By Annette Dawm, WorkStory Ambassador
Camille Porthouse is the owner of Camille Porthouse Photography, but unlike many other photographers, Camille doesn’t often take the traditional wedding and baby photos you might find on another professional’s Facebook page. Camille is happiest when she gets to work with individuals who share her love of blood, gore and latex clothing, all within the Alternative Photography Industry.
“I am lucky enough to specialize in something I love, which is working on artistic shoots with alternative models” says Porthouse. “This means I get to have almost full artistic control over the shoots I create. I get to come up with concepts for the makeup artists, and I also get to draw up designs to help clothing designers see my overall vision.”
Although she is at the helm of Camille Porthouse Photography, every project Camille works on is a collaborative piece of art. Each shoot comes together with the help of many talented people. The mutual bond that she and her fellow artists share is what gets her “most excited” about her job:
“I love that I can express myself through art while having amazing teams of individuals that want to see my visions come to fruition. It creates a group of artistic individuals that can all seek inspiration from one another.”
Even though Camille loves what she does now, she never liked photography growing up and she certainly wasn’t interested in taking pictures of people. However, one Christmas while she was living in Ottawa, she was given a professional camera. She soon learned how to use it, but she still wasn’t comfortable with human models. Then an unusual event changed everything for Camille!
“It wasn't until I heard about a city Zombie Walk event that I decided that this would be my first real test in taking photos. Once the 2008 Ottawa Zombie Walk happened I was completely hooked! People had an amazing response to my work and it fuelled me to look [at] this as a potential career. Life then took me to London, Ontario and I began shooting for charity fashion shows, and once again the annual city Zombie Walk. Word started spreading, and soon enough I was being contacted to work various city wide events.”
Camille was also a professional photographer for Canadian musicians, Hedley and Karl Wolf when they played in London in 2012. She was able to work at the concert as well as the after party. Following this event, Camille found herself working as a photographer at many hip hop concerts, but this wasn’t her thing. As for her advice to aspiring photographers in any genre, she wants you to know this:
“For newcomers in the industry I would say, ‘just stop trying to do what is on trend. Follow your heart and your interests.’ I didn't at first, and I spent over a year shooting rap shows, which is about as far off from who I am as a person as you can get!’”
Camille has been following her own advice and she tells us that, “Since then, I have refined my business and feel happy shooting the things that I want to, the things that make me happiest. It just so happens that blood, gore, and latex clothing make me the happiest. Who would have thought?”
Her work has been making other people happy as well. She has been published in over 25 different Alternative magazines, both in the online world and in print. “I have had the most success so far with publications in South Africa and Australia. However, my work has also been published throughout North America and in England” says Porthouse. If you are interested in seeing Camille’s work and links to where she has been published, you can visit her Facebook page, which she credits as an “integral tool” in terms of creating a successful business. www.facebook.com/CamillePorthousePhotography