Blogger profile: Sweet Bird Of Youth

April 14th, 2011 by Lucinda  |  Published in Features, Headline

With her warm smile, down-to-earth personality and relaxed style, it’s easy to like Rachel Kara. Possessing a keen photographic eye, her genuine love of photography shines through on her blog Sweet Bird Of Youth. Started in January 2009 as a way to organise and share her image inspirations, Sweet Bird Of Youth has been gaining a steady following ever since. Currently juggling her time between photography work, studies and blogging for cult swimwear label We Are Handsome as well as her own blog, it’s clear Rachel’s future is bright. We met up on a lazy Sunday afternoon to talk about inspirations, style and why she’s that girl hiding in the corner waiting to take your photo.

Why did you choose the name Sweet Bird Of Youth?

Sweet Bird Of Youth is the name of a Tennessee Williams play. I first heard about it because my mum was studying it and I thought the name had the right essence for my blog.

Describe your style:

Not fussy, simple, relaxed. I prefer to invest in basics and add difference with my accessories and small details. Lately style is becoming secondary to function: I’m getting a bit practical about things.

What wardrobe item can’t you live without?

My indigo Arnsdorf high-waist jeans and my white t-shirts.

How did you get interested in photography?

My interest started from a young age when I began documenting my family holidays. The older I got the more aware I became of how much I loved looking back at these photos and how important they were so started taking some of my own. I was about 8 or 9 and used disposable cameras to take pictures of my teddies posed in a tree, the view from my balcony, clouds, friends at school, things in my room. I’ve still got some of them actually, and they are terrible!

In high school I was obsessed with images. This progressed to the internet, blogs, websites, forums and a ridiculously expensive magazine habit. I would spend hours pouring over what everyone was creating and started to develop an idea of what did and didn’t appeal to me. It was only a couple of years ago that I suddenly realised I wanted to be the one creating. I’m still learning, in fact I’ve only just started!

How would you describe your photographic style?

Honest and Romantic, in the purely artistic sense of the word. I’m very tuned in to the details of emotion and atmosphere in a situation, usually being the girl sitting in the corner observing what’s going on around me. It’s never been a conscious decision but it allows for the magic that’s already going on to be real and undisturbed…if you can capture this the photos will naturally tell their stories to the viewers.

Do you have any favourite photographers?

For fashion contemporary photography, Tim Walker and of the classics I love Gary Winogrand. Today however we can find amazing photographs on Flickr, blogs whether they’re professional or not. I think we’re moving away from these photography greats.

Do you have any personal icons?

Probably Garance Doré and Todd Selby. Their lives just seem dreamy: travelling, meeting people, taking photos.

What do you think of Sydney style?

I find everyone jumps on the bandwagon with trends and there’s not much individuality. For example when floral dresses, hats and lace-up boots are in, they’re IN. Compared to other cities though we’re laid back. Sydney might be only city where you can wear denim shorts and be style-snapped!

Favourite thing about Sydney?

Love our beaches but I also I feel so lucky that we’re in a global multicultural city. People often say that Sydney is boring but if you look below the surface there’s actually so much going on… it’s just a bit secret.

Care to share a secret?

Sure! Mitchell Road Antiques in Alexandria. It’s amazing and will blow your mind. I’ve become obsessed with art deco and old lights from movie sets. Remember to go upstairs to see the good stuff like jewellery, furniture, old cameras and bit and pieces.

Which blogs are you enjoying at the moment?

For visual inspiration, I’m liking Style Me Romy, everything she puts to her hand is fresh, clean and beautiful. Also M Dash for her photos and aesthetic choices – she inspired me to start using film. I also like Miscellophaneous for things I haven’t already seen on one of the hundreds of other blogs I follow.

Any advice for bloggers?

Don’t blog for popularity, just do it for yourself. Also, don’t go in expecting anything back. Do it because you genuinely want to share.

Take a look at Rachel’s blog Sweet Bird Of Youth for more of her inspirations and photography.

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