KAT WADE BIO
Covering Presidents to Polar Bears, Elton John to Mariah Carey, Eco-Tourism to Global Warming, or skydiving to SCUBA diving with sharks, Kat Wade has borne witness to a lifetime of images, and, she’s only getting started.
Born as a Navy Brat in Newport, Rhode Island in 1958, Kat Wade was raised between Hawai’i and the San Francisco Bay Area. She spent 20-years as a fine arts promoter traveling the seven western states with the family business. At 24, with the death of her mother, Kat took over the business, worked six months out of the year, and picking up a camera backpacked alone around the world multiple times.
Impassioned by the desire to affect change, Kat returned to college at 35-years-old. Kat graduated summa cum laude from San Francisco State University, becoming the first photographer in the history of the department to win the Frank McCulloch Investigative Reporting Scholarship as both the writer and photographer. Kat was hired as a staff photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle directly upon graduation and spent 10 years earning numerous industry awards including being named Bay Area Press Photographer of the year in 2006 and an honorable mention as Photographer of the Year from the California Press Photographers Association. Kat quickly became known as the story telling photographer on the Chronicle staff.
Kat became an accomplished SCUBA diver and obtained 29-years diving experience in varied conditions throughout the world. In 2005, the devastating effects of over-fishing, pollution and global warming became evident and demanded that she teach herself underwater photography. Kat was assigned a yearlong project on Global Warming and proposed this story be told above and below water. From the polar bears and shrinking homes of the Inupiat Eskimos on the arctic sea, to the melting glaziers and diminishing salmon populations in Southern Alaska, through California where one-degree change devastated abalone populations and facilitated the encroachment of Southern species, to the rise in dengue fever and bleaching of the coral reefs of Mexico, Kat honed her below water skills which greatly contributed to her 2006 California POY awards.
Kat has photographed high profile long-tern projects including the yearlong coverage of the 2004 Presidential Campaign, trekking through 15 states, two debates and both the GOP and Democratic conventions. For her political coverage, Kat received a first place award in the NPPA’s Single Best Image of the 2004 Campaign, along with multiple awards in derivative categories.
In 2005, she started covering Global Warming and endangered sharks around the world. For the next two years, she worked on eco-tourism, which helped publicize the negative and positive effects man’s curiosity for endangered wildlife, including sharks, on two continents. In hopes of preserving species from extinction, Kat continues her coverage around the effects of weather on smaller creatures, such as the butterflies in Oregon, the birds in northeastern California, and the diminishing population of the dessert pupfish in the Mojave Desert. Through years of living her work, Kat’s passion for environmental issues became fervent.
Since leaving the Chronicle in 2007 to pursue a freelance career, Kat, has established a client list including HARA (Hawai'i Association of Recording Artists), The Travel Channel, Sports Illustrated and Wired.com. While photographing everything from magazine portraits and hip hop artists to the first Nazi submarine sunk in WWII in depths below 100-feet during a squall in the North Atlantic. Kat’s continuing passion for photography, thirst for knowledge and unequaled energy makes her a desirable candidate for any client.