Rachael Durie’s work
The portraits were all done in camera, with no digital manipulation. The materials, which Durie was first introduced to through the dreamlike photographs of Margaret Lee, are medium format black and white photographs, which are printed onto lacey paper. Durie doesn’t like to add anything to the photographs beyond the glue, finishing and collaging process, which, to her, adds a “deeper element of permanence.”
Photo: Courtesy of the artist, Tamar Rahim Fine Art
Durie started her series with a focus on herself, but she eventually started taking portraits of family members and friends. She even took a few family portraits with her infant daughter; she feels that it was the first time she’d properly taken a picture of her daughter.
What’s the story behind her new clothes?
“Right after school I tried my hand at styling. I wasn’t successful at it. I always had bad hair and no one really liked it.”
I didn’t either. Then, through a friend, Durie got in touch with model agent Kira Giorno and got a job to model for Giorno at the Pearl District boutique Cooper Green Square. “She put me in these Vera Wang pieces. She was the person who saw my look in the Instagram.”
Durie’s Instagram page is filled with images from years of both past work as a model and other photos of herself. Her Instagram page is filled with images from years of both past work as a model and other photos of herself.
Durie has this bohemian aesthetic with a futuristic spin.
How does she do it?
I think it really helps that I work with my best friend (Schroeder) on this project, which means I’m really comfortable with the whole process. You always get a sense of what you’re getting yourself into when you work with a really good friend.
How do you balance your art and your work?
In general, I don’t worry about balancing the two. My work doesn’t really take a lot of time to produce, so it’s more about always putting my best foot forward. I’m just going to do what’s necessary to get the job done. I think it’s a good thing for me to be able to go back and look at my work and say, “Maybe I could’ve done that a little better, or that lighting choice might have been better.”
That goes for my friends, too.
What is the future of fashion photography?
I really love fashion photography. I think it’s exciting and it’s something to be excited about. I feel like it has a momentum about it that it’s been getting back to as a contemporary art form, even if it’s not such a big part of the mainstream fashion world. I think it’s just going to keep going and going and going and going. I mean, you can always take a step back and say, ‘Oh, OK. It’s just a really pretty picture,’ but I think if you try to hold onto that or think it’s something more than it is, you can ruin it. I think you have to be your own person and do what you want, what makes you happy and not what you think other people want.
You worked with Paris Hilton on her Calvin Klein campaign.
Like most photographers, Durie’s work is focused primarily on portraiture, but in the last few years, she’s had to shift her focus a bit, partly because of her busy life and partly because of the significant amount of portraits that she’s been commissioned to do. She finds that shooting fashion photographs has been a welcome challenge.
“It’s exciting to be able to step back and bring in some more of an artistic eye,” Durie says. “I just have a lot more freedom when I’m shooting something that’s not necessarily journalistic in nature.
“I just love the diversity of people and people’s emotions and struggles, and just the vibrancy of Portland,” she says. “There are some really amazing people in Portland that I think we don’t always recognize.
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