Pacific Northwest Photographer |


Encouraging others and exploring oneself

Guest Feature: Claire Searle

Yes you can 

Claire Searle

Hi I’m Claire I live in a gorgeous coastal town in Australia with my Husband and Daughter. I’ve always loved photographs, the stories behind them and who took them. The way a single image can move you, change your mood and perspective. The photograph by Nick Ut ‘Napalm girl’ is one that has always stuck with me. So much raw emotion captured in the one frame. I want to always strive to capture emotion within my photography. 

I come from a family of educated people who all work for others and do ‘serious’ jobs. I followed their lead and became a Registered Nurse occasionally picking up my camera to document a gorgeous sunset but most of the time my camera was in the corner collecting dust not memories. 

Then I became a Mum, I got professional photos taken by a lovely lady and I thought this is it, this is where my heart is. 

I’m good at making relationships with people quickly. I Nurse people at their most vulnerable of times, sick babies and dying elderly. Something that you need to develop quickly with people in these raw and frightening times is trust. This skill is one that I think is the most important when taking photographs for someone. You jump into their life at such an intimate and special time only for a few hours, but to really capture the beautiful candid moments there needs to be trust. 

You also need to trust yourself. 

This is my biggest struggle when taking photographs. Doubt. I can remember for the majority of my first sessions getting home and looking at my RAW photos and crying because I’d done such a terrible job. My client was going to be so disappointed, but when I uploaded a sneak peek of their session they were always blown away. Hearing positive feedback on my work makes my heart skip a beat. I love my job.

I vividly remember the day I decided I would start my own business. I ran around the house talking to myself listing all the reasons why I wasn’t good enough. I was ridiculous in thinking that a single soul would ever pay me to take photos for them. But I did it, I made a Facebook page and told all my friends and family, and just like that I had jumped into the unknown world of photography.

The best part of being a photographer is you can always practice, I rarely go a day where I don’t take photos, I pester my Husband constantly to let me photograph him. My camera is always charged on the ready to quickly shoot a moment if it arises.

 Never underestimate the power of knowledge. I am a big fan of tutorials and learning. I think a large part of photography comes naturally to me but a lot of it needs to be learnt and practiced and practiced and practiced. 

So I beg you to have faith in yourself as a photographer and artist. You are good enough and you can do it, I believe in you.

Sami Costelow