Clare McEwen - Photographer of the Month - July '19
My name is Clare, I live in Oxfordshire, but am originally from Cornwall. I’m mum to a 7-year-old, and I’m an Epidemiology researcher.
I was pretty young when I first asked for a camera for my birthday, around 8 or 9, I guess. I’ve been snapping away merrily since then. My photos were mainly snaps of family, friends, holidays, birthdays, etc., all moment-catching images, but not very accomplished or creative. I got more serious about photography around my 40th birthday when I, yet again, asked for a camera for my birthday. This time it was a serious camera, my first interchangeable lens system camera, a Sony A6000. Since then, I’ve read lots, practiced lots and, very gradually, started to improve.
What can you tell us about your entry, “Feed Me” in April’s Birds photo competition?
We went on a last minute day trip to Chessington World of Adventures one weekend and made a beeline for the zoo. The lorikeets were on fine form showing off and asking for food. I knew I wanted to try to get some pleasing bokeh in the background and the light shining through the leaves in the enclosure provided the perfect backdrop. I waited for a lorikeet to settle nearby and snapped a few shots to capture it demanding food!
Do you have any particular style of photography you specialise in?
I am yet to find one particular style I want to stick to. I love taking photos, so I take them of everything! I love taking photos of my son, of sports, of flowers, of landscapes, of animals and birds, of moments in time…..yep, everything! I’ve never been a fan of pigeon-holing things, so I guess that’s reflected in my inability to stick to one style!!
What do you enjoy about photography?
I love how it helps me see the little things in life, the single flower against a blue sky, the light catching a blade of grass. I love how it gets me out and about exploring the countryside. I can fit it in amongst my family and work commitments, and it’s absorbing and relaxing. I also love that my son enjoys taking photos too. And I’m beginning to enjoy the creative possibilities of post-processing.
Tell us about one of your projects
I’m just starting my first attempt at a project – it’s going to be based on the school run! We have a few miles to drive to get to our school and we’re lucky that much of it is through the countryside. As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time driving this route and decided that I could combine the school run with some photography. The aim is to take photos of anything I can within a couple of minutes’ walk of the school run route – there are lots of fields and footpaths, so I have plenty of scope throughout the seasons to capture loads of different things. I’ve only just started it, but I’m very excited about it. Last week I got a couple of good shots of poppies in the sun.
If you could offer one piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?
I very much consider myself a beginner, so don’t really feel I am in a position to offer any useful advice! However, I think it’s important to photograph what you want, in a style you want, and not feel pressured to photograph what others think you should photograph. If you like it, then it’s a good photo.
Where can you see my work?
I mostly post my photos on Instagram, and can be found here
Do you have any plans for the rest of 2019?
I plan to continue exploring the locale of the school run for my project and to generally annoy my family by making them pose a lot through the summer (same as I do through every other season!).