- Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Photography for me has always been a form of therapy. A couple of years before I started photography, I had been working a very stressful operating room job and never quite found a way to cope with the demands. I was also battling horrible social anxiety and agoraphobia. I would go from work to home and back again. Then in June 2010 I picked up a camera and started taking shy self-portraits. I found being able to tell stories and trying out different characters allowed me to find more confidence in myself.
- How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve been a photographer since June 2010.
- How would you describe your style?
I love creating conceptual emotion based photographs that help connect with the human spirit and the preciousness of vulnerability.
- What type of cameras and gears do you shoot with? What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera?
I generally shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II and 50mm 1.2. My favorite photography accessory other than my camera would be my MacBook. It keeps my business going on the road.
- What lighting equipment do you take on a shoot? Can you describe how and when you use flash, video light, reflectors and natural light during a shoot?
I use all natural light in my photos. The sun is free and it works with my stories. Occasionally I’ll use a reflector, if I have an assistant on hand, but it’s usually just me taking a self-portrait or me with a friend taking photos.
- How much time do you allocate for each session?
I tend not to set up shoots, I really just shoot when I feel inspired. So generally it’s 15 – 20 minutes per shoot and on the spot.
- How important are the story line, beauty and connection with the subject?
The connection with the subject is the most important part of my photos. I want my viewer to feel. I want my viewer to see themselves in the image. I want them to spend time with the character and feel what they are feeling. I want people to connect with the emotion in the photo as a way in understanding the power of vulnerability.
- How important is Photoshop in your final images? Please explain 1 techniques with before-after comparison.
Photoshop is very important to my final image. But the amount of work that goes into it depends on the photo or concept. My first two years of photography I relied very heavily on Photoshop to create my images with a lot of compositing. These days I like to get as much in the camera as possible and only play around with colors. But I tend to always expand my images using the Brenizer Method as a way of controlling the whole scene. Sometimes the background itself really adds to a story and I like to think of each part of the photo like a canvas. You have to paint each part individually before it comes together as a whole.
- We know that each of us has someone or something that inspires our life and work. Can you tell us the true basis of your inspiration?
My inspiration comes mostly from emotions. I tend not to work with a lot of props. I generally take an emotion I’m feeling that day, find a landscape that suits it, and tell my story around that. I like to work with as many natural elements as possible to tell my stories a bit more organically and cost effectively. All I need is an expressive model, my camera, and a location and I’m good to go!
- Has photography changed your perspective towards life and if so, how?
Absolutely! Photography changed my life. Creating gave me a reason to get out of bed every morning. It gave me a reason to push myself. I started leaving the house. I started working with models. I fell in love with creating stories through the lens. I loved being able to take what I was feeling and turn it into something productive. Four years later I was traveling the country hosting workshops teaching conceptual photography to anyone who wanted to learn!
- 5 Golden rule you follow.
-You are going to want to give up sometimes. Keep going.
-Shoot what you like. Don’t shoot what you don’t like.
-Don’t be afraid to put your work out into the world. You never know what is going to come back.
-Give back. Give back to the community. Teach. Inspire. Share your secrets. Shape the next generation.
-Love what you are doing.
- What are your goals or dreams for the future?
More than anything I just want to travel, experience, and document. I want to continue to photograph my experiences and tell stories. I want my work to evolve with me. I want to live simply and have my photography reflect that. I want to inspire others to do so. I hope to achieve that by continuing to take opportunities that come my way and to seek opportunities. I want to continue to teach. But most of all, I just want to travel.
Sarah Ann Loreth Gallery