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Mary McCartney, left, might have a famous father Paul and sister Stella, but she’s well-known in her own right for her photography. (MATT DUNHAM/The Associated Press)
Mary McCartney, left, might have a famous father Paul and sister Stella, but she’s well-known in her own right for her photography. (MATT DUNHAM/The Associated Press)

THE CREATIVE MIND

Mary McCartney gets by with a little help from her dad Add to ...

How else has your late mother, Linda McCartney, influenced you as a photographer?

I think that in her photographic style she would take pictures that looked really easy to take and really simple. She didn’t do a lot of big lights and fancy stuff around it. But she would get very intimate, relaxed photographs. She could get her subjects to really, really relax in front of her, and she used a lot of available light situations. So in a way the pictures look quite casual but they are capturing very important moments, so I think that has really influenced me, because that is something that I like to do.

We can’t leave Paul McCartney out of the equation. How has he influenced you as an artist?

He has influenced me in that he, as a child I remember he and my mom would sit together and he would edit my mom if mom was doing a book, and they would sit around with prints and he would help edit pictures of her and so he has a really good eye, and a really good opinion on things. So when I’ve done exhibitions and books, I get my edit together but then I meet up with him, you know for breakfast, and go through working prints and ask him his opinion. I think he’s got a good eye, and he’s always been interested in photography. And he’s had a lot of amazing photographers over the years take his picture, so I think he has a really good opinion. I ask his judgment still on his favourite shots, if I’ve got a shoot going on.

You grew up on the road while your parents had the rock band, Wings. Have you ever thought to rebel against all that anti-conformity that has surrounded you all your life as the daughter of a major rock star and icon?

No, I’ve never felt the need to rebel. I think that, there was a lot of time on the road growing up, and a lot of travelling, but I had my siblings with me so it felt quite normal. There was a lot of activity around, and mom and dad would, if we were somewhere for a while, rent a house rather than putting us in a hotel so it would have a kitchen and cooking and home living around it, still. Other than that, they were quite interesting, rounding experiences and also by the time I got to 8, 9, 10, they settled down, and stopped touring for a while. So it sort of was more those younger years where you’re still quite flexible. So when I got a bit older we did settle and I was at a school kind of normally and not moving around all the time. But I think, no, I haven’t rebelled against it. It’s made me enjoy travelling and seeing new things and I think maybe I’m quite adaptable to different situations because of it.

You dedicate your 2010 book to your family. How has your sister, Stella McCartney, influenced you?

She and I have worked on a few projects together. I worked on a campaign for her photography. But you know we are close and we hang out quite a lot so we bounce ideas off each other.

How about brother James?

He’s been quite a good subject. I’ve taken a lot of photographs of him over the years. I like taking pictures. I do commercial projects and I do more personal things during holiday times and so he’s quite fun, and quite quirky and I’ve done a nice range of pictures of him. He’s a great subject. He’s got a great sense of humour, and in the past he’s sort of performed well for me before the camera, so I’ve got a lot of nice photographs of him over the years but quite quirky, which I like, they make me smile.

Digital or darkroom?

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