Interview – Sarah Ann Loreth


How did you get into photography?

I wish I had a really interesting story to tell, like I picked up my first camera and the stars aligned and it was meant to be. But my story isn’t that interesting. I had gotten a camera for Christmas one year and never really thought to use it beyond a few macro shots of slugs, spices, and flowers. I had been working in an operating room for a few years by then and a lot of my time was spent at work. A relationship I had ended and I needed a bit of a distraction so I bought myself a tripod and remote and started doing really shy self portraits in my kitchen against the blank white wall. I was always very shy but self portraiture became a way to channel my emotions through art. I found that by playing different characters I was learning more about myself. Eventually I started posting my work to social media and I got such a good response I just keep going and kept creating.


What is your creative process like?

I keep notebooks on me at all times that I use to write down inspiration and photo ideas for future use. I read a lot of poetry and philosophy which keeps my mind open and active to all possibilities. Then I just wait for the best locations to execute the ideas! I try to get as descriptive as possible in my notebooks and even draw out the concepts for ease of shooting. It really cuts down on my shooting time. Then it’s just a matter of bringing those photos into Photoshop.

You seem to experiment a lot in your photos with different themes and styles of photo and editing. Is there anything that you are looking forward to experimenting with? Any favorite new experiences in photo?

I’m always trying to experiment with color. Trying to portray emotions and stories best through brilliant pops of color. I’ve been working a lot lately in a wider crop to give the stories I create a more cinematic feel, like stills from a movie. I’m excited to play around more with that and let my style grow and develop, one picture at a time. I’ve had the opportunity to travel the last four months visiting so many iconic parks and beautiful locations and I’ve found a new appreciation in landscapes and the technique behind them.


Who are some of your favorite photographers and artists?

I’ve traveled extensively with Joel Robison and Shane Black who are both incredible photographers. We’ve spent the last two summers together traveling around North America hosting workshops along the way. We call ourselves The Wild Ones Tour and together we have traveled over 28,000 miles and hosted more than twenty workshops. I love the feel of Elizabeth Gadd‘s photos which always leave me with a wanderlust. I love the stories and emotion in Sally Mann and Gregory Crewdson and I find a lot of inspiration in them.

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How would you describe your style of photography?

I would describe my photography as fine art or conceptual portraiture. I love to tell a story through a photo with very strong emotion to draw the viewer in. I try to give my photos a bit of reality to them often in a wider more cinematic crop that tells a strong story.

Which photo that you have taken is your favorite? Why?

Any photo that looks exactly like how I had imagined is my favorite. You know when things just turn out the way you had planned? It’s a satisfying feeling. There is one in particular where I had lugged my camera to the top of some sand dunes in Idaho last summer. It was so hot. And the dunes were steep and hard to climb. I snapped a few self portraits and the wind picked up and blew my dress and hair and everything turned out wonderfully.


Where do you find inspiration?

Although I am a visual artist, most of my inspiration comes from writing and philosophy. If I’m really stuck for ideas I’ll open one of my favorite books of poetry, put my finger on one of the lines and try to create a story to visually translate that idea. I find inspiration in phrases and interesting words strung together. I find inspiration in being attentive to song lyrics.

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You do a lot of portraits. What do you look for in your subjects?

Almost all of my photos are of myself, my friends, and fellow photographers. I love having other photographers pose for me. They are always so aware of their angles, how to pose, and are always so willing to do whatever it takes to get the shot. I’ve always been very shy so I tend to choose people I trust and whose stories I know.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I hope to continue co-hosting the annual Wild Ones Workshop Tour to continue to build a brilliant community of photographers. I hope to continue to travel. I hope to continue to allow my style to grow. I hope to move to the west coast and find gallery representation. I hope to continue to live my photography dreams.

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All images via. Sarah Ann Loreth

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