In honor of Photographer Appreciation Month in October, we’re highlighting some of our local photographers. For our first installment, we’re featuring Sarah Blodgett. Read on to learn about her photography!
Your name and type of camera you use / prefer?
Sarah Blodgett, Canon 5D Mark IV
What type of photography do you most often do or prefer (subject matter)?
I’m very focused on my art work these days, as well as portraits
So, Fine Art Still Lives, Wildlife (mostly birds) Landscape and Fine Art Portraits
How did you get into photography?
My father was a professional advertising photographer in New York (a real “Madmen” type) It came naturally to me to pick up a camera at the age of 10 and have continued ever since. I’ve been in business 30 years this year!
What’s your favorite photo you’ve taken and why?
At the moment my favorite photo is a portrait of a Great Horned Owl chick sleeping in a tree. I’m very careful when photographing wildlife, so as not to disturb my subjects. I only stayed for a few minutes to make the image and the owl, after having a good look at me, settled and leaned into its nesting cavity and shut its eyes. I feel like the experience was a success on many levels.
What inspires you and your photography?
Most of my inspiration comes from nature. Even in my portrait work, where it all began, working outside or with natural light brings me the most joy. I feel that humans are much more relaxed in natural settings and I can bring out the best in them when their feet are on the ground. My still lives are a way for me to dive into art history. I collect things from the fields and the woods and combine them with other objects to create painterly scenes that remind viewers of old master works. Then there is nature itself, land and seascapes and wildlife. I spend hours sitting and waiting for the sun to rise or set or for various birds and critters to arrive. Often unsuccessful on my quests, time outside is never a waste of time.
What is your background – did you study photography or are you self-taught?
Originally I learned the basics from my father, then in high school began processing black and white film. I studied extensively in high school with my advisor who was a photographer and instructor. For my senior project I documented the streets of San Francisco, a series that I’m still proud of today. Then in college, I continued to take every photography class available and learned color processing as well as a vast array of alternative processes. After graduating I began working for myself and never quit. I worked with a few other photographers, learned studio lighting, and have taken many continuing educational workshops and of course learned most of what I know with experience.
Do you use Photoshop or other software or are your photos more natural?
I work very hard to get the image right in the camera because I don’t enjoy sitting at a computer. I do use photoshop and lightroom for managing my images and basic color corrections but I don’t play make believe at my desk unless a specific job calls for it.
How has technology impacted your artistry and photos?
Mostly for the good. I worked in a dark room for 20 years so it’s nice to not have to deal with chemicals. Also the ease of digital and seeing your images as you work has eliminated the stress of waiting for film to be processed. There is however so much competition now, with so many people taking photos that the challenge has become creating work that is completely unique, which isn’t a bad challenge to take on, I like it in fact!
Where do you photograph – your most common locations – do you have a favorite place to photograph either as a subject matter or as a background?
All over for wildlife, portraits I use locations convenient to the client, or my studio, I have a barn that I use seasonally. When I have access to a nice building I’ll use it, particularly historical places that lend themselves nicely to my work.
How do you market yourself – do you have a website or social media that you use to promote your photography?
I have a website, sarahblodgett.com I’m also on facebook and instagram
Sarah Blodgett Photography
How do people find you and your photos – do you sell your photos or are you more “to hire” / commission-based?
I have a small gallery on Salmon Kill Road in Salisbury known as “The Bird House”, which services as my studio and gallery. Clients can visit and peruse my collection of frames and matted prints as well as hire me for commissions. I also sell through Demeter Home store in Pine Plains, NY as well as Neven & Neven Moderne in Hudson, NY
Have you (your photos) won any awards?
I have won many awards over the years but because I just moved my studio I’ve lost track of the list!