I was lucky enough to be interviewed by one of my favourite publications recently – Check it out below!
Q&A WITH FIELD NOTES PHOTOGRAPHER RACHEL CLAIRE
What inspired you to be a photographer?
An unconscious love for visual storytelling. As a child I wanted to write novels. For years I’d been writing and performing and I wanted another method of creation. I had a huge amount of love for old Nat Geo magazines and local print – I’d spent hours cutting out photos, creating photo boards. Eventually I asked my parents for a camera and it all flowed from there.
What is the one thing you have to take travelling apart from a camera?
A good and inspiring book. I’m an avid reader but I’ve struggled with the move into digital novels. I had an e-reader for a while but I would forget to charge it constantly. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll leave home with one book in my pack and return with five – I can never seem to leave them behind. Pathetic, I know.
What has been the scariest place you’ve travelled to?
Libya, because it was a precarious situation at the time. It was a few years back and the country was on the cusp of war. Tourism was fairly scarce. I tend to wander off alone a lot – but there was no straying from the group here. We went everywhere with police escorts. Most people had never seen westerners. I was the only young female on the trip and at times it felt like my skin was painted blue from all the staring. I tried to give the appearance of confidence.
What place, real or fictitious, would you most like to take pictures of?
Petra, Jordan. In my mind it’s the epitome of desert magic. There’s something really ancient and undiscovered about Jordan. It’s at the top of my never ending list.
Describe your dream vacation.
Anything where adventure meets relaxation. I like combination vacations, the sort where you can spend an entire week hiking, climbing and surfing, only to return to your accommodation to enjoy a few days of relaxing and recovering. I like pushing my boundaries on a vacation – but I’ve also learnt how important it is to take time out.
What was your last plane ride like?
Singapore to Perth with Singapore Airlines. On my way home from Croatia a couple weeks ago! I had the shortest layover I’ve ever had of 40 minutes and managed to sleep the whole way. That’s unheard of for me. I felt like I’d entered some kind of club with all the other people who can sleep on planes.
Your tip for budding photographers would be…
Keep going! Keep collaborating, experimenting and chipping away bit by bit at your dreams to make them a reality. Don’t expect it all to happen at once. Right where you think your limits are is where the magic happens. Don’t rush it and enjoy the journey. Be authentic in what you love, treat your community with love and respect – the rest will follow.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
Everything! I still want to be everything. I studied journalism and once wanted to be a broadcast journalist. For a while I studied environmental science. Photography is where I’m at right now – but I see everything as an opportunity to learn and push my career in a different direction. The past six months I studied cognitive behaviour therapy and neuro-linguistic pathways in my spare time, and I’m also looking at doing a graduate certificate in international relations. That’s the great thing about photography – it sort of fits in everywhere to some extent. I never feel limited.
Where can we find you on the weekends?
Somewhere coastal with friends (if I’m not working). I recently made a promise to myself to start treating my weekends as an opportunity to slow down – and not as a never ending to-do list. We’ll see how it works out; I once promised I’d quit drinking coffee.
Name an album you could listen to on repeat.
First Aid Kit – Stay Gold. I listened to it on repeat on a road trip around America, and it never fails to bring me back to the feeling of being on the open road. It’s really something special.
What is one food you could eat forever?
Does coffee classify as food yet?
What is something you’re always asked?
For my ID. I turned 25 this year and still haven’t been able to purchase a drink without identification. It’s both a blessing and a curse. One time, a petrol station wouldn’t turn on the pump while I tried to fill my car – after heading inside I discovered it was because the woman working had thought I was under the age of 16. I had to show her my ID. I really hope I’ve aged since then.
Name your biggest fashion faux pas.
There’s way too many to remember them all. The biggest mistake was probably a pair of Ugg boot heels I thought were great when I was 14. Nowadays, if it’s not navy, black or a shade of grey, I probably won’t wear it. I’ve learnt my lesson.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Older and hopefully a whole lot wiser than I am now. Hopefully doing cool things and living in an even cooler place. I don’t like to think about the future too much – I’ve learnt there’s little value in thinking beyond the next few months of my life, it’s a high paced industry and things change quickly. Most of the time I’m just trying to finish today’s job and remember to feed myself.