Holly Parker is a fashion, swimwear, and beauty photographer based in New York City. I hope you’ll enjoy the interview;
How did you fall in love with photography?
I started as a model and retoucher. Ive always been fascinated with light and shadow, and the psychology of working with so many people. I am so grateful I travel often and see the world!
How important is having a unique style as a photographer? How would you describe your style?
I think its important to have a style, so that you pop into peoples minds when they are looking to hire a photographer in that style. People know me as a swimwear photographer because thats how I started, but I actually shoot a lot of fashion. I have some great editorials coming out soon I can’t wait to share with you!
Where did you grow up? How have your roots influenced your sense of style?
I was born in Northern California, but I grew up in Sedona Arizona. We had horses and chickens on a little farm, and I worked on cars with my dad and worked as an auto mechanic as soon as I turned 16. Ive always asked “why” and wanted to know how things function, so that definitely helps with the technicality of photography. Ive loved music and singing since I could talk, I was scouted by the producer for Tom Petty when I was 15 and started playing concerts and recording a demo album. Ive led a very interesting life lol. Sedona is also very natural, so Im a desert hippy at heart, I love yoga and being outdoors. The rocks and mountains are all red and colorful in Sedona, its beautiful, so that probably influenced my fascination with color toning.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers out there?
Be nice to everyone. Don’t let people walk on you, but everyone is just trying to make it and kindness is free 🙂
Have you ever run out of ideas?
I wouldn’t say I run out of ideas, its more that my creativity goes through cycles of active and resting modes. When its active I just want to shoot and will travel across Europe or Africa for three months and just create. Then I have a rest cycle where I try to feel like a normal human, seeing my friends and laughing and going on walks and getting inspiration from nature. After a while I get antsy and want to create again, and the active cycle starts again.
How do you find places and models for your shootings?
Places: Researching, sometimes wandering around looking for beautiful light, sometimes we book a location. It depends on what the goal of the shoot is.
Models: I normally ask the agencies for a package or with models I had great experience with in the past.
What’s the one piece of photo gear you couldn’t live without?
My camera haha. I have an 85mm 1.2 lens I got from my friend, I’ll probably have it forever.
Do you edit your photos? If yes, which programs do you use?
I used to do all my own retouching, since I started as a retoucher (12 years) and have only been shooting for 4, retouching is very special to me. Now I have to outsource my retouching to keep up with it, but I still often do the color toning myself.
We would like to express our gratitude to Holly Parker for this great interview.
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