Lindsay Duncan is a photographer of people and the things they make. She has spent over a decade pursuing photography through her two strongest passions: Canadian music and feminism. On the blog this week, she sheds some light on her creative process, what drives her and how she balances work and life. Spoiler alert: Lindsay may have gotten a slow start in her business, but she's not about to slow down anytime soon. Here's a bit more background on Lindsay:
As a music photographer Lindsay has covered festivals, tours, and behind the scenes for some of Canada's biggest acts (Dan Mangan, Matt Mays, Joel Plaskett). Her work has appeared in print in Rolling Stone Germany, Guitar and Bass Magazine, Exclaim! Magazine, and has been exhibited at Toronto's Analogue Gallery. Lindsay also works frequently as an onset stills photographer for Canadian film and television and loves working on versatile projects with different styles.
Her current focus is on projects which explore the intersection of women, the male/female gaze, power, and creativity. She is a photographer with Be the Next Her, a career blog for women, and the creator of The (UN)dressed project. You can often find Lindsay practicing yoga and petting strangers' dogs.
1. How did you get started in business?
Very slowly :). I was always interested in photography but didn’t know anyone who was a photographer as a full time occupation. In university, I received a grant to travel to Kosovo and do the still photography for a documentary film, and that was my official start, when I first realized I could take this on professionally. After that, I worked for my university newspaper where I lucked into an incredible mentor. Once I returned to Nova Scotia after university, I managed to find another incredible mentor who helped me hone my skills not only as a photographer but also as a business person. From there I slowly built up my client base and skills, taking on more and more work until I felt comfortable enough (or rather, uncomfortable enough) to leave my day job. Or rather day JOBS – I had four at the time.
2. What is your morning routine?
When I’m in a slower period, it means being at home so I wake up and drink lemon water before meditating followed by yoga and reading a book or newspaper for about 30 minutes before I get to my desk for editing. But I’m often away from home on projects (like right now) or working until the early hours of the morning. During those times, I sleep late then treat myself to a walk and a coffee at a local café. Either way, no phones in bed is a big rule for me. Trying to find routine and take my healthy habits on the road is a challenge I still wrestle with.
3. What is your way to unwind after a long workday?
If I’m on set all day, a Manhattan (light on the vermouth) and an episode of Rick and Morty. If I’ve been editing all day, I like to get out for a Pilates class, a catchup with my friends or a concert.
4. What's a goal you're working towards right now?
Making a book, and booking a vacation.
5. Who inspires you and why?
Georgia O’Keefe - because she didn’t apologize for being a woman and an artist. She refused to be labeled as a female artist. She always fought to be seen as simply an artist.
Darcy Padilla - she showed me that long term artistic projects can be done on your own terms, even if it means taking jobs you wouldn’t otherwise. The jobs you HAVE to take can allow you to do the projects you NEED to make.
My friends - each one is doing their own thing and they consistently keep me inspired and humbled. Their positivity about what we can accomplish keeps me from second guessing my path.
6. When was the last time you failed spectacularly at something?
Which time? I’m a big proponent of failing often. Most recently, I attempted to go to a spin class. I wanted to pass out or vomit. I also just got passed up for a grant I badly wanted – found out this morning.
7. What's the best advice you've ever received?
For Photography - “You’re responsible for all 4 corners of your frame.”
For Life - “You can’t pour from a cup that’s empty.” Meaning you can’t help others if you don’t take care of yourself.
See more examples of Lindsay's work on her site, lindsayduncanphoto.com
Photo of Lindsay © Sydney MacLennan