Q&A with photographer Rachel Canale

By: Michael Suber


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"The best way to make it in the photography industry is to have a good reputation and the work will come."

-Do you agree that you are challenged everyday to create something that has never been created before?

Definitely. I’m always trying to reinvent existing ideas, whether it be working with emerging models, trying different styling or composition and sourcing new locations. Being different is what gets you noticed. Innovation keeps your creativity alive. If you keep shooting the same thing, you will never improve your style and will begin to get stale.

-Can you describe your creative process? What do you look for when creating a shoot and do your shoot line up to be what you expected?

To begin my creative process, I am initially inspired by my favorite photographers. I then brainstorm by creating mood boards to reinvent the original ideas. The inspiration images within the mood boards range from makeup and styling to locations and composition, so I have a clear idea of the final images. In saying this my photo shoots can steer off course, as a location often sparks new creativity and I like to experiment with all the surroundings.

-You have to have a favorite artist in mind that drives your creativity or inspires you, who is it?

I am inspired by many Australian and international photographers. Some of those being British photographer Tim Walker for his amazing photo shoot set ups and in-camera technical ability. Lebanese-American photographer Jessica Kobeissi inspires me as she has an impeccable eye for detail and innovates fashion photography. Finally, Australian Photographer Vivienne Steer initially inspired me for with her flawless beach and studio portraits.

-How would you describe yourself as a person & artist?

I am an extremely goal-orientated person. I have clear idea of where I want my photography career to go and I am determined to succeed. In saying this, I am still young and I intent to enjoy the journey, meeting new people and developing my style.

-How did you know you wanted to be a photographer?

I grew up surrounded by fine art and photography. My older cousin works in the arts and always involved me in her creative process. From here I developed a passion for all things visually aesthetic, so I knew I’d end up in a creative industry some day.

-Do you have a favorite photographers who inspire you? Why is that?

I have many favourite photographers but at the top of the list would be Australian photographer duo, Jesse Allen and Pixie Bella. The two travel the world shooting in the most amazing locations with top international models. They specialise in fashion and swimwear photography, which is the direction I’d like to head in myself.

-Can you describe one of your favorite projects that you have worked on and why was it your favorite?

My favorite project would have to be shooting the editorial featured in this issue. The cactus garden was in an outer Melbourne location and was a three hour journey away for my team. I love shooting in a diverse locations. I predominantly work in the studio or on the beach so having a textured landscape to work with was very exciting.

-We have taken a look at your website/portfolio Online, how do you want the viewer to feel when looking at your work?

I want my viewers to get an insight into my passion and go on my creative journey with me. I am still developing my unique style, so I want my everyone to be part of the process. My website and portfolio is filled with fashion editorials and portraits, however each image has story to tell.

-Do you ever collaborate with designer brands.

I have worked with many emerging designer brands helping them make a name for themselves in the fashion world with my images. It’s great to collaborate with new designers as they bring a new dimension to the industry.

-In the artistic world of photographers, do you see yourself not only trying to achieve your perfect shoot but also being known for your work?

The photography industry is a very tough one to make a name in, but I have found that with hard work and determination, the better relationships I build. The more shoots I do and more people I work with, people are starting to recognize my work and style. The best way to make it in the photography industry is to have a good reputation and the work will come.

-If you could shoot an editorial anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why is that?

Definitely the Maldives. I have watched my favourite photographers and bloggers shoot and film there and I can only dream of doing a swimwear shoot amongst their famous villas and vibrant blue water.

-What was the main reason that you decided to become a photographer?

I loved the creativity and energy behind it. I grew up on a strawberry farm of eighty acres and the idea of being confined to an office space for a career did not interest me. With photography I am constantly moving around and I can be creative with so many aspects. I enjoy being able to stage all elements of the shoot, having the ability to be as eccentric or refined with the images as I want to.

-Tell me about your latest shoot. What was your vision when you created it?

My work is usually known to be portraits with a beach or studio location, so for this featured editorial I wanted to expand the possibilities by capturing more landscape orientated images and involving more colour and texture in the background of the photo.

-To be a photographer, you had to undergo a lot of struggles. What was the most difficult obstacle for you when putting together a shoot?

The most difficult aspect of organising a shoot would have to be timing. Having to organize a team of approximately 5 people is tough when people begin to turn up late or not even at all. When you start to find artists and models you can really reply on, it begins to be a lot easier because you trust their professionalism and that shoots will run as planned.

-Does your personal life ever effect how you compose your shoots or do you have a set schedule/formula that you follow? What is it exactly?

I have made my passion for photography into a career and in doing so I have made it my main focus and priority. Therefore, I fit my personal life and other commitments around my photoshoot schedule.

-Who excites you the most (Celebrity) & why?

I would say my biggest celebrity influencer is Beyoncé. Not only is she an amazing singer and performer, but I consider to be an artist and a visionary. She always builds upon her style in an innovative way that no one expects or has even seen before. Her work as an artist transcends music and the visuals she creates to accompany her sound always coincides flawlessly. She is also a great role model and demonstrates how it is attractive to be curvy, confident, strong and fierce.

-If you had to pass on a suggestion for someone starting out in photography, what would you tell them?

Practice makes perfect! Every photoshoot you do you will learn something knew, whether it be using new camera settings to get a specific style or composing your models in a unique way. Each of these details can then be used for future shoots. You can never stop learning.

-How is your style of photography different from any other photographers?

I rarely shoot in the studio which many photographers prefer as they have full control of the lighting. I personally favor shooting outside as it gives an extra element to the images using the surroundings as backdrops. I also focus on the beauty of the model, the surroundings are an additional bonus. I always try and capture the essence of the model in camera and only touch up the images a little. This makes the models feel valued as human beings and this is really true not only to my style but to my personal values.

-What is your world-dominating goal?

My goal is to travel the world as a photographer, shooting in the most picturesque locations with the world’s most stunning models. I want to be a well recognised Australian photographer, who is known for developing visually flawless images and capturing the model in her natural form.