What is your background briefly?
I have a working background in horses, a passion I was born and will die with, an honours degree in Fine Art and currently work for myself as a full time artist. Seems like a strange combination, but I had been drawing horses long before I got to ride them and over they years the two evolved into one. I am very fortunate being able to combine two passions into very rewarding careers, seriously, I love what I do and that is key to a happy life. I’ve exhibited in numerous exhibitions and have work in private and public collections in Ireland, England, South Africa, China, United States and Australia and still enjoy plodding across the hills of Connemara where my life and career all started.
Does it seem like a logical background to what you do now?
Yes, absolutely. I come from a very creative family, as a child I spent most of my time on my grandparents farm where my love for animals and nature was nurtured. Our parents and grandparents were hard working and taught us life skills that didn’t require technology but an open mind and vision. Although I was one of the daughters that preferred to use a hammer and nails than a sewing machine or knitting needles, I still am a fidget and rather expressive with my hands. I loved the challenge of solving issues and being inventive, I was happy when my hands and mind were busy building, forming or shaping anything.
1 min pitch for what you are doing now?
I am busy working behind the scenes developing and launching my own brand range of giftware and house-ware products to the market. They are designed using my own illustrative artworks, some of which have developed from photographs I have taken over the years. The giftware range is a vision that has taken a year to nurture and grow as I had a lot of caveats when developing the products. They had to be eco friendly, reusable or recyclable and biodegradable. For me, plastic and waste was a huge issue and had to be eliminated or kept to the bare minimum if completely unavoidable. The first soft launch has finally gone to market and the feedback is fantastic, I have to reorder stock as I am close to being sold out. I’ve turned my photography into art and produced artworks on products that should bring a smile to everyone faces. A contribution of the sales profits will be fed back into animal charities I support, the first one will be The Donkey Sanctuary of Ireland. It was important for me that I could become financially philanthropic and support causes close to my heart.
What cameras do you use & why?
My first “serious” DSLR was a Canon 350D with kit lenses and what a super camera that was, some years later, I switched to Nikon and bought a D90 which is my going out to shoot printable photographs camera, but to be honest I am finding dslr’s bulky and cumbersome as I get older. My everyday in hand camera had been an iPhone 4,5 and 6, it became increasingly frustrating in terms of storage space and it’s incompatibility with anything other than Apple products. I was watching my son and husband taking shots with their Samsung phones and getting cracking results, they could edit, upload and download software or apps with ease, while Apple squeezed for more payments. I finally abandoned the Apple Cart and went for a Huawei P9 it has been a love affair since….although I would divorce it for a P20 Pro! I wouldn’t be one for fads, gadgets or gizmos, but I do have P20 Envy! At the end of the day photography is about the camera you have with you at the time and how you use it.
If money was no object what photographic gear would you like?
Oh boy, I would have a Hasselblad Medium format camera, I used one in college and fell in love, it would be a camera that really suits my style of shooting and be fun playing and experimenting with. A Nikon professional full frame for heading out the country with for scenery shots, a Fuji X series for in my handbag and the Huawei P20 for street shots. A good heavy duty tripod, camera rain gear and most importantly someone to carry it all for me!
How often do you shoot pictures, how soon do you know if it is a great shot?
I am ready to shoot all the time, my eyes and brain are always on and searching! I find versatility of the Huawei P9 to be my go to camera. The ease of being able to take images anywhere unobtrusively and not be weight down by a gear bag and kit is a sheer luxury when out and about. I love the fact the P9 is light and fits in my pocket or handbag, and I feel comforted knowing I have to option to shoot something when I see it without a moments hesitation.
My poor husband is often left talking to himself as I stop without warning whenever something catches my eye. I don’t document my food and beverages like some people seem to do on a night out, I leave that to the foodies. But a rule I try to stick with is one that I was taught years ago by a dear photographer and friend, you only have one shot left…make it count. Sometimes you know there and then when you have a great shot, other times it will only be on the computer screen during processing you realise you have something really special. I love to experiment and push the limits when it comes to my own work and I do what I love, not everyone else has to like it. After all like art it is subjective, my camera is a tool, like a sketch book it records a moment that I can go back and review and work on to make something special. Like some sketches they never see the light of day and are scrapped so to with my images.
Who are you inspirations?
I love such a wide variety of photographers and follow so many it’s difficult to list them without offending anyone I forget. Some pros I follow and love are Sebastian Weiss, https://www.le-blanc.com/ I love his use of structures and space, http://alanschaller.com/ for his street photography, https://www.richardbernabe.com/ for his nature photography. I have a long list…. It wouldn’t be right not to mention my brother http://www.trevordubberphotography.com/. Trevor is a great inspiration and moral support for me, he’s a great landscape photographer in my humble opinion and his company is something I treasure on our photography excursions. I am such a visual sponge, I can troll through so many images and take something away with me.
Do you follow anyone on Instagram / etc?
I follow lots on Instagram and Twitter, when time allows Facebook too, too many to mention and don’t want to upset someone I would accidentally leave out. I don’t follow a particular style or genre of photography, I like lots of different visual influencers in photography and art. All I can say is find what you like follow and enjoy, if it doesn’t do anything for you then you need to keep looking.
How can people find out more about you & your work?
They can check out my website www.racheldubber.com in recent years I concentrated more on my artwork and removed my photography from my website. However, I continue to post photos on on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
I think you got it all covered, thank you kindly for the interview and support. A couple of togs I would like to mention who field my questions and help me out when stuck and buddy up when out on shoots are @peterskeltonphoto my brother Trev @trevordubberphotography and @larrymorgan it’s important to have like minded support and a laugh when out, when it becomes too serious it’s no longer fun. My parting advice, find your passion and just do it!