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I am constantly writing stories in my head as I face the world each day, and I see through rose-coloured glasses. All of my creative tendencies mesh and assist each other in their evolution. I'm a musician, a photographer, and a visual artist, but I don't prefer any of those labels. I just like to create.
Sarah, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
When I was younger, I remember realising that I was much more observant than my peers, much to my chagrin. I called this, my phenomenon, "Sarah's Camera Eyes." I simply look around, and my brain notices all the shadows, the plumb lines--all the elemental facets of composition. Simply speaking, it's very hard for me to put the camera down.
Who is your inspiration in life Sarah? How do you keep inspired?
Buildings have such sensual, subtle statures, so I am naturally drawn to architecture. I keep inspired by living in a city that contains an endless amount of architectural stimuli and immersing myself in it.
We all make mistakes Sarah; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I wish I had asked for more advice from highly experienced photographers that I've worked with at university. There is always more to learn!
Sarah, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
First and foremost, communicating with them is key! Ask clearly what they want, let them explain, take notes, and then offer your insight or vision for a photographic experience. Work together!
Please tell us, Sarah, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
As I'm primarily a natural light photographer, the timing of the shoot is usually a top priority. Researching sunset times, weather, and coordinating this with your client's schedule takes some serious strategising.
Sarah, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
Perspective is very personal and unique to each person. To present your perspective, you must understand other's perspectives first. Once in university, I was collaborating on a project, and I wanted the colouring of a photo to be cooler because it was set in winter, while my peer wanted a warmer tone. I realised most of their previous work was coloured more warmly and ending up discussing this with them. It was something they didn't yet notice about their work. We settled on the cooler tone, because it made more sense for our project, while also gaining more insight into our artistic perspectives.
Sarah, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
I am very proud of the most recent portraits in my portfolio because I proved to myself that I was more than capable of creating professional photography. I only recently attained a professional lens and never had the opportunity to play with a much more open lens. My first portrait shoot with this lens blew my mind, and I am now more motivated than ever to continue on my photographic journey.
Sarah, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
Recently, I shot on the Staten Island Ferry, and I was able to work with all the "natural props," as I call them, such as the ferry's ropes and orange bars, and the waves in the water. There were tons of people on the ferry, and it was rocking back in forth, also during sunset, making it very difficult to see, but I love a challenge. This made me even happier with the results.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Constantly observe. Ask questions about your observations, and ask your mentors and inspirations questions. It's okay to be confused and know that your work isn't where you want it to be yet. We are all reaching for that higher place. Recognize your achievements, but always keep creating work.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes! I would love to be involved in fashion photo shoots, shooting on location with fashion models, or doing shoots for/with brands.
All photos by Sarah Marie West