Renee got her start in the photography business from the other side of the camera – as a model. Now, her iconic photographic style that takes hours of expert photoshop compositing and retouching can be easily picked out of a crowd.
Renee teaches photography workshops around the world, and frequently travels to distant locations for long commercial shoots.
Here’s our interview with Renee, where she shares about her influences and how she’s gotten to where she is as a photographer.
Q. When did you feel like you finally made it as a photographer?
Renee: “I would say I’m still figuring it out, but every month my rent is paid by photos, so it’s a good start.”
“I have little moments when I’m by myself in the back of a cab in Los Angeles, on a train in Holland, or standing in a lush, damp forest somewhere new… and I say to myself ‘Hah! Didn’t see this coming,’ which is soon followed by a little happy dance.”
Q. It’s incredible how you create emotion, depth and intensity with your compositing techniques. Can you tell me how you developed this style?
Renee: “Influenced by a few too many hours clocked on video games, comic books, and fantasy novels. I’ve always looked up to painters and sketch artists but I’m not a great illustrator, so this is the closest I can get. It’s just hours practicing, and not being afraid to experiment (and fail) often.”
Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a photographer?
Renee: “The quote that sticks out most to me is, ‘if you quit art, it’ll be the worst 15 minutes of your life.’ Whenever things wear me out and I debate doing something else for a living, I remember that line and just keep going. To attempt and stop being a creator is to stop living life.”
Q. Whose work do you most admire?
Renee: “I’ve always been impressed with Von Wong and his ability to create such massive shoots with huge amounts of people. His determination and drive is amazingly impressive. He really lives his word and I find that pretty amazing. I’m also a massive Kirsty Mitchell and Bella Kotak fan. I love naturally lit, flowery photos with amazing costuming. It’s not how I choose to create, but it doesn’t stop me from appreciating it immensely.”
Check out this incredible interview with Renee on DP Review, about how she got into photography and what she draws her creative inspiration from. Renee is a great example of a photographer who has above many in her space, because she continues to work hard hard on clearly defining her unique style.
RSVP and join us April 7-8 to be a part of her class Creating Your Reality with Composite Photography and learn more about how Renee creates her astonishing images.