In a place as majestic and vibrant as the Pacific, it’s easy to understand why anyone would want to be a photographer. For Alexia Rae, her journey began on a remote island in Fiji, exploring the stars and the shoreline before stumbling on photography. In the years to come, her love of being behind the lens has taken her around the world before settling in the beautiful island of Samoa. But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Alexia, and today she shares her story in the hope of encouraging other photographers to face their fears and jump at the chance to chase their dreams.
Tell us a bit about yourself, the work that you do, and how you came to follow that path?
Malo Lava! My name is Alexia Rae, I’m 22 and I’m Irish-Rotuman-Scottish-Indian-English-Samoan. I love all things creative! I’ve grown up in a very artsy family – everyone performs (music or dance), plays an instrument, or paints. So photography felt like family.
I’ve loved photography since the age of 13. My first memory of photography was on BeachComber Island in Fiji (which belonged to my Grandfather at the time). I was playing around with my mum’s new phone which had a surprisingly good camera feature. I spent so much time trying to capture how the water would rush up on the sand and caress the corners of the gangplank that was firmly planted on the shoreline. I’d usually wander off on my own, walking along the beach while finding new things. At night, when the stars would come out and play with my emotions, everything seemed so alive and so beautiful. That’s when photography first became an immediate tool for my creative gratification. I felt as if I could capture each moment and keep them for forever.
At 18, I began taking professional photos through my first job with a local Fijian company, at Nadi Bay Photography. After almost two years, my passion for photography increased – especially when I began traveling in early 2014. Different cultures, environments and faces pulled at my heart! I’ve been blessed to capture lifelong memories in Fiji, Hawaii, Los Angeles, China, Nepal, Cook Islands, and Samoa (where I now live). Inspiration is everywhere!
What is the biggest challenge of being a Photographer in the Islands?
No camera stores! Nothing else comes to mind aside from not being able to purchase top quality gear on the island. I have to rely on online shopping and shipping or the island way – asking family and friends overseas to purchase it for me!
There really isn’t anything greater than getting to walk into a camera store and feel the gear for yourself. I was blessed to purchase the gear I have now from of my former boss, Laurence Beddoes, of Nadi Bay Photography. He taught me everything I know about DSLR’s, the rules of photography, and editing my photos.
What motivates you to push forward with all you do, and to produce beautiful photos?
I love seeing life through the eyes of God. He made everything perfect in its place, with designed purpose, that doesn’t compete against anything else. So when I’m taking photos, I do my best to look at people and our surroundings with that in mind – that everything and everyone is so special and cannot be replaced or recaptured.
I also have a great community who push me to strive for excellence in all I do! They motivate me to be better – from glory to glory.
What advice do you have for young Pacific people who might be thinking of going into photography?
Don’t be afraid. Fear is your worst enemy! Also, pursue things that add to your knowledge and passion for photography! Create an atmosphere of inspiration – whether its through food, travel or friendship.
Sending our love and thanks to the wonderful Alexia Rae for sharing her story and her beautiful images with us all. If you’d like to get in touch, or find more of her work, head to her Facebook and Instagram pages.