Behind The Lens: Rachel Claire Field AKA @fieldnotes__
Work experience kid interviews his favourite photographers, next up - @fieldnotes__.
Hey, I'm Dexter Wright and I am doing my work experience at Pilerats. I am a small time photographer and love photography and those who are involved with it. I have reached out to a few of my favourite photographers and will be bringing you a new interview every week as part of a new series - Behind The Lens.
Rachel Claire Fields AKA @fieldnotes__ on Instagram is a travel photographer with a warm style that hooks you after the first shot. With the ability to capture delicate moments with random strangers in the streets on her travelling ventures, her photos make you feel as if you have known the people in her portraits your whole life. Hailing from our neck of the woods in Perth WA, Rachel is a big inspiration, and I sent her a few questions and asked for a few photos in return. Check out her responses and those photos down below.
Who put the first camera in your hands?
I think it was probably my mum or dad. They used to shoot family portraits on an old Minolta X300 when I was a kid – but it was my Grandfather that cultivated the passion. He’s an ex-military photographer and historian – travelling the world telling stories about World War II. He’s always been pretty happy that I’ve followed his line of work.
What camera are you currently messing with?
I’m often on the road, and shooting for long periods of time – so my kit is kept light and basic. I shoot with a 6D – Sigma 50mm 1.4 and and a Canon 28mm 1.4. I can’t tell you the amount of times people are taken aback by that setup. But I’ve never bought into the expensive equipment thing. I’ll use my equipment til it’s at the point of no return and then I’ll consider an upgrade. I feel it forces you to think outside the box when you’re working within boundaries – and it hasn’t failed me yet.
Your style of shooting is very natural and in the moment. How do you choose your locations?
Like many photographers before me, I’m inspired by nature – specifically wide, open spaces. The world has the potential to make you feel so big and then so small – and I’m always trying to catch that.
What’s the one shot that got away?
Oh gosh – there’s heaps. I think the one that haunts me is a portrait of an old Egyptian shepherd I took in Alexandria when I was travelling with my Grandfather. He’d nodded to say it was fine to take his portrait and snapped a few and moved on – afraid if I spent too much time he might change his mind. When I reviewed the shots later, he was slightly out of focus and I couldn’t believe I’d missed an opportunity like that. Funnily enough – it’s still one of my favourite photos. I think it represents a level of vulnerability that I you have to work with constantly when taking portraits of strangers.
Who is your biggest inspiration in photography?
There’s many, all for different reasons. Natalia Horinkova for her raw and heart-warming portraits of the world, Emilie Ristevski for pioneering what has become an entire movement for a certain level of travel photography and Ben Sasso for his incredible portraits and his refusal to play apart in any level of competitiveness that sometimes co-exists with creativity - his mantra “we’re all in this together” is simple but inspiring.
I know this is hard , but if you had to choose out of every photo you have ever taken, which would be your favourite?
It’s next to impossible to pick just one. So many have these little untold stories. But I think my favourite would have to be a shot of the Sphinx in Egypt – if only because – from far away - it feels as though it could be any era. Time stopped for a bit in that moment.
Dream subject/location to shoot?
Petra, Jordan. Or anywhere in the Middle-East for that matter. I’m fascinated by stories of Bedouins and gypsies in the deserts of the Middle-East. It won’t be a far off trip.
Do you listen to music while you edit? If so what album or band in particular?
Look, I feel it’s borderline embarrassing to admit that I’ve been listening to the Moana sountrack a lot lately – so I’m going to pick the second thing on my Spotify list and say Billie Eilish. I just discovered her. I also listen to Lime Cordiale regularly and Glass Animals help me to pretend it’s summer.
Do you prefer sunrise or sunset to shoot?
Sunrise. The same spot that’s usually packed at Sunset will more-often than not be empty at Sunrise. Only the truly committed (or crazy) rise before the sun. On the road – nearly every day is a sunrise start.
Any up and coming photographers we should be checking out?
Annie Lila Smith and Remy Bernhardt – I met these two by the most curious of circumstances and I love the unfiltered rawness and youth that embodies both of their work.