Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Feature Interview - 365 Days: Rachel Marie Smith

Sorry it's taken me so long to get up another interview, but you won't be dissapointed with who I have up next. The amazing Rachel Marie Smith!!

365/1 - SCRAP [2010 Photo Memory]
Day one


1. Fill me in on your background, where are you from and how did you get in to photography?



I was born and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with my parents, and that’s where I’m living now until I transfer to another college in the following year. As for my first camera, Santa gave me a purple APS style camera for Christmas when I was 8 years old. I didn’t know that I should have angled it up toward people in order to frame them into the photograph. The result was whole roll was of various members of the family around the Christmas tree, but they were all headless. We still have those pictures in an album, haha. I’ve loved photography ever since then, but never really got creative with it until high school.

365/21
Day twentyone

2. What made you decide to start a 365?

I’m a cinema/film major in college and wanted to upgrade to a DSLR that would shoot video as well. I already had a Canon XTi, so I decided to do the 365 for 2011 when I bought my Canon60D to get use of the camera everyday between filming dates, and to make the expense worthwhile. It’s really helped me get to know the camera and all of its settings that way too.

365/100 - Falling
Day onehundred 

3. What is your process when taking your 365 from getting ideas to editing? 

Depends on the time of the year. During the semester I’ll grab one of the guys from the lab and good off and take a photo with them somewhere on campus, because that’s usually what I can fit into my day around work and class. During breaks though I’m able to plan out shoots, models, etc. and that’s really nice. Sometimes I’ll just close my eyes and picture everything before I go. There’s other times though, where I’ll bring along what I want in the shot—the model, the prop(s)—and allow the story in the photo to develop as we get to the location. Editing wise it takes me while. I’ll spend at least an hour in color correction alone messing around with curves, and textures, adjusting skin-tones sometimes the way I want them even.

Here’s an example of a before and then the after…

Contest entry
365/203 - Demented Wonderland

The before is only the first of many shots before there was any color correct of layers blended toegether.

4. What are your tools of the trade?

Canon60D, Tripod, wireless remote, my lenses, Photoshop CS5

365/106 - Hay Fever!
Day onehundredandsix 

5. Why do you think people are drawn to starting and following 365's? 

I’m going to settle with the challenge factor. I think a lot of people want to do it, because they think it will be ‘really cool’ and don’t realize how time consuming and at times stressful it will become.

365/121 - Underwater I
Day onehundredandtwentyone 

6. What is your least favourate 365 shot you've taken so far and why?

Hahaha, I have a lot that I’m not a fan of. After I’m done with my 365 I’ll go through and more than likely take them down, but while I’m still doing the 365 I’m baring with them still being up. Day 14 or 42 are two examples of the ones that I really don’t know what I was thinking when I posted them. The one with Angel, my Corgi I was testing out the night vision setting on the camera I was using and wanted to share that, but otherwise…it’s a pretty terrible photo and the food was delicious, but that was abut all that was good about that picture.

7. What is your favourate 365 shot you've taken so far and why? 

Currently, I’m a fan of Day 203 – Demented Wonderland. It was the first photo that I had turn out exactly as I had planned it in my mind. I had it sketched out and everything and planned a few days ahead of time. Most of this was thanks to my accommodating models. Namely David in this case who was the guy surrounding Christine. The fabric he was covered in was disgusting smelly mud from a nearby creek that we had soaked the fabric in before covering him up in it.

365/203 - Demented Wonderland 

8. What is your favourite 365 shot taken by another photographer?

Masha Sardari’s 365 is beautiful! I have a few favorites from her 365, but always seem to sway toward Day 233 - Sunrise is like Morning in Your Eyes. I love the glow and the framing of the shot. The droplets of water from her dress going into the ocean are perfect.

Masha Sardari 

9. What are some of your favourate things :)?

The scent of old books, thrift stores, cameras, my corgi, Asian food, abandoned places, wine. (Really…this list could go on and on.)

365/131 - Look Right
Day onehundredandthirtyone 

10. What is your best tip to taking a striking photo?

I like to pay attention of lighting and framing. I can’t always have control of the lighting, but when possible, I do my best to not take a photo in direct light. Take a moment to breathe. If you don’t do that, I feel like a photograph or any for of art will be rushed.

365/156 - Summer I
Day onehundredandfiftysix 

11. Your 365 seem to incorporate your surroundings and the elements, is this a big part of your style?

It’s becoming that it seems. Really it’s just showing where I am day to day throughout my 365. If I could take the time and the expense on gas to drive up the mountains or around to other locations further from me, like the beach I would. I just can’t afford the expense to do so at the time. 

365/161 - In thought
Day onehundredandsixtyone

12. What do you do when you feel like giving it all up?

I call someone and we go out and take a photo. :)


13. Who's 365 has been the most inspiring to you?

Currently enjoying David Talley’s, but Rosie Hardy and Masha Sardari who have already completed theirs are always fun to look back on. 

365/178 - Upside-down
Day onehundredandseventyeight

14. What are some of your favourite films, books and musicians? 

Oh my…this list could literally be the length of a novel. No order to anything, and seriously, this is just a bit of this list. 

MOVIES: Darjeeling Limited, Blade Runner, The Life Aquatic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Brick, 3:10 to Yuma, The 5th Element, American Psycho, City of Lost Children, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away
BOOKS: Alice in Wonderland, The Last Unicorn, Lord of the Rings, Never Let Me Go, Game of Thrones, Of Mice and Men, East of Eden, Looking Glass Wars
MUSIC: Mumford and Sons, Coconut Records, Laura Marling, The Decemberists, mewithoutyou, Arcade Fire, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, my dad vs yours, Fleet Foxes, The Kinks, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Matthew and the Atlas, MGMT, Noah and the Whale, Pg. Lost, Regina Spector, She and Him, Snow Patrol, The Smiths, Sufjan Stevens, Wolfmother

Underwater I [EXTRA]
Day onehundredandseventynine

15. What has been your biggest achievement so far with your photography and 365? 

Getting past Day 200 was fun. Reaching that milestone meant a lot.

365/181 - Abduction
Day onehundredandeightyone 

16. Do you think it’s hard to be original within the 365 project? How do you keep your ideas original and fresh?

At first I thought it might be, but it hasn’t been hard at all. Everyone expresses themselves in their work. Even if you took your idea from the inspiration of something else, you always put yourself into it somehow. Unless you’re deliberately trying to recreate someone else’s work…but even then you don’t have the same location, and you’ll have different models, etc. (I don’t condone such behavior by the way.) I’ve just been going day to day with what life brings me, so inspiration hasn’t been hard to find at all.

365/188 - Secret Garden
Day onehundredandeightyeight 

17. Which 365 shot was the most difficult to capture?

Day 197- I Gave You All. It was handheld at night with my Canon 50mm 1.8 lens. I used my car lights to illuminate the graveyard and had Chris sit very still while I held my breath and took the photo on high continuous. Out of the five photos taken, that was the one that turned out. I took a few others at different angles also.

365/197 - Gave You All
Day onehundredandninetyseven 

18. Do you often change a lot of the original photo in Photoshop?

I do. Color correction, and if it’s levitation then the obvious blending of various images together. If it’s film though, I do little to no editing to it. I like to use a film camera every now and again to mix things up a bit.

365/192 - Floating in the Bathroom
Day onehundredandninetytwo 

19. Do you think you have an original style that is you own?

I’ve been told that I do, so I guess so? I’m always terrible at answering these types of questions, especially right now; I think it’s hard to tell since I don’t have much of a pattern or a theme that I’m sticking to currently. I have a series of mythology, legends, and fairytales planned out however; so perhaps in the near future my work will reflect more of a style through that.

365/195 - Modern Day Cynocephali II
Day onehundredandninetyfive 

20. What is your favourate time of year to take photos?

My favorite season is fall, and I haven’t taken photos in my 365 for that yet, so I really look forward to layers of clothing and the changing of the colors in the leaves.

365/201 - The Storm
Day twohundredandone 

21. If you could photograph any person alive or dead who would it be and why?

Female model, I would choose Audrey Hepburn. I love her. Male model, I would choose Cillian Murphy, or any member of Mumford and Sons. (I like guys with strong bone structure.)

365/202 - Yellow Foundations
Day twohundredandtwo 

22. Give us the skinny; what's the next big project you've got coming up?

Well, I already mentioned it above. I’m doing a legends/myths/fairytales series. During my 365 the month of October will be a bit creepier and darker if all goes according to plan, so keep a look out for that.

23. Which actor would play you in the film of your life?

I’ve been told Anne Hathaway before, so I’ll go with her.

365/220 - Into Chaos
Day twohundredandtwenty

24. What did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid?

A veterinarian, but I cannot stand blood, nor do I like it when animals are in pain.

365/249 - Myself VII
Day twohundredandfourtythree

Thank you so much Rachel, please see more of her work here 

xx 

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