CHARMAINE MALLARI

CHARMAINE MALLARI PHOTOGRAPHY

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How does Winnipeg stand out in the world of photography?

For the most part, I think Winnipeg is very modest. I think we stand out as a community because the talent is not conceited; everyone is interconnected. Style wise, everyone is extremely different – in a good way. There are cities/areas with photographers that have very similar shooting styles/look, which is usually because of surrounding area and weather is the same throughout the year. I think we stand out because of that; our various unique styles and different shooting conditions throughout the year.

Where are your favourite places to shoot in the city?

The Exchange District has always been a favourite, you can shoot against the large variation of different detailed buildings or walk a little bit and shoot at Old Market Square to get some greenspace. Other than the Exchange District, I love to photograph at any park with a lot of trees for beautiful bokeh!

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which type of photography do you feel you connect with most?

Beauty and Fashion and has always held a special place in my heart. As an artist, it is the type of work I will be continuously practicing and striving toward. From beauty and fashion, I’ve actually branched off and started shooting a lot more natural portraits and I absolutely love it.

Your work featured in VOGUE is amazing! Tell us about that.

Thank you! The photos reflect the lifestyle I’ve been evolving into: minimalism. Being able to incorporate it into my work is refreshing and feels very natural. I love photographing my subjects with minimal distractions and add-ons; it is more about the expressions and mood over the clothing and makeup/hair.

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When looking for a subject, I look for the obvious first: good skin complexion. Next, I base my judgement on how how committed they will be to the project. It’s extremely important to me to be able to connect and build a working relationship with harmony. Lastly, although not necessary, I look for unique features such at freckles, birth marks, etc.

We’d love to know more about mood, location, scenery…

When I shoot, I always pre-plan how I want it to be captured. I will have a subject I will want to photograph, and then customize the location and mood afterwards.

As a graduate from Prairieview School of Photography, what did you learn that you found most valuable?

I’ve learned that although you learn a huge fundamental of photography during school, it is what you do afterwards that will determine your future. I never looked back going to school for photography, I actually needed it. I needed to learn the rules so I can break them on purpose.

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What can we expect from you in the future?

More activity! LOL. I’ve been “on a break” for a bit, these are necessary to give us artists a break once in a while and be back to balance work and life. I’ll be launching a Weddings & Boudoir website sometime this month, stay tuned!

Describe your style (in fashion and photography).

Less is more, and simplicity is key. I love neutral and earth tones. I also love an edgier/raw type of work/look as well.

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Do you have a signature style of shooting?

I have my go-to settings, lenses, and editing style. I guess you can say that all of that combined, that is my signature. When I edit, I like a little contrast/punch in my photos. When I shoot, I opt for poses that are not too forceful or generic looking. I like to shoot in a way, that you can look at the subject and feel their emotion.

How has minimalism changed your life and work?

I read an article about Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, they are/were both CEOs and have this particular thing in common. If anyone has ever noticed, they both have “signature” outfits (Steve Jobs and turtlenecks, Mark Zuckerberg with plain white t-shirts). By taking away the decision to figure out what to wear every day, they opted to a minimalistic wardrobe. With the big decisions they [have] made, this is one less thing they have to worry about thus giving them more time to focus on their goals/tasks on hand. Instead of just wardrobe, it can be applied to several different aspects in your life. Minimalism has helped me focus on what mattered and didn’t matter in my life. Less distractions, more productivity. It is a continuous journey and I am now extremely happy with how much more time I am able to work for myself, and balance it with my personal life. I never regretted getting rid of something that no longer served a purpose in my life.

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Photos: Charmaine Mallari http://www.charmainemallari.com/

Interview: Kathleen Cerrer

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