There aren’t any words to describe how our work unfolds with magic and purpose. Me and Terel put our best foot forward; we seek to show you the best of our culture and heritage and the best of ourselves” – Kiki
There’s never been a time in my life when I’ve not had an unbreakable creative bond. In my earlier years, the creatives were my parents, for I was the baby backstage at hair shows, and on the set of fashion shoots mimicking their flamboyant flair with hair on those poor training dolls. When I started to explore styling and art direction independently, I’ve always been fortunate to find everlasting loyalty in photographers who shared a similar vision. From British/Jamaican photographer Jerome Williams, British/Lucian photographer Frederique Rapier to Swedish/Brazilian photographer Erika Lager, we not only created together but formed meaningful friendships that I cherish to this day.
I am beyond grateful to have found that in Grenada with photographer Terel Moore. To say Terel, gets me, is an understatement. There aren’t any words to describe how our work unfolds with magic and purpose. What we capture is not only fuelled by our passion but a common desire to express how fascinated and impressed we are by the beauty of our homeland, Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. When we work, we put our best foot forward; we seek to show you the best of our culture and heritage and the best of ourselves. Our ability to share heartwarming stories, the character of our people and the enchantment of this place we get to call home peacefully and respectfully every single shoot is rare. I’m honoured to finally publish my conversation with the photographer behind the lens, Terel Moore. And feature our very first shoot at La Sagesse Hotel, Restaurant and Beach Bar back in 2017.
Kiki: So tell me… how did the interest for photography come about?
Terel: As a child actually. I had this unending fascination with my father’s old film cameras, so I learnt the basics of cameras and photography at a tender age. I spent my teenage years testing on my family and friends and developing my style. When I got my first digital camera, my first job was the infamous ring composition. It must have been alright as it landed me my first gig as the second photographer at my best friend’s wedding. The rest is history!
Kiki: Talk me through the history. What were some of the lessons you learnt along the way?
Terel: Lessons… oh, none other than the fact that photography is expensive! Like any other profession, you have to keep abreast of new developments in the field, and that often means upgrading, maintaining and gathering new gear. And they certainly don’t come cheap. But I see it as a worthwhile investment because I’ve already invested years in developing my skills, learning through various programmes, trying out interesting software and testing different filters and effects. You have to have heaps of curiosity and observational skills if you want a career in photography.
Kiki: So how would you describe your style?
Terel: My style is all about creating a mood. It’s probably from my affinity for film photography and reading film photography books. One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is not to compare myself or my work to others. Ten photographers may shoot the same scene, but each will do it in their unique style. There will be people who appreciate your shot, and there will be others who won’t. And that’s ok because what’s important is that you learn something new every time you shoot.
Kiki: So, what subjects do you unleash this style upon?
Terel: Portraits at sunset or near dawn; high-end fashion in tropical settings; typically anything that encompasses some creative elements of nature or island life. When I speak of moods, its the act of drawing out sincere expressions in each subject. And most of all, I like to keep things as natural and genuine as possible.
Kiki: Ah yes natural! This is definitely where we connected.
Terel: It certainly is! Working with you deepened my appreciation for my style of work and creative ability. I should have met you sooner. Now I’m not just saying this because you’re interviewing me, but you’re super awesome. A straight up and caring person and a fantastic creative director with a knack for pulling people together. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to work with. We’ve been to some amazing and exclusive locations, worked with some awesome people and with each shoot it gets better and better. We’ve mastered the art of understanding space, bringing it to life, shooting efficiently and feeding off each other’s creative abilities.
Kiki: Ahh, I feel the same; I’m always excited about all our projects. It’s been the best way to discover and rediscover Grenada.
Terel: That’s one of my favourite things I love about working in Grenada. The scenic landscapes and seascapes. We have just about everything at our fingertips. Waterfalls; rivers; wooden houses; beaches; springs; mountains; hidden gems like Carriacou; bamboo bars and amazingly cool people. Of course, I’d love to travel and shoot. If I could shoot anywhere else in the world, it would be wedding photography in Cancun and travel photography in South America and New Zealand.
Kiki: I love travel photography! Nowadays, everyone has access to a device with which it is possible to take pictures. How do you stay relevant as a photographer?
Terel: It’s true; anyone can pull out their camera or device and “take a picture”. The professional photographer sees something they like, thinks of what they’d like it to be portrayed as, mentally plans, checks the lighting, thinks about the technical aspects such as timing, angle, focus and light and then they compose the photograph they’d like to show to the world. There is a more in-depth process and appreciation that goes into what the professional photographer does versus what the picture taker does.
Kiki: So… what advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
Terel: Take the time to gain an appreciation for the art form rather than trying to pick it up for the likes, fame or money. Research and seek advice before making big decisions. Never be afraid to ask questions and never doubt your worth or ability. Don’t fear failure, learn from it and work through every challenge with your best intentions at heart. People will forget the awesome picture you took; people will remember that you got it all wrong, but what they’ll never forget is that time you showed up in the pouring rain at their wedding day optimistic that you could make the best out of a bad situation. Those are the things they’ll never forget you for.
Stay updated with Terel’s work at Terel Moore Photography