Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Lorraine Kinnear: The Blogger behind the lens

Just a year ago, Lorraine’s fixation on being a stylist and blogger shifted to what she describes as ‘a shadow interest’ÔÇöphotography. The colourful mood of images is what made her to gravitate towards photography as something that complements her blogging with visuals, and also something that captures her love for art in its various forms. Locally, there are many emerging photographers, many of whom are men, but this has never wavered Lorraine from being behind the lens. For this 24-year-old hailing from Palapye, photography is one of the many ways she expresses herself.

Lorraine Kinnear’s style is a fusion of street culture and a bohemian influence; you do not only observe that from her choice of clothing, but you also see it through most of her images that are whimsical and fashion forward. With her styling background, she creates elegance through cloth and lens.

Her fluency in photographic images didn’t happen overnight. She is self-taught and explained how it involves a lot of practice. “It takes precisely 10 000 hours to be an expert. I’m still in the process of refining my skill. You learn something new about your camera each time you shoot. So far, library books, YouTube tutorials and advice from fellow photographers have contributed largely to my growth,” she said. “I currently don’t see the need to study it at a school that offers the programme, but that may change in the future,” said Lorraine, who is also in her final year at the University of Botswana studying Psychology.

She now owns a photography company titled ‘Lorraine Kinnear Photos’. Inspired by the likes of Steven Meisel, Mikey San and Mike Lerner, she draws her creativity from day to day life. “I’m inspired by everything; you learn to put yourself out there. For a small country, there’s a lot of diversity here,” said Lorraine, who is known for her work in profiling Gaborone’s street culture. “I have a thing with generation X, as I call them. The radicals, the born frees, the limitless and ordinary people who express themselves genuinely as they are,” she revealed when asked about the clients she loves to work best with.

Speaking on her creative process, she said it’s always exciting. “I’m normally excited about pre-production. Planning, sourcing models, deciding on location and art direction and editing always have a thrill to it. People’s reactions towards my work is also priceless, it fuels me to refine my craft.”

Her work has featured on fashion editorials such as Elle Magazine (South Africa), American blog ‘Black Fashion’ and she was recently at the Mercedes Benz Jo’burg Fashion Week. Locally, she has collaborated with fashionistas such as Gatsh Fros, Thapelo Letsebe and Vintage Kollective just to name a few as a photographer and art director.

On the challenges she has faced, Lorraine said: “Sometimes it feels as though this town is too small. The people are kind of synchronised to a similar thought. And the spaces sometimes feel overused but I’ve learned to make that work to my advantage. There’s also the habit of not taking photography as a non-profession but a pastime. The market seems flooded but all photographers have their different styles which appeal to various clientele so you have to stick to what you do best in this field.”

Currently, Lorraine is working on a few projects. “I’m doing a collaborative project called ‘Generation X’ alongside several photographers and what I call the ‘500 portrait marathon’ where I capture different people whom I encounter in Gaborone,” she said. For aspiring photographers, her advice is simply, “all kinds of criticism helps you grow”.

For bookings, her Facebook page is Lorraine Kinnear Photographs and her email is [email protected]

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