Behind the Lens: In Conversation with Claire Wallman
Freelance Fashion Photographer Claire Wallman has an incredible portfolio of clients and work, with over two decades of industry experience. Recently, Claire shot our latest Autumn 24 LIMITLESS campaign, and we sat down with her to delve into all things her career, experience as a working mum and insights into how she captured the essence of our campaign.
Claire, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from and what you do?
I'm a freelance fashion photographer and have been in the industry for over 20 years. I have a history in production and I ran the creative visual team at THE ICONIC for 12 years. I love the creative ideation and collaboration between all the creatives involved to bring a massive campaign, like KIVARI’S, to life. I was born in Cornwall, England (the closest thing to a surf coast over there). But I have lived here, there and everywhere. I then moved to Denmark for a few years, before moving with my family over to Australia when I was 9.
One fun fact about you?
I used to speak fluent danish, and would love to go back and relive the danish lifestyle, and experience the culture as an adult.
3 things you can't leave home without?
Iphone of course, usually some kinda snack in my bag for hangry kid emergencies, and my water bottle.
If you could move anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
My dream would be to buy an old chateau in the south of France or an Italian villa, and do it up. I've been down some deep dive stalking of some incredible mini projects over there (a girl can dream).
3 iconic people you would want to have dinner with?
Tim Walker, Beyonce (why wouldn’t you), Kate Moss….I just wanna hear all the stories and think she would be a fun dinner date.
It's the start of a new year, what are you most excited for in 2024? Any resolutions?
The Hustle, I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and make connections that matter. But most importantly this year's resolutions are to make more memories that count!
"I love the creative ideation and collaboration between all the creatives involved to bring a massive campaign, like KIVARI’S, to life."
Who or what inspires your creativity?
Honestly I have some amazing creative people in my life, and so many of them inspire me daily. With their drive, passion & motivation to keep learning, surrounding myself with these friends and colleagues, is my drive and passion for my work.
Who are some of your favourite creatives at the moment and why?
For Australians, I've always loved Georges Antoni’s work and just an all round legend. Internationally Mert & Marcus have always been another classic fan fav.
What is your favourite part about your job?
Meeting interesting people and the random places it takes me.
What are your top tips for juggling the working mum life?
Top tip…..all I can say is that the juggle is real! But you just somehow make it work. Surround yourself with a tribe of friends and family that can help out, or just get yourself a legend of a nanny called Ruby who is my saviour when juggling mum / work life.
Highlights of shooting the KIVARI Autumn 24 campaign LIMITLESS and any funny hiccups?
Honestly the crew! A good team always makes for a fun, amazing shoot, and good vibes all round. But the location was INSANE, once again I love where my work takes me. I can't wait for some of my favourite shots to drop - keep your eye out for the shot of the Oaklee Dress.
Hiccups - I wouldn't say hiccups but we started off the shoot in torrential rain, was unsure how the day would pan out - then suddenly out came the beaming sunshine, and we were all melting in the heat. Battling hordes of flies and dodging giant cow patties…..but all for the shot as they say. I did also lose my mind towards the end of the day, and started calling my first ever assistant Campbell, every name under the sun, starting with C……except for his actual name. Conrad, Conner…I just lost plot, and Issy (social dream gal) found this quite hilarious. Sorry Campbell.
A good team always makes for a fun, amazing shoot, and good vibes all round.
In celebration of our LIMITLESS collection, tell us what LIMITLESS means to you?
Limitless should be my motto for the year. Aim high, dream big, the sky's the limit. I just have to remind myself of this.
Go-to playlist on set or singer that gets you excited for a shoot?
Anything 90’s r&b classic is usually my go to.
What does a typical day in the life of Claire Wallman look like?
Get woken up early by the kids, after playing russian bed roulette all night. Hustle them to have breakfast and get dressed, and into the car without taking every single toy they own with them. Daycare drop off. Then either off to shoot or set for a nice 10hr shoot day.
Otherwise can be anything from doing a shoot recce, meeting with designers, prop sourcing, editing photos, replying to emails, creatively concepting for projects I'm working on with brands (love this part of the process). Then home…. (ruby my saviour has picked up kids and fed them ... .she's a game changer, get yourself a RUBY). An hour of play time with the kids, before the dreaded bed time battle and bargaining session begins. Crash out on the couch like a zombie, and then this nanna is in bed by 9pm unconscious to do it all again tomorrow.
What piece of advice would you give to young creatives in the beginning of their career?
Do the hard yards. Assist, work in a studio (even just in ‘reset’ where I began at Sun Studios). What you can learn from just even being behind the scenes is invaluable in the beginning. Find creative people you can talk to and ask questions. Test shoot and work out what you like and what your style is. Play around and experiment. But ENJOY IT!!!