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Rachel Perry, Art Buyer at SID LEE Amsterdam works on worldwide campaigns for big names such as ADIDAS FOOTBALL and ABSOLUT Vodka. Since the Australian producer first arrived in the Dutch metropolis in 2008, she first worked for agency 180 Amsterdam and then went freelance, working on countless campaigns and commercials for brands including TOMMY HILFIGER. We are delighted to have Rachel and her trained eye on our GoSee Awards Panel and at the UPDATE in Berlin. In her GoSee interview she shares her special story with the creative metropolis.
Her career began in her Australian hometown of Melbourne, where she worked for agencies such as Clemenger, Y+R and Patterson Partners. “I always had a keen eye and passion for photography, combining a commercial career alongside a strong involvement in the art world. “ She pursued her artistic interests in her five-year position as a guest lecturer in Photography at Melbourne University.
You studied in Australia, tell us a bit about the path that took you to Amsterdam? I have traveled a lot in my life back and forth from Australia to Europe. In 2008, I decided it was time to live in Europe again and I had always loved Amsterdam, so I picked up and decided to try it for a year, 6 years later, here I am!
How did you first come into working with photography? I studied Photography at University, it's always been a strong passion of mine. I started working in a camera store, then a photography studio and got my first job as a junior producer at Young and Rubicam when I was 20.
In Amsterdam you worked for the biggest ad agencies like 180 and Amsterdam Worldwide... And this year you started as art buyer at SID LEE Amsterdam. Can you tell us a little bit about your work? Actually, I have worked predominantly for Sid Lee for the past 3.5 years. I first worked with 180 Amsterdam when I moved here.. That was a great 2 years and I learnt a lot about how the Global market functioned. In 2010, I moved over to Sid Lee as a freelance producer. I have worked on all of their global print campaigns since. In between, I am lucky enough to get booked on great projects from other agencies like Amsterdam Worldwide and direct for brands like Tommy Hilfiger.
You also work as a freelance art buyer for TOMMY HILFIGER. The label is known for its classical ‘All American Style’ and the campaigns always tell stories. What are the challenges of working for such an international brand? This year I was very lucky to be given a project producing some the line Opening for Tommy Hilfiger. It was a great experience and quite outside the ad agency work I had done. I love working directly for a brand and especially one that has such a strong identity. The biggest challenge on this project was the amount of work that needed to be made in the amount of time we had!
Did you know that a 17-year-old Tommy Hilfiger and two friends visited New York, bought loads of jeans in cool urban styles he couldn’t get in his hometown of Elmira and then sold these from the boot of his VW Beetle when he returned? Is there a similar crazy story regarding your jobs you want to share? Ha ha, not that crazy. But there is always something unexpected that seems to pop up to manage and deal with as a producer, whether that's someone about to walk off your set, right before your about to shoot or a helicopter that broke down in the middle of an aerial shot! The nice thing to remember is there is always a solution.
You were Photographic Design Manager at Barclays Bank in Australia and from 2004 - 2008 you taught Photography at Deakin University, Australia? The Barclays job was when I was living in London and teaching at Deakin was perhaps one of my most favourite things to do so far. There is nothing quite like teaching something you love to people who also love it. I was so inspired to see what the students could create and expose me to.
What kind of photography inspires you? Personally, I am drawn to Portraits most out of all photography. However, I think why I love this job so much, is I can find joy, inspiration and beauty in just about anything we make images of. I just spent 7 days in a studio photographing ice, which I found completely fascinating!
Any other inspiration? I am very inspired by anything hand crafted in photography, I love large format photography, screen printed and everything real and tactile.
Do you travel to Australia frequently? It's not that close? Is there anything you really miss, except for your family? My partner, who is also Australian and I travel home every year for a month over Christmas. This serves the purpose of seeing our family and friends and also very importantly missing a month of the Amsterdam winter!! Aside from the people I miss, I would have to say the weather!
We are delighted you will be joining us at our UPDATE salon in Berlin. What is your relationship to Berlin? I am delighted to have been invited! I actually more and more have been coming to Berlin for shoots. This year I have already shot 3 projects there. Berlin is a constant source of inspiration, there is so much creative activity in the city, it feeds into every visit I make. I also visited a month ago for a long weekend for pleasure and was the first time I did Berlin by bike, it changed everything, so many fantastic details on the street to pass by, I may never catch the train again!!
You see so much photography – how can a photographer surprise you? It's difficult to say specifically, as you can't predict what will surprise you. I think when someone sets out to make something true to their passions, it reads loud and clear.
So, show the experienced art buyer and producer your passion, enter your work and meet Rachel Perry from SID LEE at the UPDATE in Berlin.
04.09.2014 // show complete article