Nature Photographer Insider: Margot Carrera

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NATURE PHOTOGRAPHER INSIDER: MARGOT CARRERA

Known for capturing landscape scenery, flowers and wildlife, Margot became a photographer by way of her deep love for nature. Along with her nature photography decorating the walls of homes and offices across the country, it also inspires gifts and designs such as pillows, gift and note cards, tote bags, and beautiful women’s scarves and clothing accessories.



So what does it take to be a successful nature photographer? Listen to our Big Blend Radio discussion with Margot, and read her answers to our 10 Nature Photographer Insider Questions below.

What led you to become a nature photographer?
My abiding love and joy for being in Nature is what led me to study with a landscape photographer in college. Once I took one class I found that I not only liked taking pictures, but I also loved working in the darkroom. It was a quiet time of creativity. One could call it a Zen moment.  Now of course the darkroom and the chemicals are gone. Now I sit before a computer with my music playing and my photographs in front of me. I still try to recreate that Zen feeling.

Where are some of your favorite places to photograph?
The first that comes to mind is in Vienna Virginia, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens.  A friend of mine Mindy, took me there and we spent the whole day at this one location. There are 95 acres of ornamental display gardens, lakes, forests and beautiful meandering walking trails. Some of my best photographs come from there. 

Then there is Alaska with its rustic untouched natural beauty. And my third favorite place to photograph is La Jolla Cove in San Diego. It’s a magical place with its children’s pool beach where the California seals come to mate and raise their babies. It is also where the California brown pelicans nest. The ocean is alive there, you can feel the energy, and the sunsets are breathtaking.


Who or what inspires you?
Right now I am being inspired from within my own soul.  With global warming and more and more of our National Parks being invaded by industry and special interest, it inspires me to share the beauty and majesty of these sacred places, so that perhaps those who have forgotten just how beautiful this planet is may be reminded and moved to protect and to care for the planet with the love and respect it deserves. It is what sustains us. 

What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for being a successful nature photographer?
When I hike in nature, my goal is not to move through the forest or challenge my body, but to commune with nature. To take in the sights, smells, and sounds. I travel through very slowly. Following the light and seeing where it lands on a flower and illuminates its petals. When I hear the call of a bird, I slow down even more and  slowly reach for my camera to catch that robin resting on a branch. I am patient as I wait for that hummingbird to slow down long enough for me to take its picture. I tune into the energy of the moment and try to portray how it feels to see the sunlight filtering through the redwood trees where you can feel the peace and tranquility of the day. So I would say that I use all my senses fully when I go on a photo shoot.

Describe your ideal viewing audience and gift shop clients?
My clients are those individuals who want to be close to nature. Whether they are in the office or their home, they like to be reminded of their favorite beach, flower, or animal.  Photography is like a touch stone. You see a photograph and it is like you are immediately transported to your favorite place. My ideal viewing audience is anyone who has ever enjoyed being in nature. So I would say almost everyone.

What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career?
Art is changing.  It is not only for the walls today. You now have a company like Vida gathering artists from around the world to put art into fashion, including my photography. I place my art on pillows, jewelry, gift cards, scarves, purses, glass trays, and more. I also experiment on wall decor.  I print on photographic papers, metal, canvas, and wood.  Each background material gives a different quality to my art. My photography is always evolving.

What do you consider your biggest challenge in regards to nature photography?
With so many great quality cameras and cameras on phones, I have trouble with people seeing photography as an art form. I was classically trained so I understand exposure, depth of field, clarity, and composition. These skills are what differentiates an artist from an everyday point-and-shooter. 

The second thing is global warming. Twice I was scheduled to go on a photoshoot and had to cancel it due to wildfires. It weighs heavy on my heart.

If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be?
Ansel Adams, the father of landscape photography; Georgia O’Keeffe, a painter of large sensuous flowers; and Jesus, a great healer of minds, bodies, and souls.

If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose?
I would return to being a healer. There are so many people suffering.  I would like to help end suffering.

What is the most important tip you would pass on to someone getting started in nature photography?
Join a group of landscape photographers, take classes not only in photography but editing tools like Photoshop, Lightroom, Adobe, and Onone. Kelbyone.com is a great online classroom for photographers.  I’m sure there are more. These are just a few I have used. 

You can view more of Margot’s work at www.CarreraFineArt.com and visit her online store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/MargotCarrera.    

 


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