Friday, April 17, 2015

Feature Friday with Clare Barker Wells Photography!

The talented Clare Barker Wells Photography is the winner of last week's 'anonymous self-portrait' challenge, and today she is sharing some more of her gorgeous work with us, as well as a peek into her camera bag, and more!

1. Please tell us about yourself...

 I'm a Brit, living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, (for the moment), and mother to a wild child who features in a an awful lot of my photographs, and a crazy cat, who does not feature in many, because she is normally hiding from previously mentioned wild child. 

In a previous life, pre-baby, we lived in Russia, and what feels like many moons ago, before that, we lived in the UK and I had a 'real' job in the Oil and Gas industry, because my degree is in Earth Sciences, which makes very little sense to me now because, me, science?!

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?

Honest, rich, flawed.

I have had a bit of an epiphany recently, and realised that whilst I love other people's beautiful light and bokeh-y (totally a word) outdoor images, the images of my own, that make my heart sing, are the rich-toned, deep-shadowed, side-lit ones. I've also learnt that I don't actually love perfect images...absolutely every rule can be broken, but if the light is there, and the emotion is there, I will love it anyway

3. What sparked your passion for photography?

When I was growing up I was like a closet-creative...I *felt* creative, but had no outlet for it - I couldn't draw to save my life, any attempt at crafting was disastrous, and I once genuinely got 'Clare has trouble with the application of paint to paper in any artful way, D-' in my report-card for Art. I could SEE beauty, and I knew what looked good and didn't...but I just couldn't create it. AT ALL. 

And then I was the classic story of girl meets boy, girl and boy have baby, girl picks up camera and never puts it down. It was such a revelation for me...I could finally create something beautiful...because really now I was given the ability to capture the beauty that I'd been seeing all along. I can honestly say that finding photography has been a pretty life-changing experience for me - until I found it I was a trying to fit into a life that wasn't really me...and now I'm letting my full blown, wild-haired, crazy-clothed creative out!

4. What's in your camera bag right now?

Honestly, right now, my camera and lenses are dotted around the house, depending on where I last used them (told you there was a crazy creative, muddled person inside me trying to get out!).

But if I were to bring it all into one place, I'd have my D600, my two lens-loves; the 35mm and 50mm 1.4 ART (SWOON) and my good old 85mm 1.8 that rarely sees my camera any more. I also have a Fuji XT100 because I realised after starting my business at the beginning of last year, I wasn't actually taking pictures of my family, because I was seeing my DSLR as *work* - plus with lenses it's a right pain to carry around everywhere. The Fuji has allowed me to start shooting every day again, because it goes EVERYWHERE with me in my handbag. It's what I am shooting my 365 on (and all oft he pictures shown here), and I am pretty in love with it.

5. What is your dream shoot or project?

Right now, I have this beautiful family lifestyle at home shoot in my head, that I just need to get out. I am searching for the right family to make it all happen. Watch this space.

6. What are some of the misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey? Have they changed, and how?

What I have realised as time has gone on, is that every one of those photographers that you aspire to be, is just a normal person, leading a normal life. They are no cooler, or better than you, they are just out there doing their thing. I've been guilty of idolising a few, and then you meet them, or get to know them, and realise they are just the same as you (but also really lovely and down-to-earth). I've also (hilariously) had a few people start to say to me that they love my work, and are excited/star-struck to meet me etc...I hope once they meet me that any allusions are shattered...I'm just a normal girl, taking pictures of my normal family. It's crazy to me how we can build these personas on-line, and they often don't tell the full story. 

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?

So that's also my advice to other photographers out there - don't get hung-up on being as cool, or as hip as all of those photographers out there that you can bet that they still have the same day-to-day boring life as the rest of us!

Find more of Clare's lovely work here:

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