Oh so Clo ~ Interview with Photographer Clo Newman
I've worked with photographer Clo on set since Delta's first campaign shoot, Venus & Honey. Our most recent collaborative shoot, for Divine Nectarina '20, had to be completely reworked due to the world's current atmosphere. It made me realise how we all, as freelance artists and creatives, are adapting & relearning ~ how we've managed to truly recreate industry expectations in order to keep collaborating and creating. From introducing new concepts/projects that were originally thought impossible or unattainable, to establishing regulations during a shoot or collaboration that adhere to pandemic safety laws - there's nothing we can't do, and we're doing it TOGETHER. In the interview below, Clo shares her light on some of her experiences from this crazy year, along with her gelato inclinations (truly paramount info).
1. How has COVID-19 and lockdown affected your freelance photography work? If possible, could you identify both positives and negatives?
Like to many it’s been disruptive, the positives I’ve found from it is for me is that it’s made clearer what I want to achieve within my career and my goals for the future. I’ve been more proactive in one sense with having more time to reach out to people I want to work with going forward and I’ve been able go through all the work I have and find shots I forgot about or see differently now and have a new appreciation for.
You need those moments because when we’re just on go all the time you tend to forget about what you have achieved up to that point.
The negative side has been the impact on the event side of my work - gigs and shows have been completely wiped out for the time being, I really missed festival season as it's one of my favourite times for photography in the year. In saying that I try to look at it with what positive can you take from every negative situation - this has all challenged me to adapt, I also shoot fashion and still life as well so I fortunately had other avenues I could still shoot and work with.
I think from a creative perspective this time has just challenged me to think differently and more efficiently - things are more clearer to me in terms of what I want to do and to spend time on. Being self employed you're used to uncertainty to an extent so that aspect wasn’t so difficult for me to adjust to, it was more the freedom and possibility of what you could do that got taken away is what I struggled with in the beginning of the pandemic, but 'tough times don’t last, tough people do’.
2. Favourite ice cream flavour?
3. You've worked with Delta Of Phoenix since Venus & Honey (our first campaign collection) ~ which shoot/collection was your favourite to work on & why?
All the campaigns have been really great to work on because you’ve built up this nice group of creatives that we’ve worked with on multiple occasions. It’s actually hard to choose a favourite, but I’d say the first one (Venus & Honey Collection) had such an amazing location with Tonight Josephine and I liked how we switched it up with the Graffti Tunnel in the same campaign. I also really loved the Cosmic Summer campaign we recently did this year too - it was a different vibe for me visually, the location was stunning and I loved that we had Sho, Sheerah and Shannon for it, the three of them each brought their own unique vibe to the shots.
4. Any past/present photographers that inspire your work?
The main photographers that I constantly find myself drawing back to are David LaChapelle and Daniel Sannwald, there’s some newer ones I rate the work of like Sasha Samsonova, Adrienne Raquel and Renell Medrano.
Within the last few years though I’d say my visual inspiration comes a lot from music videos from directors like Hype Williams and Melina Matsoukas. I admire creatives that have their own recognisable visual style - when you can see someones work and just know instantly it was created by that creative.
5. During lockdown, what was your go to album (or music in general)?
It generally goes between hip hop and latin music for me - I’ve rated Big Sean for years so his new album 'Detroit 2' has been on repeat since it’s release this year.
I’ve also been learning Spanish in my spare time so I listen to a lot of Latin music, mainly Bad Bunny, Rosalía, Ozuna.
6. What has been your most proud photography moment to date? I adored your Lizzo!
Thank you! She comes out on stage with the most energy! My personal proudest moment so far was seeing one of my photos I shot for a Nike campaign in the Nike Town store in Oxford Circus, and shortly after one of my photos of Chance the Rapper I took at the BBC 1XTRA Live show was blown up on the side of the BBC Wogan House building just off Oxford Circus. There’s just something about seeing your shots printed in places like that.
8. If you could pass on any advice to future freelance creatives, what would it be?
Practice persistence and endurance, aim for longevity with your career, always be learning, expand on your skills and recognise where you bring value.
9. Following this strand, is there a particular quote you always fall back on in hard & trying times?
I read a lot, I find if my mind is not stimulated I get very restless, so I like to have something I can read everyday to learn something new or be shown a different perspective.
For this year in particular this quote from Kobe Bryant has stuck with me:
Everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise.
10. Oat and raisin, or chocolate chip?
Oat and Raisin
See her EMPOWERING work at:
Instagram ~ @clonewman