Mia Meets… Connie McDonald

Interview by Mia Kingsley

For this weeks So how did you start taking photos?

took my first roll of film when I was in primary school. My parents let me use their 35mm SLR with one roll of 36-exposure film and I documented the growth of our tadpoles into frogs and their release in a creek near my house.

Have you always been creative?

I have always liked doing stuff, creating things, documenting. Through diaries, and keeping dead insects I find, my brothers baby teeth. I like collections and obsessing over things, and learning facts.

Tell us about growing up in New Zealand?

My dad told me about the rocks and the earth. He would point out twisted metamorphic cliff faces, and tell me how they would have been horizontal, but had buckled under pressure. We spend hours at every river, ocean-shore and lake, looking at the rocks. He teaches me words I had never heard before, this geological language; quartz vein, mica and bornite.

Do you feel your surroundings play a big part in your photography? 

I love photographing in nature. It is refreshing to visit an overgrown field and lie in the grass, don’t you think?

Tell us about your style and how its developed from when your first began…

I have always been interested in documenting little everyday moments that I thought were special. One of the first photographs I took was of my little brother Tobias in the shower.

I feel like your portraits are focused a lot on women and girl culture, tell us about that?

Being a girl myself I love the idea of celebrating the intricacies, the beauty, the intelligence and the creativity of amazing girls that are little parts of my life.

What else inspires you?

As I love writing, lyrical geniuses such as Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan inspire my work. Cohen’s song ‘Suzanne’ is loaded with beauty: “and the sun pours down like honey…”. I find inspiration in watching sun rises and sets. The sea. The smell of chai lattes.

When you plan a shoot do you like to use narrative or do you just go with the flow? 

Both! I think a little bit of planning is so much fun for me! But I like it just to be a fun couple of hours of hanging out. Relaxed. See what happens.

You also experiment with collage and illustration, what do you like about these added details?

I love sitting down with my photographs in front of me and adding stickers and glitter and felt pen because it is an added layer. I love to include nostalgic references. In the fashion industry often little girls are dressed to look so much older, I am not interested in this, I’d rather preserve fun childhood ideas. Plus stickers are just so great. I have a massive collection.

Who do you admire the most?

My mum and dad. They met when they were five and dated in high-school. They went to the same university, and my mother studied to be a doctor, my father did mineral technology. His course was much shorter than my mum’s so went to work over in Australia in the mines for a year and made money for their engagement ring. He wrote her a letter most days, they are in a big sack in our garage. My parents were married at 21, and still are so infatuated with each other.  My parents went to old cemeteries to find names for us kids. My sister is Harriet, my full name is Constance, and my brothers are Rufus and Tobias.

What would your dream photo shoot consist of?

Clips and glitter and fluffy clothes and pink and stickers and friends and sun and nature.

How would you describe your work in 3 words!

Nostalgic, carefree, pretty.

So what is next for you Connie? Any exciting projects we should look out for?!

I am going to England to study for a semester! I am so excited to meet new people and have a lovely time documenting everything.

Thanks so much Connie! We cant wait to see what the future holds for you 🙂 Check out the rest of Connie’s work here:

As for interviews, you can read all previous ‘Mia Meets…’ here and for more Mia check out the links below…

Until next time have a wonderful week! xxx


Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.