WOMEN OF NOTE:
Claudia Smith | Photographer
Nostalgia runs high through the photographic narratives of Australian photographer Claudia Smith. Evocative depictions of faces and places melt together under the setting sun. Limbs arch and curve beneath the weight of long shadows. Flower stems loom tall, balancing their buds precariously before they bloom. In her presence, sandy beaches, green meadows and white washed studios slip into uncharted territory, becoming spaces to explore the unknown. Currently based between Sydney and the Northern Rivers, Smith can usually be found travelling halfway around the world or lying by the sea — nevertheless always with her camera in tow. Failing that, she’s likely busy at work shooting a Deiji campaign. Here, we ask Claudia a few things from her bedroom in far north New South Wales.
Where are you from and where are you now?
I grew up in the Northern Rivers and was lucky enough to be able to return home for most of this year.
Can you describe the view from where you’re sitting?
I get a peep of Mum’s garden outside my window; I see a magnolia tree with creamy white flowers in bloom.
Are you a morning or evening person?
Definitely evening. My favourite time of day is just after the sun has set and the sky becomes a deep ultramarine blue.
A camera can often be found planted between your hands, what is your creative process like as a photographer?
I find each day can be different and that is an influential/positive thing for myself and my work. I enjoy watching and responding to things I see in their natural state.
What are some memorable places you’ve travelled to photograph?
The South Island of NZ and Paris.
Your photographs have an evocative and transportive language about them, what’s important to you in creating a timeless image?
I think it’s beautiful when you can capture an image that someone can transform or teleport into. I find emotional connections to photographs continue to be relevant, images I have come across and repeatedly go back to are images that have a really strong sense of feeling that I relate to. I think this emotional connection is something I am always looking to capture in my own work as well.
Where do you find inspiration?
I am constantly responding to the world around me. Reacting to new places, natural shapes in the environment, colour and other artists (both past and present).
What does the notion of home mean to you?
A place where I feel comfort and familiarity.
Where in your home do you spend most of your time?
Sitting at a desk while working or outside soaking up the sun.
Do you have any favourite recipes that you often return to?
Does avo on toast count?
What are you currently listening to?
Movements (Chapter III) by Leon Vynehall.
How do you stay grounded?
By being close to the sea and diving into it whenever I can.
What do you do to unwind?
Have a long soak in the bath.
Has there been a significant moment of your past that has informed where you are today?
There are so many waves of life that shape and challenge you. There are no highs without lows.
What do you dream of while you sleep?
If only I could remember…
Interviewed by Chloe Borich for Deiji Studio’s Field Notes