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Photography Magazine

Guest Feature - Clara Molden

Life as a Celebrity Portrait Photographer


Early on in my career I learnt I wasn’t the first photographer to have thought of my camera as a passport. David Bailey, Steve McCurry and Nina Berman are a few of the notable names who have been quoted on the subject, and it is this concept which first got me hooked on portrait photography, and which has kept me addicted ever since.

For the last ten years I have had the pleasure and the privilege of working for national newspapers in the UK, photographing the many different kinds of people who appear in the British press. Typically I find out my subject’s identity at around 6pm each day, when my picture editor calls to brief me on the following day’s assignments. People not accustomed to newspaper life sometimes find this short notice surprising and bewildering but, for me, herein lies the joy. I can spend a typical Monday photographing a businessman, to then be told that on Tuesday I’ll have half an hour with Kevin Spacey, and on Wednesday I will photograph an Olympian in a boxing ring. By being a portrait photographer, I can also be a tourist in other people’s worlds, and through documenting that moment in their lives, I can learn more about my own.

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