Interview With Photographer, Alexandra Cameron


Today I am lucky enough to talk to possibly my favourite photographer, of all time. Her evocative photographs seem to speak to me in a way that words just can’t. She manages to strip emotions bare, and very openly delivers the truth in her work. Her portfolio has been so unique, a personal favourite, was a self portraiture project named 365, whereby she took a self portraiture each day of the year. What was particularly poignant was her relationship with nature, and the way that changes with the seasons. The whole collection was thought provoking and beautiful in equal measures. She  also has a fantastic portfolio of fashion photography and commission work which I would urge people to look at.  Her life is spent capturing beauty, in it’s many forms, and delivering it in her own unique way. Her name is Alexandra Cameron.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: Hi Alexandra first of all can you introduce yourself to my readers.

Alexandra: Hi all, I’m Alexandra Cameron, I’m a photographer and videographer from the South East of England.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: Where did you get your inspiration to do photography?

Alexandra: I think what inspired me to pick up a camera to begin with was my father. He is a man of many interests, something that created a rich upbringing for us all, as it gave us knowledge and enjoyment of film, music, technology and photography as well as a keen curiosity for life. I think my siblings and I all have an inquisitive nature about us, and it was seeing his old film prints and his, then, modern camera equipment that encouraged me to have a go! In fact all my siblings have interests and careers that were inspired by my father, music, travel, history, writing… My siblings inspire me now just as much as my father. Once I started university however my inspiration also started to come from online, from sites such as Deviant Art and Flickr. That’s when I really started to have fun with it.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: Did you always want to be a photographer?

Alexandra: No not at all! At a young age I wanted to act, in fact I would have done anything to have done that, I was a confident tomboy who was very theatrical, loved the outdoors and climbing trees, as well as creating stories – whether in my head or acting out for an audience. Later at school I became very interested in Art as a whole, though admittedly photography didn’t occur to me until college where I dabbled in photography at AS. But this was analogue photography, and I grew tired of how long the process was (though I did enjoy the dark room). I switched halfway through to Video Production having had close friends on the course being able to see how fascinating it all was, and as my knowledge (and collection) of films grew, so did my ambition for it. I then studied film at university, something I greatly attribute to my process and style of photography today.

I graduated having played around with photography throughout my time at Uni and after graduating I decided to go for it; that was when I absolutely knew it was what I wanted to do (encouraged by some, most notably my older sister who had caught on to my ability and almost predicted my future). I knew I always wanted a camera to be in my hand, to be able to capture as much as possible around me and document it all. After a while I couldn’t look around without seeing the world through the eyes of a lens or a frame, it was all just so beautiful!


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: What is your favourite style of photography?

Alexandra: I think what I appreciate most about where I am with my photography now is that I actually have no favourite genre. For a long time I would concentrate on one style at different times, to try and build something there or target that style…but I think what I realise now is that I love them all, and that’s no bad thing. Yes I could concentrate on just fashion – and maybe one day by building my skills in that area I can develop further than I am now – but to be honest, I don’t just want to be a ‘fashion’ photographer. I love documentary just as much, and self portraiture, and live music photography, and weddings! I see now that I am, fundamentally, a photographer, what drives me is life,; I want to capture it all, every moment I can, and that comes in many forms, styles and genres… But hey, look at Annie Lebowitz, she has successfully crossed over all genres in her career and mastered them all, they are all her, you can see her soul in each shot regardless of genre, so if I can even have a tenth of what she’s got going on I’ll be happy 🙂


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: What has been your favourite concept for a shoot, and where did you get the inspiration from?

Alexandra: My shoots aren’t really to strongly conceptually driven to be honest, there is no wild and wonderful make believe story behind them… As I said I am inspired by life – mostly its simplicities. I love light, that drives me, but I also love the different stages of nature: the trees, the fields, the natural colours of flowers, the dull of dried grass and the fall of blossom. I like the messy beautiful, I like the in-between, the reality, and mostly that’s what I want to capture.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

I guess if I had to choose a concept loosely I like the 60’s era. I like the relaxed style, the muted tones and the freedom; I think that’s why, when it comes to my fashion photography, I come  back to that theme a lot. On that note, actually, I guess my favourite concept to date has probably been the Virgin Suicides editorial. It combined all my favourite things: vintage, 60’s, sisters, outdoors, fragility, light and Sophia Coppola! 🙂


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: Which has been your most successful shoot, and why?

Alexandra: I think whichever my last one was is my most successful, ‘cause each time I try and better myself, and become more familiar with a regular and brilliant team! My most recent, which has yet to be released, would be up there probably, which was a ‘free love’ editorial. I was especially happy with the result: the models were perfect, the team was brilliant, and the location was exciting…for me anyway, lol.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: What is your process from the idea to the finished product?

Alexandra: My ideas come from everywhere, usually something small…like a style (for example I’m planning an editorial with a twist on the Elizabethan style of clothing with big skirts and corsets) or a location or a film I’ve seen that inspires me. I then contact a team to see if they’re up for it, and they’re free, and then I send them ideas/mood boards. Then I’ll source the models and we’re off! Of course there is a lot more stress involved, in fact I find arranging editorials is the most stressful thing I do as a photographer; so much can go wrong… But in the end I am always glad I’ve done it and happy with the results.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: You seem to have an affinity with light, what is it that fascinates you about it?

Alexandra: What is it that doesn’t! Light feeds me, it makes me feel alive, like the world is telling me a secret, and a lot of the time it’s something that so many people don’t notice – I feel lucky to see it, really see it, and find it so beautiful. I know I’m not unique in this, in fact I think it is the gift of many photographers to truly see the light and soak it in, to capture it and play with it. It’s funny, now you ask, I’m not sure I could properly explain why it is I am fascinated by light… I guess it’s just the purest thing, and without light we would have nothing. Photography would certainly not exist, but then nothing would. All forms of art exist or at least are centrally driven by light (photography/film/painting), and it almost helps the artist breath!


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: Do you therefore prefer outdoor to indoor shoots?

Alexandra: A year or so ago I would have said absolutely yes, but no I wouldn’t say that now at all. The light that can be found indoors can be just as stunning; so much depth to can be found. The light that escapes through window and doors can create the most amazing display, and never ceases to amaze me. That’s probably what’s changed my direction slightly in the last couple of years; I now crave wild and wonderful locations that are truly unique, ones that hold beautiful light, from big halls to little nooks and crannies where the light plays and is begging to be used. So indoor are now on par with outdoor locations for me, I love it all! Being outside in the cool breeze as the sun goes down on the horizon as you take shots in a haybale-filled field is equally as inspiring as a beautiful period mansion where the sun shines sparkling light on old wooden floorboards.

58779_10151022836226152_123805614_n    385093_10150449350796152_644705606_n

                Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: How important is make-up and hair styling, to the overall success of a photograph?

Alexandra: Very, and it’s something I took for granted when I started. I thought I could do it all, and to an extent I could but I would only ever produce sub-par results in that area. Having a team around you who know what they’re doing, who are masters in their fields and can execute the ideas from their heads and your own is imperative.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: Equally, I love your use of props. Your ‘balloon’ photos are iconic. What has been your favourite prop?

Alexandra: Yeah the balloons might still be a favourite. I’m still a child inside really, and things like balloons, dens, lanterns, bubbles, and so on will always be on my mind to use. Another favourite was using the feathers, something I plan to do again very soon. Anything that can be both visually pleasing and muster up feelings and memories is always good in my book. Oooh books, that’s another I plan to do soon; a shoot using lots and lots of books 🙂


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: Do you look for something specific in your models?

Alexandra: I look for something real. If they can almost forget the camera, if they move fluidly and without care, in a real way, not in a forced or overly posed way, then they’re winners in my book. It’s always about what they reveal to the camera! Though I do also have a love of long hair and big brows 🙂


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: Do you prefer self portraiture to using models, in terms of fully conveying a certain feeling or emotion?

Alexandra: Well in terms of that probably yes. I mean my preference will always be models or a subject other than myself naturally– I am not my first choice, ever! – but, I guess in terms of conveying an emotion, that’s trickier; I guess I will always know how to communicate that feeling. Emotions are a tough one to explain or describe to someone else, and even if you can they might not be able to relate, so using myself is usually a much better process when I have a strong emotional drive in mind. However I think it’s the argument of what comes first, the idea or the emotion, and for me and my self portraiture, my emotion drives it, it’s usually in the most emotional times of my life that I take the most self portraits… It is my therapy! Going out on your own with your camera in hand to a location that reflects your mood: it’s what helps me, and I guess the image will always reflect whatever emotion I was feeling at the time. The emotion comes first always.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: In your self portraiture, there is a unique quality to them, a real beauty because of their raw truth. Do you ever feel vulnerable that you are opening yourself up so much?

Alexandra: Yes, yes and yes. I think that’s what I like most about the idea of self portraiture though, because you have the artist first hand, they are able to communicate what they are feeling in the most raw form. And yeah it’s scary as hell! In fact since starting doing self portraits I don’t go very long before I hear comments made to me about them, people taking the piss and making jokes about why I do it and my motivations for it. Narcissism is a common one to come up regarding self portraiture, being vain etc… Well of course it’s bollocks. I mean, those who do it are artists, so there is some fascination in being able to have full ownership of a photo, to create it in its entirety, so in a small way there is some gratification in seeing yourself as the subject in your photo because you know you’re controlling all of it, everything you want to say, all the emotion and thought in your head, because it’s you! (Think about Van Gogh, his SP’s are some of his most honest and beautiful work). But, it’s that that drives it, not because the photographer thinks they’re beautiful, or especially interesting, or worth capturing; it’s because it allows them to say everything they need to. I mean, you wouldn’t judge a singer/songwriter for writing a song about themself would you, doesn’t make them narcissistic, it’s just their way of creating art! And as I said before, it is the best therapy. I have not, to this day, found another thing better for my mind than to escape on my own and take photos… No one around, just me and the light, I can say whatever I want with what I capture, and it is very important to me, and regardless of what people say I don’t think I’ll ever stop. But yes, there will always be fear when I open up like that or put myself out there, especially as my self portraits are often about my vulnerabilities.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: You occasionally work in black and white in self portraiture, what is the reasoning behind it?

Alexandra: I guess because to me it seems more raw. It adds a touch of the documentary style of photography that I love as well, but mostly because it communicates a real message… at least, to me. Not every time of course, I love colour, but when you strip back all of that, a black and white image can really only leave the emotion.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: Which has been your most important self portraiture photograph to you and why?

Alexandra: A read this question an hour ago and I still don’t know what to say…I guess it would have to be Vulnerable. It said everything I felt at the time, and it took a huge amount to do it and post it. The description in the photo says it all. It was one of the hardest times of my life, I was broken I guess, stripped and raw, and I think I got that in the photo…


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: What is your most treasured photograph in the world, either taken by you or not, and why?

Alexandra: Holy crap that’s a hard question, I just don’t think I could answer it! So many my father has taken probably! I am a very nostalgic person, I’ll always treasure his amazing ability to document our childhood. There is one photos we have on the fridge, it’s of our friend James who died after a car accident my brother and I were also involved in. It’s the last photo taken of him alive…that one will always be important to me.

Beauty Addict: You have diversified into film, what can we expect?

Alexandra: More music videos I hope, it’s the combination of all the things I’m passionate about, so watch this space 🙂

Beauty Addict: How different was recording movement, to capturing a fleeting moment in your photography?

Alexandra: Having studied film, I feel natural doing it, but because it’s been years since I practiced it. It’s certainly harder at this point, but there have been new ways to capture things, and it has been incredibly fun and inspiring.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: Did you enjoy the project?

Alexandra: I wouldn’t say it’s a project, it will hopefully be a big part of my life and career now, launching the new business soon 😉

Beauty Addict: Do you like to collaborate on projects, or do you prefer to create your art work by yourself?

Alexandra: I like to do both equally and in different ways. Confidence comes from entering a project with another person, you know you’re not alone in your ambition or excitement, and with the energy of more people it usually culminates in something above what you imagined! At the same time, my self portraiture is something I have to do alone; it’s very personal as I mentioned above, and important for me to vent when alone from beginning to end.

Beauty Addict: If you had to describe yourself in three words what would they be?

Alexandra: Emotional. Emotional. Emotional.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: What’s next for you in Alex Land, where do you want to be in five years?

Alexandra: I want to feel alive; whatever that means at the time, wherever that takes me, I hope I end up I feel alive with what I’m doing. (Being successful while doing it wouldn’t hurt though)


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Beauty Addict: Lastly, I ask this question to everyone, what is your definition of beauty?

Alexandra: Being real, being honest, being raw, and being comfortable and accepting of yourself.


Photo Credit: Copyright of Alexandra Cameron

Thank you so much for agreeing to answer these questions, you have given such beautiful and interesting replies. This new era in your career sounds so exciting, and your new work will be eagerly anticipated. Please come back and talk to us again and let us know how you are doing. Until then wishing you all the best for the future.


If anyone wants to look at Cameron’s work in more detail then you can look on her website, Facebook and Flickr and Tumblr accounts. Alternatively if you want to get in contact with Alexandra about possible commissions, follow one of the links below.


Follow Alexandra on Twitter @Alex_Cameron