Meet Rachel Cabitt

Rachel Cabitt Passerbuys
Rachel Cabitt is a New York-based photographer and web designer collaborating with other young, like-minded artists. Originally hailing from Rowley, Massachusetts, she is a 2016 graduate of the Photography & Imaging Department at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She is currently Digital Director of POND magazine as well as a web developer for Opening Ceremony.
Outfit Details: Pink Blouse, Thrifted; Black Pants, Zara

Outfit Details: Pink Blouse, Thrifted; Black Pants, Zara

Outfit Details: Pink Shirt, Thrifted; Black Pants,: Zara

Outfit Details: Pink Shirt, Thrifted; Black Pants,: Zara


I love my sleep, so I’ll usually wake up around 8:30-9, depending on how late I was out the night before. Even though I’m freelance, my rule of thumb is to be up and working by 10:00 since that’s when everyone else is. Some mornings, POND takes precedence, or my web development work for Opening Ceremony, or finishing up an edit for a recent shoot I did. It’s a juggling act, but a balanced one that keeps my mind alert. I usually eat breakfast late once I’ve already begun working, but one thing that is consistent is that I always have two eggs and a glass of water. 

ON her background

I’m originally from Massachusetts and came to New York for college. In high school, I was always in my art building drawing, painting, and working on my photography. And when I wasn’t working on my art, I was involved in the school newspaper. It wasn’t until I was accepted into the photography program at Tisch at NYU that I decided to focus more on photography as a career.

I started getting involved in POND during my junior year at NYU, and that’s when journalism came back into my life, and music started to work its way into my photography. I grew up always listening to music, but never thought it would have such a heavy influence on my photography. From the moment I picked up a camera I was drawn to photographing people, and that’s still true. Even with music’s heavy influence, I’m more interested in photographing musicians through an editorial portraiture lens rather than shooting live shows. Visually describing the music scene without the obvious is something that I always keep in mind when shooting. 

Rachel Cabitt by Passerbuys15.jpg
If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, then do it. Whether that means working on your side project straight after you get off your full time job, or even doing your side job during your full time job (I’m totally guilty of that); you’ve got to make it work somehow. At first it won’t seem so balanced, but part of being young in New York City is the thrill of doing so many things at once that you think you might explode. Using your time efficiently is key, but also taking your time is just as important. The pressure to be successful young in New York is taxing—don’t let it deter you.
— On balancing multiple projects

On Her Favorite Part of her job

My favorite part of my job is the freedom I have. Every day is different. Routine is very rare for me. 

On pond magazine

In general, we cover young artists, across a variety of mediums, who are standing out in their field. We don’t necessarily like to label them as “up and coming” or “rising” since those are such subjective terms. POND is a community in a way. A lot of the people we feature know each other via being from the same city, playing shows and tours together, collaborating on projects and events, etc. Our main intention is to always be supporting fellow artists and expanding our community to meet even more creative people.

Each feature is really an effort of love by each of our editors and contributors. Since we’re very much a small team right now, it’s nice that we get to meet each of the people we feature and be so hands on. But with a small team, also comes the burden of juggling multiple roles. I wouldn’t change it though - the best part of POND is the people you meet.

Outfit Details:    Yellow Shirt, The Nude Party Merch Shirt   ; Jumpsuit, H&M

Outfit Details: Yellow Shirt, The Nude Party Merch Shirt; Jumpsuit, H&M

Rachel Cabitt Passerbuys
Outfit Details: Pink Blouse, Thrifted

Outfit Details: Pink Blouse, Thrifted

On putting yourself out there

Another thing is to not be afraid. So many people get nervous about submitting their work, reaching out to people they admire, or even going to shows alone. I try to email at least three new people a day, whether they’re an editor at a magazine, an artist I’m interested in collaborating with, or someone to feature for POND. The best promoter of your work is yourself, no one is going to do it for you. And waiting around for someone to notice you isn’t going to happen either.

on Her favorite project

A little over a year ago, during my senior year at NYU, I took a large format photography class in which I started a black and white portraiture series on up-and-coming musicians entitled, “Almost Famous.” I photographed the whole project in my living room under my sky light with a white seamless. I submitted it to the PDN music portraiture contest in which it won first place. It’s still one of my favorite projects to date because of how DIY it was and because of the people I did it with. Each session was with friends, relaxed, and without any pressure. No fuss, no frills.

On Web Design

Web design came when I took a mandatory web class sophomore year of college. At first learning to code was one of the most frustrating things. Since then, it’s been super helpful in me sustaining a living and not having to fully depend on my photography to make rent. It also fulfills my nerdy side. 

 on her personal style

I don’t go shopping too often, but when I do, it’s usually picking up unique items here and there. A lot of my clothes were my grandmother's, aunt's, or mom's from when they were young. I really love being able to embody them in my style. I have a lot of band tees from friends’ projects as well as clothes from friends who are designers. I have a tall frame, so in general I really love jumpsuits or anything with a wide leg, reminiscent of the 70s. For basic things though I’ll usually go to H&M.

on her beauty routine

I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to beauty. I’ll wash my face, moisturize, and then put on a coat of mascara and eyeliner. I like to keep it pretty natural. One thing I do swear by is moisturizer. I have super sensitive skin, especially in the winter, so I try to keep my skin as healthy as possible.

Rachel Cabitt Passerbuys
Rachel Cabitt Passerbuys