We’re excited to welcome lifestyle photographer Adair Rutledge to Sally Reps! Adair hails from the Southeast and has made a name for herself producing unique images for clients like John Deere and Disney. Adair’s work is right on point and we were excited to learn a little bit more about her background and what makes her tick.
How’d you get your start in photography?
Photography has always been my favorite medium. I have a post-baccalaureate degree in fine arts. At 19, I had the “brilliant” idea to get a BFA in graphic design so I could work as a photographer to musicians and design their packaging. While I decided not to pursue design professionally, it does inform my photography work. In particular, it helps me see things from an art director's point of view and visualize how my photographs would translate to final layout. Early in my career, I did work in the music industry. My photography took me to Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee, where I shot people like LeAnn Rimes, Luke Bryan and Willie Nelson. Later, I changed gears to do more editorial and advertising work.
What would your clients say about you?
The feedback I get most often from clients is that I’m good at making everyone on set feel at ease. When people relax, there’s a natural, emotional spontaneity that can happen. I do a lot of preparation before the shoot to create an environment where people truly feel safe. This is especially important because I frequently work with “real” people who aren’t necessarily accustomed to being photographed. Helping my subjects feel comfortable leads to more authentic expressions and real moments, and it’s something I really enjoy doing.
What inspires your work?
I work with kids a lot and I try to bring their spontaneity to my work with adults as well. Kids aren’t trying to look their best and I’m not interested in making them look perfect either. In fact, for me, there’s something that makes an imperfect moment really interesting. For example, a kid trips and falls on a dog then bursts out laughing. It’s a happy accident and it works. I try to bring that same mindset to all of my work.