1. You are based in New York City, however most of your subjects are very beautiful, far less urban environments. Where do you shoot? Does this pose a challenge, or is it nice to get away every once in a while?
It's true, I almost never shoot in the city, which is strange, as I've lived here for almost ten years. I'm not sure if it's because my every day environs become a bit mundane to me, or because I'm much more inspired by the space the county provides; I think it's likely the latter. I like to shoot in natural light, and I like the little narratives that are created when people come together for a weekend or holiday- I often shoot on down time during family gatherings. It's a nice distraction to make work while seeing family, and then when I come back to New York, I'm in edit mode.
2. It seems to be a bit of an expectation for photographers today to work in a "projects" format, elaborating on large scale themes followed by musky artist statements. Your work has a very distinctive style, but it does not follow that pattern, you seem to work in small sets of pictures -almost like vignettes or short stories. Do you have a philosophy or methodology when it comes to making your work?
This was always an issue for me- I spent many years trying to fit my work into specific projects, but the only one that was cohesive and successful was the portrait work I made of my mother a few years back. Small narratives are definitely my thing- I feel like I'm essentially making short stories in image form. I like how I sort of come across these narratives accidentally as I'm making them, and it's fun to put them together while editing and see what comes of it. Often a juxtaposition will create something I never expected while I was shooting. It was fun to put my new website together- I intentionally created groupings of images to play on the narrative streams that interest me most.
3. After following your blog and your work for a little while I can tell that you are not only interested in the act of taking pictures. You seem to be very involved in the photo community and enjoy the company of your fellow photographers in this crazy art world. Can you tell us a little more about your parallel interests and involvement in the photo/art world?
Yes, that is true- I love love being around, chatting with, and learning from other photographers. I think that started when I was working at ICP as sort of a glorified guidance counselor, and saw people's portfolios and points of views grow over time. It was wonderful to be able to offer any support to that process, and I continued that as a photo editor, hiring many of those same people for shoots. And again with the blog, I'm able to call attention to bodies of work that are unknown, or really exceptional talent.
This is a field where a lot of people work alone, and it's incredibly important to have a community to check in with.
4. What are you currently obsessed with?
Lobster, rihanna, key lime pie, Pure Komachi knives, chicken liver pate, lemons, chartreuse, ll bean duck boots, this picture by Brea Souders.
5. What's next for Rachel Hulin?
Who knows?! I need a real job, for one. Once I can pay the rent, I'll be freer to rule the world.