We were drawn to Alex's photographs for their immediacy, their honesty - and most of all, their depiction of women. We spoke to her to find out her motivations, and what draws her to sharing truth through photography.
How did you first get into photography?
I dabbled in photography as AS Level, but found film photography quite slow and couldn't quite connect to it. I switched to studying film and cinema and followed on to study it at uni. In my final year I got my first DSLR after becoming obsessed with photo sharing sites like Deviant Art and Flickr, the rest is kind of history! I just couldn't put my camera down, I just wanted to create beautiful images and it's still all I want to do.
Your photographs often feature very honest and raw representations of women – what makes this important to capture?
I think the underlining motivation in my life is sharing truth, the world can be so incredibly fake. When I was younger we didn’t have as much of a front as we can have now in the social media age. Back then it was about human interaction and there was less to hide behind. Since social media became a staple of life I think there is more and more of a sheen to life, and just as it was when I was younger, a glamourised perception of life is fed to us through general media. It just all seems so inauthentic.
I think there is the biggest power and impact in truth - sharing your truth and the stories of others. I think we have two really loud voices in the world right now: one that spreads truth, is pushing for women’s rights, are marching for black lives matters, gun control, positive body image, mental health, LGBTQ rights and acceptance, so many subjects that are rightly being discussed. But we unfortunately have this other side that is still perpetuating these fake ideals for their own agenda, to make money usually, or if is a singular person, to try and fit in or to be admired. I think the fake side needs to be broken down, it needs to understand that people don’t want to be manipulated, so if I can encourage any part of that I will.
There is so much beauty in truth, and although I love taking fairy-tale photos and beauty photos etc, I will always also share my truth and the truth of others, anything to encourage authenticity, to encourage acceptance, it gives me life, it gives me purpose.
What’s your usual creative process for taking a photo?
There isn’t one way I can describe how I work really, I take a lot of different kinds of photos. Some I plan, some I have a vague idea about and some I just turn up with a camera.
You often photograph Megs (@Wonderful_U) – how does a usual shoot day go with a friend?
It’s hard to describe a usual shoot because each one is very different for different purposes and outcomes. Usually with Megs we’ll have a vague idea of what we want and just go out with a camera.
What do you enjoy capturing most about people?
The moment their guard is down, the moment they are letting me and my camera capture who they really are. I shoot really quickly and just keep snapping, to catch moments where the subject isn’t trying too hard or thinking about looking a certain way. When I get a good caught moment of a person, I feel elated. I really celebrate vulnerability and fragility in people too, I think there is actually so much strength, and again, truth in that.
Is photography your main job?
Yes, I’ve been solely a photography freelancer for 2 years now - not very long really considering I’ve been a photographer for 8 years or so. I had a lot of part time jobs, I’ve done waitressing, worked in Blockbuster, for a solar company, a children’s nursery etc, and for a long time I was ashamed of that, having part time jobs along side photography. Now I’m proud I experienced other things. Photography is my job but it rarely, if ever, feels like a job.
What advice would you give to those starting out?
The main advice I give people who want to get into photography is to start a 365 project. It’s hard, but you’ll learn pretty quick if you love it, you’ll learn your favourite ways to take photos, you’ll explore different types and themes and start moulding your style. You can also pick up some lovely people who want to follow your journey along the way and maybe get some work out of it!
Alexandra Cameron is a professional photographer with experience in weddings, live and promotional band photography, actors headshots, product photography, events, fashion, lookbooks, beauty and self portraiture | www.alexandracameron.co.uk