ES: What inspired you to become a photographer?
Claire: I was quite shy as a kid and I guess that taking photographs was maybe a way for me to interact with my world. I loved taking close-ups of plants, but one I remember in particular was of dew on a spiders web...no macro lens so out of focus! I I guess it is a way of looking at the particularities in life and really seeing them.
ES: What is the most challenging thing about your art form?
Claire: For me the biggest challenge has been making the change to digital - there are so many options for shooting! Give me my Nikon FM2 any day. And it is so much more expensive equipment wise.
ES: What has photography taugh you about yourself?
Claire: I really enjoy being the observer and when I am behind the camera I am completely in the moment which is a good place to be (I seldom achieve that level of single minded focus in any other way).
ES: If you could collaborate or work with any artist in the world today, who would it be and why?
Claire: That’s a hard question to answer because there are so many. I have done a piece with my friend Lisa Nettelton who is the driving froce behind Molo Mimi (http://www.molomimi.com). I took a photo of an aloe and had it printed on fabric which she then worked over. Another friend casts plants in silver and makes jewellery out of them and also makes bigger pieces-we were going to explore our mutual love of the natural world and the effect it has on us. Unfortunately we just spent hours talking about it and it never happened. I love design so I guess what has come out of answering this question is that I would like to work with anyone who's work I admire to find common ground and create something unique that is an expression of who we are. Somehow the idea of working with someone who I know is more appealing than working with a world famous somebody. I think the intimacy would make for a more meaningful collaboration. Not that I'm opposed to the idea of working with anyone!
ES: If there’s one boundary or misconception you could knock down about photography, what would it be?
Claire: That anyone with a camera can be a photographer! It’s a good thing that digital has demystified photography but it’s also led to a lowering of the standard of some kinds of work because people decide they don't need a professional. Often they don’t have the technical understanding of, for example what different lenses do, and produce inferior pictures!