To Top

Meet Claire Barrett of Claire Barrett Photography in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Claire Barrett.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I came to Los Angeles from England 20 years ago. I had $2000 and didn’t know anybody in California. I had been working as a high school teacher in the U.K. but much as I enjoy teaching, I felt that I was not fulfilling my creative potential.

My degree was in Filmmaking and Photography and so, I tried to get as many gigs as possible assisting established photographers and working on movie sets, whilst holding down a waitressing job… not easy when I didn’t even have a car for my first 2 years in LA.

Having to start from scratch, purchasing cameras and equipment, it took me 6 years before photography became my only source of income, my full-time job.

It has been very challenging but perseverance and integrity count for a lot. I’ve met some wonderful people along the way and now, I feel very fortunate that my work has taken me all across the United States and many parts of the world, including Japan, Italy, Bali, Ireland and that I have clients whose brands are household names… Jack Daniel’s, Chanel, Veuve Clicquot.

I’m basically a visual storyteller and this last year, I have been trying to devote more of my time to my own, personal fine artwork, which is somewhat fantastical in nature.

Whenever I wonder what it would be like to have the security of a regular job, I remind myself that I have created a life that I don’t need to take a vacation from

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have been a lot of physical AND mental challenges… almost like hardware and software issues!

Physical examples would be not having a car in LA for years, lack of funds to purchase necessary equipment or pay for assistants that would make my life easier, having to work two jobs for six years etc., etc.

But the greatest challenges have been the mental/emotional ones. Lack of a support system, enormous self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness definitely made it much more difficult to progress. I have certainly overcome them enough to get to the level I am at now, but if I could give any advice to my younger self it would be, ” Stop doubting yourself! Just go for it! ”

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Claire Barrett Photography – what should we know?
I am a professional photographer.

Whenever I tell people this, they ALWAYS ask what I specialize in. It’s very sensible for professionals to have a specialty…. you become very proficient at it, and your job probably becomes easy, almost repeating the same thing.

I think I have a low boredom threshold and need fresh mental stimulation from my work. I use my photography skills and technical ability across a wide range of genres. I shoot high-end weddings around the world, lifestyle advertising campaigns, product, food and luxury events. I am also a stylist and art director.

My greatest passion is for my fine art photography. This is where my imagination has free rein.

What sets me apart….? I think my clients can tell that I care MUCH more about their happiness and satisfaction than my own comfort… ha! They are never in any doubt that I give everything I have to their shoot. I also have an innate ability to ‘read’ people immediately, I’m not sure if this sets me apart from other photographers because I think perhaps that many photographers have this but it definitely helps to get the best out of people, photographically.

I’m probably most proud of my ability to mentor my photography assistants. I love people who are passionate about their art and curious to learn.


Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Claire Barrett

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in