We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Sherr and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
The more I develop my brand the more I question the idea of ‘work’ and ‘life’ having separateness. This could certainly be the case for a 9-5 but I don’t think it necessarily applies to artists. Our work is our life and how we live our lives. Personally I don’t want there to be a separation of my work and my life because what I do for work gets me up in the morning and gives me more energy than it takes away. That being said, balance very well may be a skill worth mastering. Having balance in all areas of life is paramount to a happy and healthy person in my opinion. If I feel like I’m spending too much time on my laptop working and not enough time outside in the sun I’ll do my best to shift my workflow so that I can get what I need. The way I balance my workflow and all other areas of my life has definitely improved with time. I’ve gained discipline and I’m better at prioritizing and delegating.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a Miami native that started freelancing at 16 and always knew I wanted to be part of the photo industry. I love the collaboration, shared vision, business strategy and the inspired productivity. I also love to work for myself and be independent and I could never have it any other way. Whether I’m shooting a fashion campaign, environmental nudes, or a lifestyle ad, it’s really important for me to skip the fluff and get right to the point of an image. What I love about this industry is that it allows me to fuse my masculine energy and feminine creativity and I’m so glad I found a place for that combination of personality flavors. I’m grateful to be working in a time where women in the industry are becoming more commonplace, and I’d say that’s something that’s different about me considering what I shoot. My personal work deals with the female nude in relation to the subject’s natural environment and my gaze takes on a different form than a male photographer’s.
I am constantly exploring aesthetic dualities by using light, composition, color, and emotion. From edgy to expansive, soft and airy to sexy and explosive- it’s really all about evocative storytelling. At the end of the day my work seeks to capture the creation of a moment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Montecito Hot Springs in Santa Barbara has my heart. I’d start our week camping for a night at Carpinteria State Beach, before heading out to the steep hike up to the hot spring to relax there for several hours. Afterward we’d journey back to my home in Altadena and have a phenomenal dinner and gelato at my favorite restaurant, Bulgarini Vino Cucina. I could rave about the food and live music there for days. The following few days would be occupied by hiking in my area and traversing the beaches and views in Palos Verdes, and cooking most of our meals from goods found at the South Pasadena Farmers Market. On the weekends I like to eat out here and there so we’d dine at Bodegon No 69 and order the Mixto Ceviche – best ceviche I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. Afterward we’d go over to my good friend Kam’s property in Laurel Canyon for a live open jam where world class musicians congregate to create together. On my friend’s final day we’d spend Sunday morning up on the rooftop of the Petit Ermitage Hotel in West Hollywood. They’re one of my favorite clients and they create a very relaxing environment for brunch and a dip in the pool.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest supporters, although cliche, were my parents, and I feel very blessed for that. Neither of them had much money so although they couldn’t support me financially they were ready to go gung ho for whatever path I decided to pursue. When it came time for me to go to high school I auditioned for a publicly funded arts school in South Florida Called Dreyfoos School of the Arts and was accepted to the photography department. The discipline and creative skills I learned there at a young age were absolutely paramount experiences for my growth as an artist and as a teen and I’ll forever be grateful for the teachers that guided my way.
Images feature Samantha Visscher, Stephanie Sinn, and Abigail Ohab.