On a sunny weekend in mid-October, I headed to Seattle for the weekend. Sara and Hugh Forte of Sprouted Kitchen were teaching a two-day photography and styling workshop hosted by Aran Goyoaga. A longtime fan of Sara's wholesome, delicious recipes and Hugh's stunning photography, I was eager to get a peek into their process and gain inspiration for my own projects.
For those who have followed Small Sight over the years (and continents), I have always limited discussions of my work to a few highlights. Since returning to Oregon two years ago, my work has slowly shifted from content development and strategy to focus on photography. My background in communication and journalism informs and inspires the work I am doing now, but the fact that I am now working almost exclusively as a photographer still amazes me.
Having worked with some of the world’s best photojournalists and documentary photographers at World Press Photo, I've been reluctant to put myself in the same category. I don’t work in conflict zones, I don’t advance human rights, I don't shed light on urgent issues. But I love telling stories and hope that I can incorporate some of the ideals, ethos, and principles of working that I have seen those world-class photographers demonstrate into my own work.
I love food and I love to tell the stories of the people, products, and passion that goes into its creation. Food is an important reflection of culture and something that I have drawn comfort from while living, working, and traveling abroad. Whether that is the excitement of experiencing a new flavor or baking the familiar family recipes that smell and taste of home.
During the workshop, we were asked to share about our "voice". Undoubtedly, the way I define my voice will fluctuate, but at this moment, I would describe it as journalistic and heartfelt. With my images, I strive to be honest while capturing beauty. Taking photos of individuals moments that offer a glimpse of a larger narrative. Whether that is shooting chefs at work in a restaurant kitchen or capturing products crafted by local makers, I want to share stories that matter.
I have always had a camera by my side, but the photos I take today are very different than the photos I took two years ago. I've pushed myself to step up to the plate and embrace opportunities that scared me, learning so very much along the way. I hope that in two more years, my photos are different than what I produce today, incorporating and shifting with the new experiences that I gain weekly and the influence of the amazing community that I am lucky enough to be surrounded by.
The best part about this new path that I'm taking is that it isn't really so new. Understanding brands and how to communicate about them has been central to my work for the past 10 years. But with a camera in hand, I feel like the last piece of the puzzle has fallen into place. Working with companies to tell a compelling story and draw people in with engaging visuals has been such a honor and has let me work with some amazing people. I can't wait to see what the next year will bring, but before we officially ring in 2016, I will be sharing some of my favorite moments from last year over on Instagram in the coming weeks. Moments that, pieced together, have made this year truly incredible.