Sarah Ashley Peters, a photographer currently located in Destin, Florida, is a storyteller by nature. Her passion and talent for photography shines through her beautiful photographs. Her documentary work, ephemeral nature scenes and dreamy wedding shots are absolutely captivating. I have been a fan of her work for a while now and was happy when Sarah agreed to answer a few questions about her work and inspiration.
How did you get started in photography?
High school art class was the place where I fell in love with the camera. I had always been drawn to printmaking and painting, which I still love, but the camera allowed me to explore and spend time outside to make work – whereas the other mediums required me to spend my time mostly indoors. I used the camera as a sort of therapy time – a friend to accompany me during the afternoons I spent driving around and exploring little places in my hometown. It wasn’t until I applied to college using some of my photographs as part of my portfolio that I began to consider pursuing photography instead of painting. I didn’t begin shooting work until a few family friends asked me to photograph them and offered to pay me. I was then fortunate enough to have a similar situation take place, but the couple was based in Moscow – so my first international wedding was in Russia. It was amazing!
What inspires you?
Being grateful is one of the most important elements for me as an artist. Being intentionally and consistently thankful is a wonderful weapon to diffuse frustration or competition in such a fabulously saturated market we are all creating work in today. With social media as such a huge platform for showcasing images, it can sometimes be hard to view other’s work as an inspirational without getting discouraged or viewing your own as inferior. Gratefulness reminds me to be perfectly appreciative of the time I have, the gear I own, and people I am blessed enough to spend time with and make images of – even when I feel like I should be better.
What is your favorite subject to photograph?
My favourite series I have been fortunate enough to photograph were the children from Hitch Village in Savannah, Georgia. Using a 4×5 view camera, I spent time in the housing projects on the east side of Savannah forming relationships with the families and photographing the children that grew up there until sadly, the homes were torn down in the summer of 2010.
What’s in your toolbox?
The most essential parts of my shooting collection are my 5D Mark ii and 24-70mm which I use for weddings. My favourite equipment for personal work is my 4×5 view camera, 35mm, and a variety of old, broken cameras which I use to shoot through with my digital.
Thank you, Sarah! We wish you luck as you head to Chicago to pursue your master’s degree.