Rachel Kara, Photographer
We are constantly inspired by photographer Rachel Kara. Whether it's her courage and determination to forge her own path, her gorgeous photos, or her optimism and sense of adventure, there's something formidably creative and courageous about her. Thanks for sharing your practice and thoughts with us, Rachel!
What do you do?
I take photos for people of people, their spaces, food, places, and all kinds of life moments.
Do you have a maxim that you live and work by?
I have never thought about that in a concise way so this is a good question! I always set out to be the most truthful version of myself. Which can be very practical in the way of how I shoot... not following trends, trusting my own eye and instincts, breaking what have been set as technical 'rules', not posting stuff on Instagram (just) for the likes. Down to the more feelsy stuff like interacting with other people and wanting to know their heart and in turn sharing my own. Not being afraid!
What are the three milestones that have led you to where you stand?
Dropping out of Uni. Making a call to a stranger, a photographer, to ask to assist them with zero understanding of what that would involve, and quitting my part-time job a few years ago to free fall into the freelance world.
Do you have a supportive female network in your field? Was it always this way?
Yes! It's not uncommon to get messages and comments of encouragement and support from women who are essentially 'competing' with me for work in this lifestyle realm. I think there's some amazing (female) talent in Sydney that I genuinely admire that makes passing work around an easy and natural thing. Though I don't believe it's this way in all fields... like when I occasionally work on set with film crews there is a noticeable lack of oestrogen, which I must say I don't always mind, but it can take a few hours to prove yourself and your capabilities, which sounds crazy but is real.
What are you listening to, reading, watching of late, that is inspiring or entertaining you?
Honest answer here won't be for everyone - but I've been reading this book that’s a collection of birth stories that are really cool. A little spiritual and very grounded in the fact that our bodies are made to complete the extraordinary task of birth.
What is your dream project?
To travel around the world for a year with a bunch of beautiful friends, laughing, eating, exploring, surfing, climbing mountains, diving in lakes, meeting locals, hearing peoples’ stories, eating some more and photographing the whole journey... and being paid to do so. Anything that involves spontaneity and freedom and time and new places really. And with like-minded clients!!
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I'm currently wrapping up most projects as I've been growing a baby and need a few weeks to complete that project – oh but in saying that I just thought of a still life series I'm going to start that may turn into a print series if I like it enough.
If you could choose to hear any female contemporary present at Make Nice, who would it be and why?
I don't really have a grip on whether Terry Gross is widely known or if she's just the hero of my podcast listening microcosm, but I'd love to hear her interviewing everyone who is presenting at Make Nice for the questions she asks, the perspective she brings and the personal information she manages to extract. As far as radio interviewing goes I don't think you can get any better than Terry! Actually, now that I'm thinking about who she talks to I guess she's kind of a big deal.
What is the best advice you’ve been given, or wish you had been told sooner?
I'm still waiting on someone to advise me on how to keep on top of tax matters that doesn't involve spreadsheets and weekly updates.
What is one facet of your field that you want to see change?
There is that whole arena of money in creative fields that I don't really want to get started on! Personally I'm in a place that I feel comfortable with negotiating and getting what is fair, but I see and hear of so many people still being crushed and not knowing how to speak out without fear of upsetting or losing clients.
Also, working for 'exposure' is really not a thing when your work is of a certain standard.