Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarit Rogers.
Sarit, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My introduction to photography and what I viewed as “magic” at the time was through my father and the darkroom in our home. I must have been around 5. He taught me how to use his Olympus OM1 and I loved watching images come to life in the chemical-laden darkroom. To this day, I feel a deep settling when I get a waft of darkroom chemicals. Some folks like the smell of gas, I love the developer and fixer. I proceeded to dabble in photography throughout my formative years, taking a photo elective in middle school, and eventually putting myself through Santa Monica College’s photography program. At the time, digital was new and hadn’t quite taken its place in the world of photography, so I was blessed with learning the technical side of creating an image through the use of film, large and medium format cameras, hours upon hours in the processing labs (I processed my own color, chrome, and black and white films) and darkrooms (color and black and white).
I have always had an autonomous approach to creating images. Photographers learn to bend light and create flattering shadows and highlights, use angles to shift perceptions, ideas, plant thoughts and ultimately manipulate you, the viewer, to feel, see, experience what we want. However, I feel there is a level of dishonesty in shooting like that and I have always pushed back. I want to celebrate the person I see in front of me, be they tall, short, large, small, ample, thin, able-bodied, differently abled, young, old, etc. I believe wrinkles are the maps of our personal stories. In our imperfections lies a deeper beauty, a more real beauty. My goal is to empower.
So, because of this, I have found my place in the photography world through hard work, perseverance and a lot of stubbornness. It’s taken me over 12 years to really find my footing. I learned to do other things so I could continue to photograph folks without a sense of financial desperation. These days, I shoot because I want to, and I try to pick and choose what I want to work on. I create art, and to me, art doesn’t have a limit of time or a price tag determining its worth. It has to have a beating, thriving, vulnerable heart.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to where I am now has been wrought with more detours and bumps than ever. It’s not been easy. There is a lot of struggle with being a woman in a male-dominated industry and a mother. When I started, I was a single mom, which meant I had to give up some opportunities because my son was and continues to be a priority. I have lost jobs to men, not because they are more qualified, but because I don’t carry the aggressive competitor gene. There were many moments of loneliness, sadness, wanting to give up, but I have a stubbornness and determination not to throw the towel in, so I persevered. I refuse to give up.
Sarit Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am an independent business owner. I specialize in Embodied Photographic experiences. I primarily photograph portraits, fine art portraits, lifestyle images — in particular yoga and musicians. I am known for my ability to connect with people, create safe, creative environments and my playfulness. I am notoriously goofy, I am most proud of my trauma-informed approach to my photography and my ability to truly see the person I am working with. I am proud of my collaborative approach to creating images and in particular my work with body image awareness. Of late, I have created an Embodied Photography workshop where I integrate Somatic Experiencing™ techniques in a small group setting before we even pick up a camera. Every single client has said to me, “I hate being photographed, but I need this. I don’t take good photos.” This is right off the bat. I am not alone in hearing this, I am sure, but my approach to it is to bear witness and create a safe space.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I am particularly proud of my recent cover and essay contribution in Yoga Rising. That has blown me away. It was my fourth cover but my first published piece of writing in book form. Wowsers! I am still pinching myself.
- Headshots start at $475 for two looks
- Yoga imagery starts at $625
- Embodied Photography workshops are $1500 for a full day and up to 8 people
- VIP Embodied Photography shoot for one person: $825
- Website: www.saritphotography.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @saritphoto
- Facebook: facebook.com/saritphoto
- Twitter: @saritphoto
©sarit z rogers/saritphotography