Toronto photographer Carmin Edwards has a stunning ability to take a moment of live music and capture it to its full potential. Her photo skills can put one in a moment rather than just showcase it. For our Photographer Friday this week, we chatted with Carmin about her experiences as a female photographer. Check out the Q&A below!
What made you get into photography?
I was introduced to photography when I was pretty young. I would photograph literally everything. My friends and I would do silly little projects and eventually it blurred into a hobby. When I was 17, I inherited my dads old Minolta and everything really took off from there.
How did you discover you loved it?
When I started studying photography and realized I could manipulate film, it became more of a craft. I loved it. I bought some cheap plastic cameras and started messing around. I discovered things like multiple exposures and the darkroom. It has been a while since I’ve done some analogue work, but its where I started.
What’s the most difficult part of it?
Honestly? Staying on top of things. Now that I have a business going, there a whole other side to take care of.
Has being a woman in music been more difficult for you? Have you felt any effects of sexism on your career?
As every women in this industry will say, Yes. Of course it has been. Sexism in this industry is blatant. I have lost jobs, been harassed, I am consistently having to explain myself to security, and of course, I have to defend my career to literally everyone, even down to the fans that come out to shows. For some reason, ‘Who did you sleep with to get _____, or “of course! You’re so cute, No wonder you got the job” comes before common sense.
You know – the realization I’ve actually worked my ass off to be where I am, just like every other man here.
As far as photography goes, what’s your personal style? How did you get to that?
That is a bit tricky to answer. Right now, I am really into moody lighting and silhouettes. I’ve been working on developing presets in Lightroom and I’ve been pushing the same ones since the summer. This has been the result. I’m pretty pleased with how things have been looking lately!
What other photographers inspire you?
My two all time favourite photographers would be Diane Arbus and probably Nan Goldin. Totally taking it back a few decades, but their work was incredibly outrageous, shocking, and it meant something so beyond what I am doing now.
Why music photography?
I was getting bored, to be honest. I just left my degree half way through and I was SO sick of studying photography. At that point, I had just finished Warped 2014 where I was merching for a clothing company. I met some photographers that summer and realized I could combine the two! So that fall I dove right in, and I just absolutely loved it.
Advice for aspiring photographers?
Be pleasant and supportive. No one wants to work with a grump. Also, don’t worry so much about what everyone else is doing or their styles. No one is going to be as attracted to your work if you’re bouncing off trends or trying to mimic other photographers. Plus its WAY more fun to mess around in Lightroom and see what you can come up with!
Favourite thing you’ve done so far?
Hmm. I would have to say this last summer when I was out on Warped Tour with Pure Noise Records. It was one of the best summers I’ve done by far. I was assisting with merch and photographing for the label. So, I was shooting The Story So Far, Vanna, State Champs etc everyday. Completely insane!