An Interview with Rachel Neville
Thank you for taking the time to join us here on the RISE website Rachel, seeing your images pop up daily in our instagram newsfeed is something I really look forward to, they really are an inspiration.
There are so many questions I would love to ask, but knowing how busy you are, I will try not to get carried away.
RISE: Can I start by asking, Is photography something you wanted to do from an early age?
My childhood was focused on being a dancer and immersed in that world. My mother owned a dance store and was a pointe shoe fitter. I had an injury that ended my career as a dancer early on and that is when I transitioned into photography. From there I went to school got a degree in photography and went on to work in weddings, portraits, tabletop, etc. Soon after I decided to move to NYC and start to transition into merging my two passions: dance and photography. Combining my experience as a dancer, a dance teacher, and many of the different fields of photography I worked in was the genesis of my signature aesthetic.
RISE: Your love of dance is so apparent, having such a successful career in photography, do you still find time to dance yourself?
In addition to being a photographer and business owner, I have two beautiful young daughters aged 6 and 8 years old. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time that I would like to regularly take ballet classes.
RISE: Your shoots are all so individual, that itself is incredible, let along the beautiful images you create each and every time, how do you manage this? Where does your inspiration come from?
I find inspiration in all sorts of places. Aside from the assumed magazines and social media, texture is something that inspires me. Textiles, tree bark, sheet metal – these are often the catalyst to many of my most creative ideas.
RISE: You have such strong, powerful lines throughout all your images, but in the same sense, your dancers seem at ease and effortless, how do you achieve this?
My proprietary method of photography begins with making sure the integrity of the dancer’s technique is rock solid, and their 3 dimensional form is communicated accurately in the 2 dimensional space of a photograph. I really take that time to ensure that each piece of the dancer’s technique is correct and to its fullest expression. Once the dancer’s technique is in place and finessed, then the final touches of emotion, character, and “movement” are added to the shot.
RISE: You have such a successful career in photography, has being female ever brought its challenges, or do you feel it has helped the genre that you shoot?
Being a successful artist as well as business owner in such a male dominated field has certainly presented its challenges. The silver lining is that it also makes me that much more of a standout! My biggest goal with my business, team, and mission is to eradicate the starving artist mentality associated with dancers and to leave the dance world, and art world at large, a better place than I found it.
RISE: If you could offer one piece of advice to our readers, what would it be?
My biggest piece of advice to anybody would be to find what you truly love, and work tirelessly at it. Find something that serves your soul and your heart, and strive to be the absolute best at that as you can be!
Thank you again Rachel, for taking the time to give us an insight into your work, I think I speak for all of us, when I say we look forward to continuing seeing your images, creating the inspiration for us all to enjoy.
You can view more of Rachel’s work
Rachel also has some amazing videos to watch
Further details click here