Sarah Fountain is an international photographer who captures distinctly beautiful imagery for the fashion, beauty and commercial industries. With works that exude a clear sense of feminine glamour, she's worked for countless high fashion brands and had her work published by the likes of Vogue and Elle. Now the woman behind the lens for Stevie's latest campaign, we spoke to Sarah about her favourite place to shoot, her dream muse and what inspires her photography.
What made you so interested in photography? Was there a defining moment where you realized you wanted to make a career out of this?
I have always been interested in visual arts but photography as a medium didn’t really enter my life until I was 6 years into a graphic design career. My first SLR camera was purchased out of pure frustration because I wasn’t feeling creatively fulfilled and capturing portraits quickly became my new obsession. Friends and family began to ask me to shoot commissions and that was the defining moment where I realised I could make a career out of this.
Your work has been published in the likes of Vogue Australia, Elle Greece and the Collective magazine. How does it feel to see your images printed in such highly respected publications?
It’s nothing short of wonderful to see your work published.
Your work has taken you all around the globe from the likes of Prague to Sri Lanka and then to the beautiful Italian Amalfi Coast for this Stevie May shoot. Where has been your favourite place your work has taken you?
At the risk of sounding biased, I have to say Italy has been my favourite place so far. It has a certain magic about it. It’s romantic, vibrant, timeless, rich in culture and the coastline is breathtaking.
Where do you seek inspiration for your photos?
Inspiration is everywhere. I am influenced by empowering female characters, exciting travel destinations, music that evokes emotion, iconic cinema, alluring runway shows and of course photographs by the masters.
Fashion, beauty, hair, lifestyle, commercial: you have such a wide range of photography styles. Is there a particular one which you favour?
I love to combine fashion with lifestyle photography especially when there is an opportunity to travel. I have produced some of my favourite shoots in this setting.
Do you have a dream muse that you would love to shoot?
Definitely Kate Moss. She is such an icon and has that captivating beauty that challenges the status quo.
What’s coming up in the future for you and your work?
I’m planning my next exciting destination shoots. I’m also delighted to be teaching a fashion photography masterclass for the Canon Light Awards this month.
How do you typically prepare for a photo shoot? Do you have a play by play or simply let the magic unfold in front of the lens?
There is always a balancing act between letting the magic unfold and preparing as much as possible. Some of the most important decisions have to happen before the shoot takes place like casting the right talent and scouting the best location for the story. On the day of the shoot there is usually a rough shot list but I am always searching for an unexpected moment. Something that elevates the photograph to a different level.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career so far?
The wonderful relationships I have made in the industry. A good photograph is always the result of a collective effort.
When you’re not behind the lens, what could we find you doing?
I am usually working in a very fast-paced environment so I like to unwind in my spare time. On the weekends you can find me at the beach, practising yoga, or having dinner and drinks with friends or my husband.
Did you grow up in a creative environment?
Yes. I spent a lot of time in my grandparents’ art studio while I was growing up. It was there that I learnt how to paint with watercolour and oil, and hand build pottery. My parents also nurtured my creativity by giving me the space to explore and use my imagination. However, they were unimpressed to find me scribbling on walls and taping over treasured family videos with my short film projects.
The 'La Vita è Bella!' Campaign features pieces from Stevie May: shop here