Sarah McDonald

Sarah McDonald
What is your location, Sarah?
United States
State / Region

Sarah please tell us your talent/work rate per hour?
It depends on the job. I try to work with my client's budgets and needs and be as accessible as possible.

I am a college student currently living in Chicago trying to grow as an artist and exploring when I have the time. I am originally from New Mexico and Indiana and grew up spending time between the two and have always loved to travel. I get inspiration from everyone I meet, and everywhere I go.

Our readers would love to get to know you more Sarah. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?

I love learning new things, so I move around a lot regarding hobbies. Photography is the one that has stuck with me the longest. In the past year or so I have been trying to get more experience on the other side of the lens as a model– which is kind of what I'm working toward at the moment.

Sarah, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?

I am obsessed with learning new things as often as possible. I love learning about cultures and cities and picking up new skills wherever I can. My parents are artists as well, so I was always expected to have a creative future. I started taking photos when I was 11 or 12 and saved up for a nice camera when I was 14. I have been in love with photography ever since. As far as modelling goes, this has been a recent development (within the past year). I am still learning so much about the industry and what goes into a good modelling career, but I look forward to the challenge.

Who is your inspiration in life Sarah? How do you keep inspired?

Inspiration is kind of everywhere. Every time I meet someone or go somewhere new all I want to do it learn more about it. I can do that through art. Photography is a nice way to catalogue these new experiences and document the world through your perspective. Always keep your mind open, and inspiration will be there.

We all make mistakes Sarah; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.

Thankfully, I haven't had to deal with anything too scandalous. I think as a person; I tend to undersell myself a lot which can lead to some ill feelings. Without risk, there is little reward. It is important to communicate with people that you're working with and not underestimate yourself so that everyone can know your true worth.

Sarah , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?

Organization is huge! It is all about budgeting your time to make sure that everyone can get the attention to detail that they need. It is always about what the client wants and how I can work to fill that order (in front or behind the camera). Staying in touch with people about what they want and working together is essential to make a final product that everyone is proud of.

Please tell us, Sarah, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?

As a model and photographer, time management is one of the most important things on your plate. You have to make sure that you take care of yourself to your best ability, have time to get to your jobs and back and make efficient use of time on the job. I think travel is really what most of the time has to work around. It is hard to be everywhere at once, so you always have to have a plan.

Sarah, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.

Everyone has their job and the things that they are good at which means everyone thinks that they know what's best. Including you. This can lead to a butting of the heads sometimes, but most of the time its all about compromise. Leave the professionals to do their jobs, but sometimes a light suggestion can go a long way. When they're done doing things their way, there is almost always a little time to experiment and try things your way.

Sarah, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?

There was one photoshoot a couple of years ago that stuck with me. It was a personal shoot– just something to do as practice. I went down to the local American Legion and set up and asked the patrons if they would like to have their photos taken. It was strictly volunteer. The subjects were amazing and beautiful in such a genuine way, and they all had fascinating stories to tell. I cherish that photo shoot because of the connections I made and how interesting the whole experience was.

Sarah, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?

I like to hope that all of my work is creative! As a college student I don't have the funds to afford the kind of equipment that I would ideally like to work with, so sometimes trying to figure out a sufficient substitute for those things can be quite a feat. I did a colour series not that long ago where I was trying to connect different colours to different people and how it changes a person persona. I tried to figure out how to get the backdrop look I wanted and ended up sewing eight 2yd sheets of fabric together and hanging them over the ledge of my loft. The look was good enough but not as clean as I would have liked.

What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?

I'm still trying to figure that one out myself. I think it is important always to want to learn new things. If you think you already know everything there is to know about something, there will never be room to grow. Criticism is not your enemy. It is important to hear what other people think about your craft so that you can take those ideas and grow from them. Last but not least, WORK WORK WORK. Never stop practising. If you want to be good at something, you have to do it every day until it becomes second nature.

Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?

I would love to work with people both as photographer and model. I am always looking to build up my curve portfolio as well as finding new models to shoot. 

Photo Credits:
@jamieberg for cover
@aefischerphoto for white background portrait of me
@sarahmcdonaldofficial for the rest