We love chatting with like-minded business folk who are smashing it in their field and always find it super inspiring and intriguing to listen to what they have to say about where they started, what floats their boat and what their average day looks like. Renee Rae is a photographer who provides us with some serious travel envy on the daily – her Instagram page, full of intriguing shots collected from all corners of the globe. Read on as we sit down and chat about humble beginnings, her favourite tools of the trade and the importance of investing in what you love.
Talk us through your journey to full-time photographer. Did you study or are you self-taught?
I’m mostly self-taught. I studied Media and half an Arts Degree, but decided I preferred learning by going out and experimenting. I’m not quite full-time photographer yet – I’ve worked a full-time job for the last few years to help fund some travel and chase the dream of becoming a full-time photographer.
Travel is a large part of your aesthetic, what advice would you give to budding travel photographers? Eg. How do you fund your trips or do you pitch to brands etc.
If you love it, invest in it. Do your research and travel to places that genuinely interest you. Creativity flows easy when you’re somewhere inspiring… and spend more time behind the lens than in front! I’m lucky to share a love of travel and photography with my partner (@timdavereed). We both work full-time jobs to self fund our trips but are lucky to be working with some really great brands this year!
Can you describe your creative style for us? And how did you reach such a strong aesthetic?
I love capturing simple, natural, everyday moments that might often be overlooked — a pot in a courtyard in Positano, an empty piece of rocky beach in the Algarve… I try to steer away from the typical and focus on finding a single point of interest amongst everyday scenes.
Your Instagram grid looks like a dream, how do you ensure consistency with your feed?
I use an app to help with organising my posts (Planoly). I’m pretty particular about how I put things together (it can be a blessing and a curse!). I try and avoid super bright colours or busy things (cities, lots of people shots, etc.) I really just focus on posting little moments that I love and will enjoy looking back on… I think that helps with consistency.
Do you set yourself restrictions with what you post? Eg. No food photos etc.
I don’t really set myself restrictions, I just focus on posting things I love and want to continually look back on… It just so happens I’d rather look back on a nice beach I’d visited over what I had for breakfast.
You recently worked with St Agni, how important is and how do you ensure the right brand alignment?
I love working with St. Agni! I adore everything Lara creates, so it’s just really enjoyable working with them! I think it’s really important to align yourself with brands you love and believe in – It’s the best way to showcase your own personal style.
What are your tools of the trade? Eg. Camera type, if using iPhone what filters, favourite way to edit etc.
Two trusty sidekicks – Sony a7III & a6300 (favourite lenses – 24-70mm & 70-200mm). I try to keep it pretty simple and just adjust exposure/contrast and add a light filter through VSCO. The way I edit really depends on each image and is forever changing.
What’s the favourite part of your role?
Right now, I’m loving the freedom to create and show what I like without many restrictions… and I love that every day can be so different!
Any other corners of the globe that you find particularly inspiring?
I’m in Spain (Mallorca) right now and I love it here. Each place I visit I find inspiring in different ways. It’s quite a slow, simple life here and lots of nature – that’s always inspiring. We’re heading to Norway in a couple of months also. I’m super excited to experience that!
Work highlights of this so far?
I recently shot St. Agni Resort 19’ Footwear Collection – it was a little taste of European Summer. I also had the pleasure of shooting at The Range in the Byron Bay hinterland for a lovely new label Joan & Olga (@joan.and.olga) and I have some really exciting highlights to come in Morocco next month.
Fast forward 5-years, what are your professional hopes/dreams/plans?
I’d love to keep shooting passion projects and working with brands that I really adore. I’m working on my website and have released a small portfolio (you can find it here – reneerae.com) which I hope to really build on. I’m really passionate about travel, interior design and fashion, so it would be ideal to combine the three really! There could be a print store in the works, also…
Where’s your next adventure?
I’m in Spain (Mallorca) currently and will be traveling for the next few months! So far, we’ve planned Portugal, Morocco, Greece, Croatia and Norway… so we’ll see how that goes!
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