Interview with Dominic Clarke

We find our hearts lost in a cloud of awe for these tender images drenched in a gentle type of beauty. Dominic Clarke captures softly spoken images that reveal candid and playful moments between model and photographer. Set against simple backdrops of nature and homely spaces undisrupted by modern life, there is something truly inviting to his work.  It’s sweet, it’s delicate, and it’s filled with grain that any analogue lover would absolutely swoon for. Contained in these images is a type of magic that only Dominic has, and we’re completely in love with this magic.
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Tell us a bit about yourself. I live in London, there is a nature park just behind my house. I started taking pictures of two girls there, Marianna and Selina and I guess that’s sort of how it started.
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What has inspired you creatively to be where you are today? Of course there are a handful of artists and photographers that have inspired me over the years. Although what inspired me five years ago is probably not what I look to now. One artist that I have looked at all this time is Christopher Doyle, he shot my favourite film, I even wrote a song about it called 2046.
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You’ve recently filmed a piece for Wonderland Tv with Prada. Tell us a bit about this experience? I played guitar while waiting for Sophie and Seona to arrive. During hair and make-up me and Fran had to come up with the story. I didn’t want the film to be too long so we shot a lot of little fragments that I could cut fast. I was chatting to Sophie about films and acting which helped a lot. I think no one really knew how it would all turn out because I wanted to use 3D Gifs. Now you can see how it ended up.
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Is there an underlying mood or message in your imagery that you consistently aim to convey to the viewer? I always like a relaxed mood, spontaneity and charm as well. Like the fun and quirky scenes in blue valentine or the dreamers. The scene where the girl’s hair suddenly catches fire – that is my favourite scene ever, it wasn’t scripted.
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For some time now you’ve been shooting fashion films. What inspired you to enter this new realm? I watch a lot of films and I’ve shot a couple of ‘studanty’ short films. Fashion film is another way to create with character, moods, stories etc and perhaps it has the potential to be even more engaging than stills… sometimes.
Untitled-9 crop x 2Do you find it more difficult to translate your ideas into film than photography? It is [more difficult], but maybe it shouldn’t be. It gets easier over time I think. I have think about it as a little movie scene instead of a picture.
To this day do you ever find yourself getting nervous for a shoot? Most of the time yes. Just because you never really know what’s going to happen.
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Your images are so sweetly natural and capture some wonderful carefree poses. What is your process to get these candid poses? Thank you! We often have to become close friends on the spot. The camera is just something to have fun with and we shoot rolls of film so we are forced to use our eyes and imaginations more.
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How do photo shoot ideas evolve for you? I think over time I build up a list of things I want to try, as a result of getting inspiration from some old picture or place for example. Sometimes the initial idea will be almost the same but with different people, different energies, reacting to things differently and that’s how it evolves I guess.
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How did it all begin? Were you ever trained in photography? I went to university, the course was called photographic arts. They should have called it contemporary conceptual photography and academic writing.
What do you think is beautiful? There are so many things. It’s almost spring here so nature will start to show how beautiful it is. And of course the girls that let me photograph them are the most beautiful.
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What is on the horizon for Dominic’s future? More of the same I guess. Maybe there is an editorial coming out soon that I love the most.Maybe there will be a music video for a band I really like. That stuff is a little fragile, but one thing I’m pretty sure of is that I’ll release a little film I made in collaboration with an actress and writer that I’ve known for over a decade.
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