Q & A: RACHEL STEWART PHOTOGRAPHER
Posted on 26 October 2016
You might have seen Rachel Stewart's work on instagram, promoting our lush country through various media outlets or framed and hanging on walls throughout New Zealand. Rachel is based in Papamoa but was born in raised in Tauranga and specialises in coastal and landscape photography.
The way Rachel depicts New Zealand through photography and her ability to capture the surreal landscape of this country through photography is captivating, awe-inspiring and down right stunning. Her passion of for the art is accompanied by grounding values and a driven attitude and we were lucky enough to ask Rachel a few questions about what's important to her.
Rachel is the perfect example of a hard working and passionate Kiwi who's love for the land echoes throughout her photographs. She's a master behind the lense but what we also love is the commitment she has towards hard work and staying inspired.
Q: As a photographer, you must have dedicated a lot of time to perfecting your craft and setting goals for your career. What to you are the key values in achieving your goals?
A: Well for me, a few of the main things that have helped include:
Setting realistic goals. As a career/life moves on, realise goals and set new ones, be intent on achieving them. Things may change and goals may have to change, but if there is something to strive towards it's always a positive I find. I feel that I am still only at the beginning of my photography journey and I am always trying to achieve goals and set new ones.
Believe in yourself. Sometimes it's hard to do this, but if you don't do it, no one else will.
Practice: even if it's just going out for an hour doing what you love and/or what makes you feel good. For me it's being with nature and taking photos. Every free moment I get, that's what I'm doing, always trying make gains in my ability.
Trends: I always try to keep up with what is happening in the industry, what is trending, where things are heading.
Never give up. Maybe a bit cliche (haha), but I do think it's very true. There will always be obstacles and things thrown in the way that aren't in the plan, but the key is to believe you can get through it no matter what.
Always trying to be a good human, keeping integrity and respecting others. Everyone is different, everyone has a different style and a different story. Some of my biggest inspirations are from people who's work is completely different to mine.
Q: How do you think growing up in New Zealand has influenced you as a person?
A: Our no frills kiwi way has definitely helped me to work hard and really appreciate the opportunities that come my way. I appreciate all the people in my life and am thankful to live in a country where we have the freedom to realise our dreams, and to bring up our children in that same environment.
Q: What makes you proud to call New Zealand home?
A: The people, and our beautiful landscape.
Q: What have your stand out moments in your career been so far?
A: Sponsorship with Lee filters and Manfrotto are definitely one of the highlights and my images being used by Pure NZ in one of their promotions overseas. As well as National tourism boards using my images to promote their areas both within NZ and overseas.
Q: What values are important to you in your work?
A: Integrity - I don't believe you will get anywhere without it. Honesty - so important . Hard work - be willing to put in the hard yards and the pay off is always rewarding.
Q: How do you de-stress after a hectic day?
Q: What females inspire you?
Sarah Hatton (photographer), Chrystal Hutchinson (photographer) , Sarah Jessica Parker (entrepreneur , actress) , Yoko Ono (pioneer for women in business imo), my girls.
Q: If you could give young women a piece of advice on pursuing a competitive career, what would it be?
A: To absolutely go for it and don't be afraid of anything. Career women are where it's at! Stay true to your values always.
Q: What is your favourite area in New Zealand to get out and explore?
A: Mount Cook in a heart beat, but there is so much I haven't yet explored! I can't wait to see more.
Q: What are three words you could use to describe NZ?
A: Fun, exciting and beautiful.