Today's Insider Interview is with Becca Lemire, a staff photographer for Shedoesthecity.com. In addition to snapping gorgeous pictures for the website, Lemire freelances for a host of other outlets like The C Daily, The Genteel, Xtra! Canada and Blog TO.
Lemire can be found all over the city taking wildly colourful photos of everything from Toronto Fashion Week, coveted concerts, and invite-only events to wine tours, street style and burlesque shows. Easily identifiable from her ever-present zebra printed glasses, Lemire will be behind her lens at any and every you-had-to-be-there party. Check out more of her photos below or on her Tumblr page and Instagram account.
How did you get to where you are?
I mostly have a fine arts background which isn’t so much technical photography but that’s my artistic background. Throughout the years I’ve done really random jobs that maybe didn’t teach me photo skills but more just life experiences like organic farming, dog walking around the city, just random stuff to pay the bills. In 2009 I started interning with Shedoesthecity and I’m still with them today. I feel really lucky to be a part of a great company that’s had such a great run. Jen who runs the company is amazing and now I’ve been the staff photographer for a while and I do a lot of freelance stuff in the summer. I just started interning, playing around with different cameras, just shooting everything all of the time and trying to get experience, taking different courses along the way and interning and assisting with a lot of different photographers. I just really like learning and I’m always just trying to learn new stuff. I’ve taken a lot of different courses along the way to round out my skills.
What excites you about digital media?
I find it exciting, the really fast pace of it all. The events that happen all the time, then the quick turn around and how quickly everything is out there, the quick cycle of everything. Being in photojournalism, news-type of stuff, it’s exciting how international it is now. You can just as easily find out what’s going on in any other city as you can Toronto. It’s really cool, I like looking into street wear trends and events in other cities because it’s so easy to look into that stuff and see what’s going on and that’s really exciting.
What frightens you?
Kind of on the flip side of what excites me, it can be kind of intense sometimes - the fast pace - and just how quick everything is. And sometimes when there’s so much going on at once, and it’s just go go go, you don’t have a moment to take everything in and just really be aware of what’s going on around you. But every once in a while you do have that moment to step back and take a look around you and I’ll look at what I’ve shot the last few months and I’ll really be able to appreciate it and be like ‘wow, so much has happened the last few months…’ and then I’ll look back the last few years. When you do have those moments to really see what has happened I feel really appreciative of being a part of so much fun and amazing stuff and so much culture but sometimes the fast paced feel of it can be intense. Some people deal with it better than others but sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed with the pace of it all and not having a moment to realize just what the hell is going on.
What do you have coming up?
There’s a lot coming up in spring. It’s fashion week of course, coming up at the end of March. Canadian Music Week. All the big events that are very fun to cover like AGO Massive Party, ROM Prom that always are big fun events with different themes each year. On the flip side, I have some fun creative projects I’m working on now that I can’t really share the details about right now but hopefully soon they’ll be out there and people will notice them.
What inspires you?
I feel inspired any time I see someone else doing something that feels authentic and creative or feels like something they really believe inside. I always really admire and get inspired by people who really feel like they’re really doing what they want and they don’t care about anything. Everyone always has people telling you to stop or giving you critiques or whatever. I get inspired when I see people just doing what they really want. A huge range of people inspire me for sure. A lot of the original photographers…I love learning as much as I can about the 18-1900s when photography was being invented and all the original film photographers were taking the first pictures ever of the streets and everything. I find that to be really amazing and nothing else will ever touch that or be like that. Despite living in a fast paced, digital online world, I try to stay connected to where photography came from and where it’s going.
How has digital media allowed you to create better content?
I feel that the resources that we have online today to teach ourselves new skills and just everything you can find about photography (for me) but also everything is just so amazing. There are so many different how-to’s and tutorials about learning new little skills, it’s pretty amazing to have that at your disposal all the time. It can be such a great way to meet other like-minded people that maybe without the internet it would have taken longer to meet them. You can really narrow in the different people you want to work with and collaborate with. Just the ability to network with other people wherever they are and check out their work, I find is really awesome.