Indie Oxford Interview: Rachel Movitz
This week we catch up with Rachel Movitz, an awesome local photographer based in East Oxford. Rachel’s journey is really inspiring, and this year she’s looking to inspire the next generation of creative photographers. >>
Can you tell us how you became a photographer and where you got your love for photography from?
I have been captivated by the alchemy of photography since I was a teenager. After university I picked up my camera and went on an adventure across the world- I lived and travelled in Spain, Egypt, and Israel, East Africa, Central America, Thailand, Cambodia and India. I immersed myself in cultures from all over the globe, documenting incredible moments of life and humanity whilst living out of a backpack filled with film!
Upon returning to New York I earned my Masters degree at the prestigious School of Visual Arts in Manhattan before being awarded a Fulbright Travel Grant in Photography. The grant led me to a small town in India where I spent a year working on a documentary project.
I shot my first ever wedding in India for a dear friend; a stunningly beautiful ceremony that started something very special for me, and I haven’t looked back.
It’s like shooting an entire documentary project in a beautiful, fun filled day.
What aspect of your job do you find most exciting?
I’ve always been a people person-shooting weddings affords me the opportunity to travel often, meet the most amazing people and to experience an array of unique celebrations of love. I love the documentary aspect of wedding photography. At a wedding I can be a casual observer of all the emotion and adventure that unfolds. It’s like shooting an entire documentary project in a beautiful, fun filled day.
Which part of the wedding day do you enjoy photographing the most?
It’s hard to decide which part I enjoy the most because I really love the entire day! The excitement and intimacy of the bridal preparations, where it’s just the bride or groom and their close friends and family is very special. I also love to sneak off from the rest of the guests with the couple for their portrait shoot. Couples are so totally in love on their wedding day and it’s a wonderful way to capture their joy and happiness. Finally, I love the dancing photographs where I can get on the dance floor with the crowd and capture the celebrations!
Aside from weddings, if you could photograph anyone else, who would you love to be able to photograph?
I love portraiture and documentary photography. In addition to weddings I photograph people- I’d love to photograph other artists as well as portraits of dancers and yogis. So get in touch if you are looking for relaxed and natural portraits.
What advice would you give to any aspiring photographers?
If you want to become a wedding photographer the best advice I can give is to get on the job training and one on one mentoring. Even though I had worked as a photographer for many years before becoming a wedding photographer, I didn’t feel prepared to take on weddings on my own. So I worked as a second photographer for a year with another established photographer. I can tell you it was the best experience I could have hoped for and I felt fully prepared once I was confident to go it alone. Mentoring, especially one on one mentoring is also invaluable. Read below to find out why I think so…
Tell me about your plans for 2019.
Starting in February 2019 I will be offering one on one mentoring for aspiring photographers. Sessions will be tailored for individual needs and will cover the editing process and workflow, which camera equipment to purchase, building a website, marketing, and you’ll also get to second shoot with me at one of my weddings!
I’ll also be adding awesome portrait sessions in addition to my wedding photography.
Lastly, which are your favourite independent businesses in Oxford?
I prefer to shop at independent businesses and I’m lucky because Oxford has so many!
I’ve been practicing yoga since my first visit to India in 1999, so I am very happy that YogaVenue is just a short bicycle ride away- I keep up my practice with some wonderful teachers.
When I need a special treat or to buy a gift, Indigo is my go to shop. It’s the perfect place to indulge in a special piece of clothing or a luxurious fair trade item for my home.
Some of my other favourite independent businesses are Wild Honey and Uhuru for organic groceries, Oli’s Thai and Handle Bar Café for excellent food and atmosphere, and The Annie Sloan Shop for their amazing chalk paint.
We’re so please to have Rachel part of our indie Oxford community, and can’t wait to collaborate with her on some projects this year. Watch this space!
Check out Rachel’s Independent Oxford page for more information.
Love, Rosie xxx