the world needs more truth
The photographs Alex Cameron takes are more than just beautiful. Whilst her striking images have made her a firm favourite with bloggers such as Zoella and Gemma Styles, Cameron’s true joy comes from capturing the unspoken realities of the people she’s shooting. She’s not afraid to portray the vulnerability and rawness of her subjects, and herself in her revealing self-portraits. Girls & Glory chat feminine identity, confidence and truth with the woman behind the lens.
What is the story behind your photography?
I dabbled in photography in my A Levels but found film photography quite slow and couldn't quite connect to it. I switched to studying film and cinema and followed on to study it at university, in my final year I got my first DSLR after becoming obsessed with photo sharing sites like Deviant Art and Flickr, the rest is kind of history! I just couldn't put my camera down, I just wanted to create beautiful images and it's still all I want to do.
What would you say you aim to achieve with your art?
I'm not sure I have an overall achievement when it comes to taking photos, other than taking photos that stir something in me. I adore all genres of photography, so I rarely stick to one, I don't just shoot portraits or weddings or fashion and I don't just shoot in one place. I truly am inspired by it all and by so many different types of photos. I guess I would love to just get better at it all and hopefully stir emotion in people along the way.
If there is one underlining inspiration it's just pure life: it fascinates me, as do people.
Tell me about the strong women that inspire you both personally and professionally.
So many people inspire me! In life, I would say Lena Dunham is near the top. I just hugely admire her, what she creates and what she isn't afraid to represent or express. I also hugely admire Cameron Crowe, his films capture the sweetest moments in life: the feeling of dancing in the rain, or feeling the dappled sun on your face in the summer. Professionally, I have to always mention two people - the first is Tim Walker, it's amazing how he can capture characters and stories that are displayed so naturally, so relatable even in their outlandish nature. The second is Nirrimi Hakanson. She just captures her life and she does it in a way that makes you want to pack your bags and begin an adventure, or revel in the warmth and beauty of home.
Your body confidence shoots aim to empower women on their own terms. Tell me about the process of shooting these. Does watching other women empower themselves empower you?
My amazing friend Laura Jane Williams started my journey shooting confidence shoots and I will forever be grateful to her. I suffer from low self-confidence and I think that women find they can trust me because they know i can relate to how they feel. They usual email me terrified to shoot, but knowing that that have to do something to help their self-esteem. It's so incredible to help them see how amazing they are, and it has certainly taught me that few people see just how beautiful they are and that they give themselves such a hard time. I've also seen first-hand that when they begin to trust me, that confidence is the most beautiful thing. It has helped me see the bigger picture, and I'm trying to adopt these wider views about myself.
As a female artist, does your identity play much into your art?
I grew up a tomboy, so I have a huge appreciation for men, as well as a majority male friendship base, however I do adore to explore femininity and both fragility and boldness in my photos. I think humans are complicated and as a woman, I can draw from my own experiences as a woman and try and represent and express that though photos. I think skin plays into it, which is probably obvious looking at my work. Women are beautiful, so is vulnerability and raw honest truth, if I get anywhere close to capturing that, then I'm very happy.
You’re not afraid to capture people in their raw and vulnerable moments, as well as their shining ones. Why is it so important to sometimes go behind the polished and posed “fashion” shot and tell a story?
I just really value truth in this world, in most ways I live my life by it. I think speaking of our lives, our worries and not being afraid to be honest about failure, or triumph, sadness or struggle and every emotion in between, is everything. I am fascinated by humans, the human condition, our complicated brains and interactions and relationships and stories. Truth to me is important and beautiful, so I will always be there if someone wants to be real in front of my camera.
We are fed perfection in every advertising campaign, and part of being a photographer is conforming to that otherwise you won't make a living, and we all need to eat, but if I get a chance to share something raw, well I will. The world needs more truth!
Describe what it’s like to be a “woman on the internet”.
Being a woman in the digital and social age is pretty exhausting, every day is an up and down. I think humans are inherently narcissistic, we all want validation so this makes being on the internet hard. I post photos in the hope people will like them, but this can get to a point when the response to a post will dictate what I upload which isn't really good. I wish I could feel the freedom to upload whatever I want - this is on me, of course - but I don't want to disappoint and I also don't want to lose followers. I think that worry is the hardest part.
I do think the positives out way the negatives though, I have met so, so many amazing people through the Internet and it’s still ongoing. I talk to people and make new connections every day! Also as a photographer the majority of clients find you on social media, so it's really a fantastic place full of opportunities.
How do you hope to keep growing and evolving, as a woman and an artist?
Gosh, I'm not sure, I've never been one to plan ahead or have goals, mostly I just want to take photos and make art and hope they reach people!