Welcome Surrey based photographer and film professional Cara Poyntz to Shanahan Studio Session. Fashion, music and travel are the fuel to her creativity, capturing authentic female portraiture through film photography that tell a story and evoke emotion through lifestyle and fashion stories. Before stepping into photography she had studied and worked in the fashion industry which developed a greater understanding behind the scenes. Cara's inspiration comes from growing up in the Countryside with the contrast of urban city life in London.
How did you start out as a photographer and what age did you realise being a photographer is what you want to do for your career?
When I was in school I was naturally creative and academic subjects I wasn’t great at, with arts that’s where I felt the most comfortable in my skill set. I happened to fall in photography in my 2nd year of sixth form and that’s where I learnt about film photography, the dark room and iconic photographers. I honestly had no idea at that time how a photographer career path was even made. I went to university to study fashion business, but now I consider the two work hand in hand.
What was your path that led you to the job you have now?
There was no direct career path that led me completely into photography as such, but I actually became really inspired by the production of music video sets, and I navigated myself through this path, which later led me to my passion for film photography. Fashion, music and photography are everything to me!
Is there anyone in your family in the photography or creative industry?
Not at all, I had to navigate this entirely free fall. But even if I had, the business is constantly evolving in photography so I’m learning something new everyday.
What subjects interest you most photographically and why?
I primarily shoot women and fashion and I’d say it’s probably due to me being a female myself and also my fashion background and having studied in this subject in school and university. It just comes natural to me I’d say!
How old were you when you bought your first camera?
I can’t actually remember my exact age but I used to use disposable film cameras all the time!
What camera do you use?
I don’t just use one film camera, I use a variety for different shoots. But the brands I tend to go for are Canon, Nikon and Sony for the most part. I never spend crazy amounts on my film cameras.
What is Your favorite lens?
It depends what shoot I’m doing as it can differ. But my go to is 35mm and 50mm at the moment. I also like wide lenses a lot!
You grew up in the countryside, how has this influenced your work?
I would say it influences my work because I love to shoot with natural light, and lifestyle fashion photography. This might not have been the case if I grew up in London. But I’m really inspired and drawn to lifestyle imagery all the time.
Do you use studio or natural light?
Natural light always! Sometimes flash on camera, but 99% of the time natural light.
Whose work has influenced you most?
I couldn’t name one photographer as there are so many, but I’m inspired by other film photographers, or a location I see, a dream I’ve had that sparks my creativity and more!
What changes would you like to see in the fashion industry if you have any?
I’d love to see a sustainable fashion industry in the near future!
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
Location, styling, and having a story and great model can instantly change your work to another level.
What advice would you give anyone pursuing a career as a photographer?
Never give up if it’s your passion and continue to learn. I’m forever a learner!