Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Artist Interview with Sarah Chase - Photographer

Artist Interview

with Sarah of

 Tell us a little bit about you.

I’m Sarah Chase. I live in New England with my husband and son. I love to travel with my family, and of course my camera is a must-bring on all of my adventures! I would describe myself as creative, determined, and compassionate.

 What’s in your bag. 

In my camera bag, I have a Nikon D610. My 50mm lens is currently attached, but I also have an 85mm that I love! I also keep a remote in there for self portraits. I don’t use it often, but I like to be sure I have it just in case!

 When did you fall in love with photography? How long have been a photographer?

I started my business 5 years ago, when my son was a baby. But, I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was little! I have always loved to document outings, and take pictures of my friends and family. 

 What sort of work do you specialize in?

I am somewhere between lifestyle and documentary photography. I like to capture real, genuine emotions and connections, but I also give style advice to clients before a session. I also pick out clothes for my family if I know I’ll be taking pictures. 

 Do you create personal work often?

Yes! All the time. I bring my camera with me on play dates and outings, and especially when we travel. I love creating personal work because I’m able to try new things and push myself further, without the pressure of performing. 

 What or who got you started in photography?

My mom is the one who first handed me a camera. Back then, I would drop the film off at the store and pick it up days later. It was so fun to go through the little packet of 4x6 prints to see what I created!

I started my business when my son was little. Before he was born I worked as a support provider for adults with disabilities, with a goal of going back to college for forensic psychology. When he was born, though, my dreams changed. A family member gifted me with a Nikon Coolpix, which was slightly better than my point-and-shoot camera. I documented my son’s daily life and began to take my hobby a bit more seriously, and a beautiful journey started from there! 

 Who are some of you favorite artists past or present?

I have so many favorites! I would say my top five include  Van Gogh, Monet, Katsushika Hokusai, Art Wolfe, and Candice Zugich.  

 How often do you get in front of the camera?

Not often enough! Although I’ve gotten better at handing the camera to a family member during important moments and trips, so I end up in the album later on! I realized that I wasn’t in a single picture of my son’s second birthday, and that was the moment I began handing the camera over. These photo albums are great for nostalgia, but they will eventually be for him and his family. I want to make sure that mom is in there, not just behind the camera.

 What are some of favorite photographer communities?

The Snap Society on Facebook! The community is great for photographers at all points in their journey. 

 Print or Digital? Why?

Print, all the way! While I love the immediacy of digital cameras, I prefer to print memories. Digital isn’t as archival. Just this year I had water spill onto my laptop! I was very lucky that the sessions I hadn’t ordered or backed up yet were still able to be extracted from the hard drive, but it was quite the scare. Print what you want to preserve!

 Do create other types of art? What kind(s)?

Yes. I love to draw and paint with watercolor. 

 How do you balance your personal/family and passion?

I have learned a few tricks over the years to keep me from feeling like a workaholic! Firstly, I turned off all of the social media and email notifications on my phone, that way I only check when I mean to, and I don’t get distracted with notifications while I’m with family. 

When we travel, I take a few pictures of wherever we are, and then put the camera down and stay present with my family. When we were in Iceland, for example, there was so much to look at and document, but I didn’t want to spend our entire trip behind the lens. I made a rule with myself to document for a few minutes, then enjoy reality for a few minutes before taking my camera back out. It wasn’t always easy! We have beautiful images to look back on years from now, but we also have memories together that don’t involve the camera.

Lastly, I need a good planner. The Day Designer is a life saver! Between homeschooling, play dates, client sessions, in person sales, trips, dates… I needed a planner that could fit it all. This planner has helped me stay sane! 

 From where do you draw your inspiration?

All around. But mainly, my son. He’s my wonderfully energetic child who has taught me a lot about patience and documenting (fast) moments as they happen. He’s not one who enjoys posing! He helped to shape the way I photograph clients.

 What's your best digital resource?

Creative Live. I love to hop on and see what classes they have going!

 What kinds of creative collaborations have you done?

I documented daily life at a local nature preschool. It was interesting to see the many personalities of the children who attended, and to get a sense of what they do there. I have also worked with a burlesque troop! Both sessions were unique and fun. 

 Do you work with any charities or special projects? Which ones? Shout them out.

I have donated gift certificates for charity auctions, and I do what I can for our local animal shelter. The shelter isn’t business related, I just love animals! Just last week we dropped off towels because they had run out. I also invite others to call their local animal shelter to see what they might need, even if you can’t adopt any of the animals. 

 If you could go back in time, what advice would give to your young photographer self, today?

Keep going, there are some beautiful things ahead. 

 What tips would you give to Artsies reading this in an inspirational rut?

Ruts happen, and usually there’s a big breakthrough on the other side. Take a break! Take a long bath, listen to some music, and/ or get out into nature. Don’t be afraid to try something new, even a new medium. Inspiration is everywhere, but it can be harder to see when we’re clouded with stress or pressure. If all else fails, work through it. You’ll get there! 

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