With her beautiful photo-blog and professional clients like Target, People Magazine, and FAO Schwartz, wanting to interview Rachel Devine about her inspirations and pins was a given. But since Rachel also happens to be an incredibly sweet person and interviewed Ben a while back, it’s high time we returned the favor, too. So thanks again Rachel, and hope all you pinners enjoy her stories.
Hi Rachel! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a commercial photographer in the children’s industry. I started my photography business in Los Angeles in 1995 and started photo-blogging on Flickr in 2004. My (Aussie) husband and I moved our little family to Australia three years ago so our three kids (Gemma, 6, and twins, Clover and Kieran, 2.5) could have the opportunity to grow up in Melbourne. We still have a home in California and while I would love to be in the States more often, there’s the little matter of a giant ocean between here and there. I love that digital photography and the nifty world wide web make it now possible for creatives to do business regardless of where they make their homes. I was sort of obsessed with the movie War Games as a kid, and to think we’ve actually made talking with people through a computer possible since then (let alone everything else)…blows my mind.
So obviously you’re passionate about photography, but what are some other things that really inspire you?
Travel is such a massive inspiration. That’s another reason we don’t get back to America more than a few times a year, there are just so many places we have yet to see! It’s amazing to me how every place I have been in the world has its own feeling…the light, the sounds, the scents…no two places have ever seemed the same. Yet if I find myself back somewhere I’ve been before, that distinctive feeling is right there even years later. I try to figure out what those elements are and capture them in my images so that all I have to do is look through my photographs to fully immerse myself in the memories.Books are another constant inspiration in my life. As much as I embrace technology, I can’t imagine a world without pen and paper. I’ve made friends with the Kindle, but it doesn’t excite me like going to the library or bookstore and actually turning pages. I’m pretty sure the boxes of my books took up most of our shipping container when we moved. And music…everyone has to have a personal soundtrack to their lives, right? I certainly have mine.
From your blog, you write about having a long love affair with film photography - what do you enjoy most about your job and what have been some of your favorite projects?
I love recording the simple beauty of daily life. I love helping people learn how to do that better for themselves as well. Currently, I’m wrapping up the final edits on a book I’m writing with another photographer, Peta Mazey, for Amphoto/Random House that will come out next year. Our book is a comprehensive guide to help regular people make the most of their fancy cameras and get inspired to photograph the world around them. We want people to be able to get their cameras to produce the images they already have in their heads. We teach classes on the same thing and I often blog photography tips, but just the idea of an actual book in an actual book store… It is easily the one project of my entire career that makes me most proud since it is based on my main photography principle holdover from my film days…mindful shooting and making each frame count. I shoot that way for my clients and for myself.Plus, you mostly photograph children so you’ve got to have a crazy story or two, right?
I think my craziest story is the about the cult-like group of fans that have grown up around my 6 year-old daughter. Apparently when the Twilight books came out, some people found my photos of my daughter, Gemma, on Flickr and decided that she was exactly the kid described by the author as the half-vampire daughter of the main characters. There were online petitions to get her cast in the movie, fan sites and YouTube channels dedicated to her. I still get fan email for her on a daily basis. We have yet to read the Twilight books, but Gemma did say to me this year when we couldn’t think of a costume for her school’s Book Week: “Why don’t I just go as that vampire kid everyone on the internet thinks I look like.”
Lastly, how do you use Pinterest?
I have big big big plans for my Pinterest boards. I’m thrilled to finally have an online way to collect all the little scraps of inspiration I previously just shoved into notebooks, rarely to be found again…at least not when I most NEED to find them. I’ve set Pinterest to be my home page for my browser so that it’s the first thing I see when I log on. I have boards for photography that inspires me, gear that I use, things I want for the kids, stuff to buy and so much more. I’m re-branding my photography and blogging identities this year and hope my designer can use Pinterest to get a better feel for what makes me tick. Besides being a way to immerse myself in total eye-candy, I’m excited to get inspiration for two projects that are personally important to me…moving the twins out of their cribs and giving them a proper bedroom, and setting up our front-yard urban farm. I have no idea how long it will take me to pull off either feat as they both seem pretty daunting, but I’m glad that I have a space to gather ideas, images and instructions.
Thanks so much Rachel! Can’t wait to see more of your pins.
all photos courtesy of Rachel Devine