Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Conversation with Rachel Hulin

Cliff Divers, © Rachel Hulin

This week we have our conversation with photo blogging queen and co-creator of The Photography Post, Rachel Hulin.

David and Henry Get Dressed, © Rachel Hulin

Nymphoto: Tell us a little about yourself?

Rachel Hulin: I'm from Northeastern, Connecticut, which is the unpopular side, closer to Providence than New York, and seemingly populated with as many goats and cows as people. I spent my summers (eight in total) at an all-girls camp in Maine that my mother and her aunts had attended as well, where I learned an appreciation for the outdoors and riflery and lobsters and group singing.

I went to Providence for college, where I studied Art History, and then followed my friends to Brooklyn, and never left. Here I've been a graduate student, a photo editor, a photographer and a writer.

Grandma Has a Heat Lamp, © Rachel Hulin

NP: How did you discover photography?

RH: Somehow I convinced my parents to give me my grandfather's old Minolta SLR that he'd picked up abroad during the war. It was clunky and satisfying to play with and was just complicated enough that I could master it at ten-years-old and feel fantastically proud of myself. Photography just very quickly became my thing. There was one tiny camera shop in my town and I worked there through high school, hiding out in the darkroom and processing slide film (we saw some crazy images come out of that machine).

Jessica Smokes, © Rachel Hulin

I became the photo editor of my college newspaper the second day of school, and was the staff photography for the Department of Old World Art and Archaeology. I photographed many coins and had my own private darkroom there, it was amazing. I also took several classes at RISD.

Mom as Matador, © Rachel Hulin

Mom Disturbs the Birds, © Rachel Hulin

NP: Where do you find inspiration?

RH: Oh, mostly from other photographers, I suppose. I just love love looking at other work, there's always something new.

My own work is very narrative, and I get ideas from fiction. I've always been a big reader and love to write, so it's important to me that my images tell a story. If I'm ever on a weekend jaunt or a little out of my element it's a good time to make pictures; my normal routine isn't quite as inspiring as a new place, though I do sometimes make pictures of mundane things.

I also love the movies, and folks who keep you guessing but are super rich and visual, like David Lynch and Jim Jarmusch. Jarmusch's Dead Man just absolutely blew my mind when I saw it; it was rich and beautiful and heartbreaking and still.

Orange Crush, © Rachel Hulin

Owl and Diver, © Rachel Hulin

NP: How do your projects come about?

RH: Oh man, I'm always brainstorming and planning something. Sometimes commercial work will lead to personal work- I'm going to Mendoza, Argentina in April and hopefully will come back with a little of both. I keep making work because things keep happening, friends keep being interesting, and I keep carrying my camera around.

I don't plan distinct personal projects any more, per se, it's all sort of part of a whole at this point.

The Brat, © Rachel Hulin

The blog came out of the blog I wrote for a while for Photoshelter; I found it so gratifying to stay in touch with the photo community and I wanted to keep doing it. It's sort of evolved into a wackier thing than the original, newsier version, but I have fun with it. I really generally enjoy the interwebs, and want to keep doing things there.

I just launched The Photography Post with Danielle Swift and Kate Steciw, which has updating livefeeds, and we've gotten great feedback from it. I'm excited to see how we can make that more of a robust space in the coming months.

Sara and Sequin Light, © Rachel Hulin

NP: What’s next?

RH: I'm going to write a novel! Really.

Zack in Vina Haven, © Rachel Hulin

Thank you, Rachel!

For more information visit:
A Photography Blog
The Photography Post