Student Feature: Catharina Clarke


November 1, 2021

FEATURING: Catharina Clarke


Q: How did photography come to your life?

My journey started when I was about 14 years old. Where I started working had a camera, and I started watching what he was doing, and I ended up buying my own. 

So the camera kind of came with me everwhere I went: in nature, in the woods behind my house, around the house. It was pretty much my partner. Camping trips, my friends, my neighbours - nobody was free to get away from it. 

It became an adventure, and then I started sharing my photos and my joy of nature - hoping other people would see the joy that I had in nature, in horses, in people, in their animals, in life itself - in things they wouldn't expect to look at. 

Q: Why is photography important to you?

I think it's important to me, because I've lived a good section of my life as a caregiver and working full time with other companies, doing technical jobs - which I'm very good at (my father was very technical), but this was my dream.

Then COVID came, and mandatory retirement, and I made a decision... I had a conversation with my husband before he passed away, to follow my dream - to follow what was in my heart. And I'm going like "well this is my chance to do it now". 

Q: What do you love to take photos of?

Wild horses, of course! Also just nature... we have some hawks around where we live. I love birds, and have a passion for birds (that comes from my mother). But I'm finding I'm also taking a lot of photos of people.

Q: What is one learning you'd like to share?

One of the biggest things I learned is that I thought I knew enough to start. And when I took the Mastery course, I discovered there's a whole lot more that I didn't realize that I knew. And I may have known it and forgotten it. But it was so refreshing, and... cathartic.

I've picked up night photography... I would do it, but now I absolutely love it and am asking my friends "when can you come out next"!

Q: What's in your camera bag?

Currently I'm shooting primarily with my Nikon D750 and my Nikon D7200. My favourite lens, if you asked me a few months ago would have been my 70-300mm. Right now I'm absolutely loving working with my 35mm and my 85mm, but I still have my 150 - 600mm.

Q: ONE thing everyone should have in their camera bag is...

I would definitely say if you're starting off, and you need ONE thing... The nifty 50!

Q: Final thoughts?

If you're on the fence, take the jump. If this is something you're passionate about - seriously, stop thinking about it and start doing it. It doesn't matter what level you're at. It's a great experience, not only with the people you meet in the class. But Jana's hilarious and a laugh to work with.

It is, I think, the best thing I've done for myself in years. 

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