Who are you and where are you from?
Barbara Rahal and my business is Barbara Rahal Photography. I am originally from Santiago Chile and based now in Edmonton AB.
How did you first get into photography & what keeps you shooting?
I was a student at the time and loved photography, I was always intrigued by my parents all images and plaque photos but I knew I will not have the money to pursue, so after school I would go and assist and help other artists and photographers. Little by little I took on small paid jobs here and there. I ended studying public relations, but my passion was always in photography, and I was constantly asking studios and other artist in the area if I could do help in any way and do anything for them until I started getting my own paid jobs and started a studio with other young talents. I did lots of trades like corporate portraits or shoot images for restaurants and clothing stores and they would pay me with their products at first. So I never really was in any other career, just photography. That is how I started. I’ve been doing this all my life. Shooting items for supermarket flyers, travel photography, sports photography, just anything and everything. My first fun gigs were rock concerts, you had to shot the first two songs and then you got kicked out of the press area and enjoy the rest of the concert.
To answer what keeps me shooting.
I truly love what I do, I have been photographing now for over 20 years and still amazes me that I get to freeze time, create moments, memories for so many amazing people and get to know about who they are, where they come from and so much more. It is just so powerful and empowering to capture life moments in time. To portray someone is amazingly powerful, imagine that photo will outlive us, will have future generations looking at it and have feelings and emotions while looking at it. I also get to travel a lot which as been always one of my passions, so I feel very fortunate to be the one who captures such important moments and memories in peoples lives. I love what I do and that it allows me to be constantly creating.
What or who are your photographic inspirations?
Well I was always very inspired by old paintings, sculptures and the old photography masters like Cartier Bresson, Jeanloup Sieff , Dorothea Lange, Annie Leibovitz , Joyce Tenneson, Helmut Newtow to name a few.
Do you have any favourite advice you’ve received?
To slow down and let the space, area or person I am working on or with, let open up and show me and offer what it can and has to offer…and to look for the less obvious angles.
Do you have any favourite piece of equipment that you own currently?
I have an old 50mm lens that I use for free lensing and it is right now my favorite along my 35mm
Is there a piece of equipment that you feel you need to complete your kit?
I would love add a small mirror less camera. My current gear is very simple, I have tried in the past two years to simplify myself and have gone back to the basics own a few bodies and shoot mostly with prime lenses and a speedlight .
What advice do you have for new photographers?
Practice, practice practice… I am still learning after over 20 years so the best I could say is learn your camera, learn your gear. There is no need to go out and buy the top of the line equipment if you do not know how to use it. Go little by little, rent lenses, test them, see how they can help you more in landscape, portraits, whatever you want to dedicate yourself to or your passion is set to, find the right glass for it. Shoot a lot, shoot your friends, and learn to get it right in camera. Value your time and work, even from the start and be kind to others.