the medium, to help us through tougher times, struggles, depression etc…. many of us let those things take us over, instead of embracing them and turning them into something.

What’s the strangest/most awesome thing you’ve ever done in a job?

I gotta say there have been quite a few cool experiences over the years. In 2010, for David duChemin’s workshop we did a tour of Lake Union in electric boats and shot footage as a part of the class. And most recently during Miss Aniela’s workshop we created a pretty epic shoot at a local event space in Seattle including a 6 light setup, a fantastic dress & a fogger!

behind the scenes of Miss Aniela's course
behind the scenes of Miss Aniela’s course

You are headed to a deserted island, what 3 things do you take?

How deserted is the island? I mean is there power? How long will I be there? I’m a planner… hahaha… so for reals, something to write with (pen + notebook) and my iPhone with some sort of magical, everlasting battery… and chocolate, lots of chocolate.

What do you do with cLers outside the office?

Let’s see…we’ve had bowling and putt-putt leagues, karaoke (on more than one occasion), happy hours, movie nights with Rock Band and next up is some swing dancing! It’s a fun crew with lots of diverse interests!

Photo captured at Discovery Park by Kate on her iPhone

Where do you see education going in the future?

This is one of those things where I feel very fortunate to be involved with CreativeLive. I grew up with creative parents who encouraged me to pursue my interests. Unfortunately, not everyone has people around them who can help support those aspirations. I feel like CreativeLive is at the forefront of what the future holds for education, even beyond the creative space. It’s really an exciting time for individuals who are seeking a way to make a life and a career they truly enjoy.

(All of the images in this post were created and edited on an iPhone by Kate Hailey)

Find out more about Kate on:



Twitter: @katehailey (

Instagram: @katehailey (


Topher Kelly FOLLOW >

Topher Kelly is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and editor at CreativeLive. Follow Topher on Twitter@Topher_LIVE.