Rachael Koscica: Interview and Photography

Interview With 
Photographer Rachael Koscica
All images in this post are copyright Rachael Koscica and used with permission 

Q:  Your work is often described as surreal.  Is that a category you embrace?  How do you want people to think of it?

Rachael:  I embrace it!  I want to transport people to another world. I want to depict dreams, nightmares, fears, passion, adventure, death, beauty, life and heaven on earth. I seek a connection between our spirits to inspire one another.

Q:  It’s clear that water is a big reference for you in many of your images.  Can you explain what it is that keeps drawing you back to that theme?

Rachael:  I love shooting weightlessly underwater. Everything looks different underwater; it’s an entirely different method of shooting. The models are constantly moving and posing, fabrics flow and look beautiful in water in a way you can’t capture on ground. 

Shooting underwater is very challenging as well; I hold my breath and give direction to my model throughout the process. I’m so drawn to the underwater world because it’s silent and the water consumes you. The movement between you and your model emerge rainbow ripples that gently travel across the subject’s body and to the surface of the pool. It’s truly a very magical, exciting and fun experience.

Q:  Your education seems to have played a large part in your development as a photographer.  Tell us more about those experiences and how they’ve shaped your work? 

Rachael:  In high school, I spent a lot of time painting in my room. I was the quiet kid that instead of partying on the weekends, would spend hours making art late into the night.

My older brother Matthew took black & white wet lab photography classes in high school and he introduced me to the darkroom. He also introduced me to my first photography teacher, Carmelisa Woods, whom I’m sad to say died recently on April 26, 2012.   Mrs. Woods once told me… “What is going to make you stand out from the crowd?”   She had faith in me and encouraged me work hard and embrace being different. She taught me the functions of a camera, how to make chemicals and develop my own film.

Now photography is my career and I attend Arizona State University pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Art. ASU has a great photography program and we have very talented professors and students. I have made many great friends and connections at ASU. I’ve displayed work in ASU’s advising offices, in the Dean’s office at the W.P. Carey School of Business and at other galleries.  Going to college has opened many doors for me.

Q:  Tell us a little about the cameras and equipment you’re using.  Are there items in the “wish list” column?

Rachael:  When I was first starting out I used a Pentax K1000 and a Canon Rebel XTi. Now I shoot with a Canon AE-1, Canon 5d Mark ii and the Canon Powershot S95 with Ikelite underwater housing. 

I shoot with Canon 50mm, 24-105mm, and 70-200mm lenses. I also have 4 large paper backdrops, stands, soft boxes, and a 580 EX ll Speedlite that I use for studio work. My dream is to buy Ikelite underwater housing for my Canon 5d Mark ll and lens port, which is definitely on the top of my “wish list”.

Q:  In addition to your artistic work, you also offer photography services.  Can you tell us a bit  about that?

Rachael:  Sure! I love meeting new people. Since I offer a wide range of photography services and styles, I meet different people all the time. I really like people. I shoot photo sessions for families, senior pictures, weddings, engagements, fashion shoots for models and fashion designers, album art, etc… Not only am I a fine art photographer, I’m also a fashion photographer, underwater photographer and commercial photographer. Photography is my passion and I’m always doing something different, I am always learning.

I just started a new wedding photography business with my boyfriend Daniel Mackelprang. He is an exceptional photographer. You can check out our new website at www.rdweddingphotos.com


Q:  What are some recent opportunities you’ve had?

Rachael:  This summer I’ve been shooting a lot of underwater fashion in my saltwater pool, especially since it’s 115 degrees in Chandler, Arizona. 

I’ve also shot weddings and portrait sessions for clients. 

Right now I’m working on a whole new series of surreal self portraits for school.  

I’m actually leaving for a photo shoot in an hour with Daniel; I have plans to shoot in a large lavender field with my human skeleton prop and a giant butterfly catcher.

This past year I’m very humbled to share I was published for the first time on the cover of Photomasterskaya Russian Art Magazine for my surreal self portraits and underwater photography. They interviewed me as the central article and sent me a copy of the magazine.  

Vogue Italia also recently published one of my self portraits.

Two of my self portraits will be on display as part of the 'In Character' show at Method Art Gallery in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona. The reception will be on August 23rd 7-9pm, so I hope to meet you there.

'In Character' show at Method Art Gallery in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona

Q:  How can people contact you? 

Rachael:  My website has all my recent work, links to my facebook page, blog, Tumblr and other online sites where we can connect.  : )

“Like” the facebook photography page to hear about opportunities and view recent work. I’m always working on something new.

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