PHOTOGRAPHY. As a teenager Käla began photographing people whose lifestyles exist on the fringe of the Lower East Side and Alphabet City in Manhattan. She documented abandoned buildings and underground venues, befriending punk bands, squatters and the homeless. She frequented political/social non-profit organizations such as ABC NoRio, The Collective Unconscious, and make-shift venues at the Gas Station, C-Squat, and local community gardens. At 17 years old she joined a girl-fronted pop band to play electric keyboards. This brought her into the world of girl bands which she photographed almost exclusively. It is through the people she photographed that Käla learned what it means to carve out your own path in life. Staying true to her vision of the underground, Käla has always sought out venues and galleries for her photography exhibitions that are artist owned and operated, or are simply part of the New York underground community. She began a photography business providing for local musicians and performing artists, including burlesque dancers and members of the Coney Island Side Show. Remaining part of the avant garde scene, she also worked for commercial photographers to support her art in the early days. During that time, she attended classes at New York’s School of Visual Arts and volunteered as a Teacher Assistant for black & white darkroom students at the International Center of Photography.
In 2001, VelvetPark magazine wrote that Käla’s black and white portraits “are spontaneous, yet capture a unique sense of conflict, a stark reality about her subject. She captures on film what Jungians refer to as the ‘shadow.’ She has an uncanny ability, in her photos, to bring to life the repressed, darker, and hidden side of a person’s nature. She is able to illuminate something about the person’s being which may make her audience, and her subject, feel less than comfortable.”
Käla’s first photography book UNDERGROUND was published in the Fall of 2011.