Claire Wolfe is a creative fashion photographer from Wellington, New Zealand. We were honoured when Claire agreed to completed a full Spotlight interview for Urbanity Chic so that we could share Claire’s experimental and stylistically appealing portfolio of work with you as well as giving her a chance to tell you a bit about herself and what she does. Read on to discover what she most enjoys photographing, who inspires her and what she’s hoping to achieve for the rest of 2011.
Q: Who are you called?
My name is Claire Wolfe Photography, pretty straight forward, I wanted to go with something so people would know my name personally so it wouldn’t be just a business name getting credit, people knew who the artist behind the image was.
Q: How did you get into professional photography?
I always was into creative things, but I could never find my medium of expressing my feelings or views on things. Even though I have always talked a lot I have always had the desire the wow someone without any words. I left school a year early after doing photography for a year and went straight into studying it. I looked around and decided on The Photo School in Kapiti. It totally suited the way I thought and communicated with things. From my first day there I knew it was the beginning of my journey into a profession.
Q: What do you enjoy most photographing?
What do I enjoy the most? I would have to say the freedom. You’re in control when you pick up the camera. It’s the paintbrush for the eyes. There is so much beauty you can capture and create and manipulate. Basically you have complete control over what the viewer sees in your image you can make it appear to be whatever you like!
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 wasn’t my best year. It was my last year of school. Photography was my best subject so I passed that with flying colors which had a good outcome! I was the winner of the Fiona Christeller Architects award and numerous merit certificates in photography. : ) I just realized after a lot of time wasting that school wasn’t for me and I’d rather leave and chase my passion. And it hasn’t been a regret!
Q: Who inspires you?
I have quite a number of inspiration. Some are Joey L, Mario Testino, Mariano Vivianco. All of them have inspiring stories and amazing ambition.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
I think the Alexander McQueen house still produces incredible stuff. I also love love love New Zealand designers such as Karen Walker, Lonely Hearts and Stolen Girlfriends Club, Ruby Boutique.
Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
A good photographer is someone who can communicate well with people. I have assisted a few photographers who have been absolutely horrid! How do you expect people to want to help you or model well for you if your being nasty!? But also in saying that you cant be too laid back because if you give the impression everything is sweet as you wont get anything done because everyone will be taking their good ole time. You have to have a good mix between being super happy and chill and also on to it and stern! But communication skills are key. And a smile :]
Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?
oh tough question! I love both. But definitely digital for convenience. Just don’t have the time these days to spend hours in a darkroom! But in saying that we just spend hours in lightroom! And photoshop! Im a bit of a technology fan. I love how things change and get better all the time so im definitely going to go with digital!
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! I love shooting in natural light. I think its just beautiful! I admit I do like to do some work in the studio but I would choose a great location anyday!
Q: Do you have an interesting stories about a particular photo shoot you’d like to share?
Yes! I first time I shot with a professional model from Clyne, I was doing a beach shoot and so many dilemmas! We got the car stuck in the sand and then it started to rain so the bit of wood we need to start a fire for the shoot wouldn’t light and we were stuck at the freezing beach for an hour! It was awful! haha
Q: Do you have a specific style of photography that makes you unique?
I love to shoot by natural light! A lot of other photographers do also but I think everyone is unqiue to an extent.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
Yes! This photo I took last year of my friend sitting in the bathtub covered in mud in a forest.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
I have so many. Kirsty Mitchell does amazing work. Joey L, Mario Testino, Rosie Hardy, Aaron K.! Heaps!
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?
Kate Moss would be amazing to shoot. If I could go back in time I would kill to work with Edie Sedgwick. I would love to work with all my favourite photographers. Would love to work with Annie Lebovitz.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Ah, fashion is an incredible tool. It’s a weapon of individualism. You can have every item the same as someone else but look totally different. I love that you can use fashion to express your style, show your interests, favorite colors, set trends. There is just so much to it. I love using it to accompany my images in being unique.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
I change quite a lot with my style. But I love to mix grungy, vintage type clothing. I love jewelry. I love wearing crosses and black is my favorite color. But I also love to pull on some tites and a big jumper and be lazy!
Q: Where are you based?
I am based in Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand. I am looking at moving to Auckland or Melborne in the next 1-2 years to kick off in the fashion industry in a big way :] hopefully.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Its small and quite. Not many people are into fashion or know/care much about the industry.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Working with Models from Clyne. Im just starting out so everything is super exciting.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
To graduate with top marks on everything and be offered amazing career opportunities.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Yoga, gyming, computing, sleepin J
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Judas – Lady Gaga, The Cateracts, Angel and Airwaves,
Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?
Haha atm while studying a lot of my time is taken up with the camera and in my spare time I like to gym and hang with friends and boyfriend to unwind.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?
try try try. Its not easy. You will be rejected soo many times. But then its awesome when you get your first feature in a magazine because they like your work! 😀 its really encouraging and gives you that motivation to keep trying.!
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
The idea. The idea of being big, and shooting for all the amazing things I want to shoot for, for the idea of one day seeing my image on the cover of vogue.! Being rich! Because this is something I really love doing and cant even imagine doing anything else its also the fear of failing that keeps you going your hardest.
Editor’s Note: Claire Wolfe’s work displays an avant garde and experimental edge to her shots which produces something both appealing and engaging, particularly due to her appreciation of natural light. We look forward to enjoying Clair Wolfe’s career grow as her stylish portfolio increases.
If you’d like to contact or see more of Claire Wolfe’s work, just follow the links below:
Tumblr link: http://clairewolfephotography.tumblr.com/
web page link: http://clairewolfephotography.blogspot.com/