Today we’d like to introduce you to Sara Donohue.
Sara, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I should start by saying I’ve always erred on the creative side. I remember endless hours of journaling and scrapbooking as a kid. I remember my first film camera and I remember the bed sheets I’d hang up on the walls in my bedroom so I could have a backdrop to photograph our house cats. I’ve always got a thrill from making, building, and crafting things. A lot of those desires led me to art school, for better or worse, where I studied both art and art history. Though I’ve always had creative pursuits, it has taken me the better part of 30 years (and a lot of trial and error) to really nestle in and find my niche. I’ve dabbled in so many areas. I’ve painted, drawn, wrote music, poetry, read, and photographed my way through the years, ebbing and flowing, without ever really feeling like I found my ‘thing.’ So much of my journey towards professional photography begins somewhere back then, when I was kid snapping photos of the cats or when I was in my first years of college sorting through my emotions. There was no single event that set my story in motion. With that being said, so much of what I focus on now (family, documentary style, capturing the details, ‘lifestyle photography’ if you will) began to really take shape with my journey towards motherhood and the birth of my daughter, Nora. The nine months of carrying her and her birth into this world opened up softness and rawness in me. I wanted so badly to capture my family’s journey: those raw-unscripted moments- as they were unfolding and I realized I wanted to do it for other families and couples as well and now here I am.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
First-is anyone ever journeying on a perfectly smooth road?
Most of the things that are really worth it in this world ARE HARD! If I had to be completely honest, I would say my biggest struggle, the largest obstacle, the hardest part for me has been wading through the muck of habitually comparing myself to other people and self-doubt, both of which I think do not get talked about enough. Social media is such a powerful tool, yet it has such capacity to weigh us down and muddy our vision. Starting anything new, especially when it comes to sharing your art with other people, is emotionally complex. It’s hard at times, frustrating albeit rewarding, and overall it demands a lot of courage. It’s a ton of trial and error and realizing that the process is just as important as the end result. Understanding that your dreams will not realize themselves overnight is easy in theory, yet it can be really hard to work in earnest and persevere when you begin to question yourself and voice. A lot of the bumps in my journey stem from this timidness and uncertainty. Mostly though, I have found that this ‘not so smooth road’ I am on has helped me to create/capture authentic images and connections. It brings a realness to each session. After all, who is really journeying on an obstacle-free/smooth road? We all have our own story and it’s hardly ever smooth sailing.
Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I think of myself as a storyteller even more than I do a photographer. It’s why I favor candid, unposed images and it’s why I love to journal about each of my sessions. There is always a story, a story that is unique to the individual but one that also contributes to the greater framework of humanity. It’s important to me to capture and share these connections. This is also why I believe no one can do wrong during one of my sessions, absolutely anything goes. I think getting photographed can feel really stressful. If you come into it with concrete ideas about how you want your kids to behave and look, how you want the weather to turn out, the whole session can ultimately end up putting a lot of strain on the entire family. I’ve been there and so I’ve adopted a process that is incredibly laid back, casual, FUN, and LOW STRESS. This is what sets me apart. This is my goal as an artist- to show you the magic that is your life- this moment- the now unfolding- to allow ourselves to all disarm for a while- snap some photos- be present. No matter what is going on, we can simply just spend time together. My focus on capturing candid, un-choreographed images stems from my belief that, after all is said and done, it is those moments that will matter to you most. It is those moments that you-your partner-your kids- your family will look back on, remember and identify with, nothing posed or staged. Just an in-between moment, a moment of total connection.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Oh, this is one of those tricky questions like ‘what is happiness to you?’ So many different ways to respond. Right now, success to me is saying no to the rat race with confidence. Success is being able to sustain the lifestyle I want without compromising my core values. I don’t want to work more so I can buy more. Success means spending more time with my family, seeing more of the world together, making things simpler, making less of an environmental impact, and slowing things down a bit. Accomplishing those things is my epitome of a successful life and also, coincidentally, ‘what happiness means to me.’
- Website: www.saralprice.com
- Phone: 303-257-0673
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @saraldonohue