feature: the photographer with a stylish edge

It’s not everyday you find someone who looks good both behind and in front of the camera. And good looks is just one of the many things Pamela Carriere, Torontonian portrait photographer, graces us with.

This feature is both the opportunity to share a great fall outfit with you, and the chance to introduce someone who helps me capture some of my outfit shots on the blog. Though usually taken on my little iPhone, Pam still manages to find an angle that will make the shot blog-acceptable despite the crappy smartphone quality.

Ever since I met Pam in May, I always found her sense of style to be simple, edgy, and eye-catching all at once. The other day, she displayed this unique sense of fashion with yet another outfit:
DSC_2003Outfit details are as follows –

Jacket: H&M

Jumpsuit: Oak & Fort (similar here)

Bag: Alexander Wang x HM (stay tuned for Balmain x HM coming up!)

Booties: Michael Kors (found here)

It’s true, not everyone can pull off a monochrome outfit. You can either do it so wrong (black shirt, white pants), or so right. Here we can see the perfect balance between black and white. You can find more of Pam’s looks (and lifestyle shenanigans) on her Instagram.

As mentioned, Pam is also a professional photographer. Though currently working in retail, she still manages to find time to pursue her real passion. Having had the opportunity to chat with her on this topic, she was able to answer a few questions about photography to show some perspective on how it really is.

When did you start photography?

I started it as a hobby when i was about 15. I became fascinated with the idea of being able to freeze a moment in time. A photograph is a reflection of a photographer’s creativity, emotion, and passion, which I find to be incredibly inspiring.

What sparked your passion?

At a young age, I became familiar of the work of Annie Leibovitz. I became enthralled with her strong images and portraits. I love how as a spectator of her images, especially her portraits of people unknown to me, I can pull many ideas and questions from what she has chosen to capture. I then had a dream to photograph people and to create emotion from my images to my viewers.a day in the life of a parisian

A significant memory that sparked my passion was during my trip to Paris in 2008. I saw a woman sitting in a cafe alone. Her sartorial choices are what I was first drawn to. She wore bright colored clothing that made her stand out. Then I began to look at her face. She had a face that I will never forget. Her eyebrows were painted red. This woman was extremely eclectic and something about her I was drawn to. I needed to capture her.

Education History:

George Brown: 2006-2008 Continuing Education in Photography

OCADU: 2010-2014 BFA in Photography

What was your biggest challenge along the way?

That would definitely be completing my first year at OCAD University. At OCADU, your first year, you are required to create art of all mediums; painting, drawing, sculpture, woodwork…any and all forms of art. None of which I have practiced or have any particular talent in. This was extremely stressful and difficult for me. But after years and years of dreaming about being an OCADU student, I knew I had to push through and just get everything done with great effort, hard work and confidence. At times I can honestly say that I has questioned why I was there when I felt I wasn’t good enough in some areas of the art world and a few times, I thought about leaving the institution. But I told myself that I was there for a reason and that I had to believe in my unknown and undiscovered capabilities.

Favourite moment from your photography journey:

Two moments in particular stick out to me.

1. Dedicating my thesis to my parents. I created a visual storyline of my parents and the story of how they met. My mother coming from Colombia, South America, and my father being a Catholic Priest in Canada. This series was entitled “We are Called” 2013-2014

2. I am an artist working in a collective at Jimmy Chiale’s 416 Gallery. I paid a visit to the gallery and a a gallery visitor asked to see my work. After giving him an analytical and conceptual description of my framed image, I saw him begin to cry. He explained that he was moved by the image and that he could relate to the image and it’s significance to someone in his own life. This to me was an incredibly special moment.

What advice would you give to an aspiring photographer?

Shoot everyday. Whenever you feel a special moment, take advantage of your artistic talent and capture it!

Defend your work. People will always critique and challenge what they see in your imagery. Be proud of what you have photographically illustrated and stand behind your reasons.

Show your work! You will be proud when you see spectators taking in what you have chosen to capture. This is also perfect opportunity for exposure.

Meet other photographers and artists. Get them to see your work. Ask them questions. They are a great source of inspiration and creativity.

DSC_2001One of Pam’s current projects includes the breast cancer journey of her aunt, Liliana, in Colombia. Though not completely surrounding her photography, it is still a beautiful project worth taking a look at, to see how a family gets together from far and wide to support a loved one. You can see it here.

The rest of Pamela Carriere’s photography portfolio can be viewed on tumblr here. There are images including her professional photography on her Nikon camera, and leisure photos taken on smartphones. Both could be viewed on Instagram by looking at the #pamelacarriere hashtag.

If you are interested in attending a gallery show featuring Pam’s work, you can do so on October 23rd at the 416GALLERY in Toronto. Located on 404 Queen St East, the show will start at 6:00pm, and you will be able to view and purchase Pam’s piece.

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