Sarah Ann Loreth got into portrait photography five years ago as a way to relieve the difficulties she was then experiencing. “I was going through a particularly rough time in my life. I was working a very stressful job in an operating room while battling social anxiety and agoraphobia,” she says. “Picking up a camera was a form of therapy for me.”
At first, her photos were limited to “shy self-portraits” she took in front of a white wall in her kitchen. These simple self-portraits taught her how to use a camera, but more importantly, they gave her the confidence she needed to change her situation.
“I started sketching out concepts I wanted to capture and posting my work online. By playing different characters in my work, I was able to find a sense of self and self-confidence. Not long after, I was quitting my job at the hospital to travel and teach!”
The Wind Harvester
Even though Sarah’s life is so different now from five years ago, she still uses portrait photography to express emotions and ideas. “It’s a great feeling to be able to create something you had been daydreaming about,” she says.
Unlike her kitchen wall, though, many of her portraits have natural surroundings now. “There is a real connection in nature I like to try to capture. My favorite locations are the ones I stumble upon in my travels where it just flows naturally into a concept.”
After shooting these portraits, she typically expands on certain scenes in Photoshop, then adjusts the colors in Lightroom. After that, she does the finishing touches in Photoshop to “make the colors pop.”
The Water Bearer
The way photography has changed Sarah’s life is inspiring. It’s given her “peace of mind and hope for the future,” as well as the strength to overcome fears and embrace life. “It was a reason to get out of bed every day. It was a reason to push myself and dream of bigger things. Having a camera in my hand gave me the confidence to pursue my passion.”
She encourages new photographers to keep up their work, to keep shooting and creating. “If you continue to practice and build that creative muscle, you’ll never be out of ideas.”
My soul is from elsewhere.
Fairest of them all.
tied to the sea
Where the darkness lives
to see beyond our imperfections
The Secret Life of the Stars