MEET. Inti St. Clair

© Inti St. Clair

Meet the talented and inspiring Austin based photographer, Inti St. Clair.

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
Usually I ask the talent what they’re into. I really believe music has a big effect on vibe and mood. Thankfully, I like most everything, so I can get in the groove with them.

Describe your daily or weekly work habits. (Pre-Covid and currently)
Pre-covid I found myself typically working everyday, only taking a day off here and there. I would make time to workout everyday, but usually only for an hour or so. Now I find myself working out a couple hours a day, and taking weekends off. During the week these days I spend time culling my archives and submitting to stock, marketing to keep myself fresh on the minds of creatives for when a project does come up, and updating my portfolios that are online in various places (Workbook, Photopolitic, Komyoon, etc…)

Who were your biggest influencers?
I’ve had a number of photographer mentors throughout the years. Most of them have retired at this point, but I still value the lessons they taught me over the years every day. Jon Fenigersh, Stewart Cohen, and Johnathan Ross are a few of them.

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
Don’t get hung up on gear, don’t hire staff unless you have to. This has proved true time and time again. Gear can be rented, and I find I do my best work with natural light anyway. Crew can be hired too, and not having staff during recessions really makes it so much easier and less stressful to navigate your way through.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far?
A couple years ago I had the realization that I’d reached all the goals I’d set out for myself, which felt incredible. Of course now I have new goals, because if you’re not striving to be better, you’re over, right? The challenges in this job are constant. Occasionally that can be frustrating or overwhelming, but for the most part they keep me going. I love facing a challenge head on; working through it, growing because of it, and succeeding in spite of it. As challenging as photography can be, it’s also constantly rewarding. Photography is never predictable and never boring, and I love that!

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was a chef.

What do you want people to understand about the industry?
It’s constantly changing, and that will never stop. You have to evolve with it if you want to stay relevant and be successful. ALWAYS be shooting. Yes for clients, but mostly for yourself. All my favorite work was self produced.

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
I don’t know exactly what it would be, but I know it would involve traveling the world. I’m not a 9-5 office job kind of girl.

What do you do when you get stuck?

Do you have a favorite podcast?

What is your best advice for your peers?
Create community! Photography can be a lonely and isolating career, and it’s so important to create a community you can connect with to get help when you need it, bounce ideas off of, get help when you need it, talk you off the ledge in dry spells, etc…

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
Marketing, not making beautiful photos, is the #1 most important thing you have to do to succeed. Also, I wish I’d gone out on my own sooner.

What is a photographers role now that technology has made it so much more accessible to the masses?
It’s never been about the gear. It’s always been about how it’s used. Yes, there are many more amazing photographers than ever before, but there is no other “you”. I’ve done shoots with other photographers in which we’re essentially shooting the same thing, and yet we all make different images. I love it!

What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Ideally I’ll be getting more international photography jobs.

To view more of Inti’s work you can follow along here.