I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing a series of interviews with some lovely creative types I want to share with you. Since I’m heading to Alberta this summer maybe I have gold rush on my mind, but truly, each of the women I’ll feature here is a golden nugget of excellence in the career she’s carved out for herself! Therefore, I am delighted to present the inaugural:
Pocket Alchemy Nugget of Awesome Interviews: eight interviews with eight inspiring, artistic, self-starting women over the eight weeks of summer. I am proud to call each of them friend and am delighted to share them and their work here. Please note that I am replacing my regular Rearview Fridays posts with these interviews over the summer.
QUINN COVINGTON is a woman I’ve known since high school. I met her in line while waiting for our ID cards before the first day of grade 10 (with my friend Christa Couture who was the 1st Nugget of Awesome interview this month!) and the three of us got lockers together in the basement hall. We were all pretty hippy-dippy and it turned out we had unknowingly picked “the cheerleader hallway,” so we were an island of middle-parted hair, long patchwork skirts, and, in Quinn’s case, Janis Joplin glasses throughout that whole year! Good memories. By the last year of high school I rarely saw Quinn without a camera in her hand. We stayed in touch a wee bit over the years and then this spring ended up randomly, fatefully, on a plane together for 5 hours, so we talked our way through the entire flight, catching up on art and life and babies. I love that she’s gone the school of life route with her photography and am inspired by her just-get-down-to-it attitude and practice, in the midst of mother two little ones no less!
Quinn Covington’s tool of trade has been a camera since she was around the age of 18. That was when she photographed her first wedding for a friend. Quinn bypassed any formal training and went straight for the hands on approach working alongside other photographers, which leaves her at a point in her life where she can say she’s been doing something professionally for 15 years now!
Quinn grew up in Edmonton and attended an art-driven high school with a photography department that helped her to focus her fanatic interest in cameras. A few years after graduating she moved to the Canadian Rockies where she worked as a wedding, portrait and tourist photographer for a few years. In 2001, Quinn photographed the Alpine National Ski Team and in 2002, she was published in Ski Canada Magazine. She has often found herself working at camera stores, film labs, and imaging retailers.
Quinn and her husband moved to Vernon, BC in 2010. At that point she took a hiatus from photography to deal with moving and a couple of babies, but now that their children have grown to toddler and pre-schooler, she is looking forward to giving her photography career the attention it craves.
Pocket Alchemy Question: Tell me about your artistic work.
Quinn Covington: I do photography. It’s an incredibly versatile and evolving art form. It gives me a platform to be literal and scientific or wacky and emotional. There’s lots of room to breathe, which is why I adore it.
PAQ: what is currently sparking your imagination?
QC: Artistic spark doesn’t just reside in the technicality of the tools used but also in the rapport I have with my subjects. The starting point of any image are the words I use and the energy I exert to inspire the process of delivering the end product. The chemistry I have with my clients definitely plays a part in my creative process. Each person I photograph provides me with the materials I need to work with, from there my imagination takes off.
PAQ: How do you structure and manage your days/weeks/months to get it all in? Do you have micro/macro plans that you stick to?
QC: In my world, time has little influence except where others implement it for me. I have many goals and to-do lists that push me along, all without a master plan. The structure of my photography rests with the demands of the people I work with. Once I’m in session, once I’m holding a camera, I’m oblivious to my own personal needs. When I’m editing images on the computer, dishes get ignored and I drop everything except the child on my hip to get the work done. Typically I’ll create a week-by-week goal of the work I hope to finish.
PAQ: What is a current favourite resource or material?
QC: Currently, I’m inspired by the style of wedding photography that asks a photographer to design sets with a bride but keeps the authenticity of the wedding intact. Collaborating on a visual theme, which would allow me to do more than simply show up the day-of with my camera at the ready, is the direction I’d like to take my photography in. I’m constantly looking online for crafty and stylish ways of contributing to a photo shoot.
PAQ: Give me 4 great songs to work to!
QC: I Got Sunshine by Avery Sunshine | Play by Kate Nash | Horchata by Vampire Weekend | Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
PAQ: What about your work keeps you up at night (for good or ill!)?
QC: My clients’ satisfaction keeps me up at night. I do whatever I can to not only give them what they expect but hopefully supersede that with fun extras they can look forward to.
PAQ: How has your aesthetic evolved over the years?
QC: My niche is in knowing what I like when I see it, being inspired by people and ideas, and then expanding on that creatively, hopefully giving it a new beautiful life. Knowing this about myself is what has helped me to evolve my work over the years.
THE WRAP UP
Check out Quinn Covington, she’s based in southern and interior BC and if you want an easy-going yet passionate photographer I’d recommend looking her up! She’s got creativity and ideas exploding out of her ears and she has the true ability to listen, which I think is so key for a photographer capturing people’s intimate and important life events.
Check out the other Nugget of Awesome Interviews: