As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. In that case, it makes sense that soft spoken wife and mother of four Sarah Perino chooses to express herself through photography.
“I became interested in photography through some friends who do it,” she says. “Taking photos of my baby girl and then my boys was the hook that got me interested in learning more. My oldest son has a good eye for composition and we took photos in nature, experimenting with focal points and perspectives.”
Sarah graduated high school in 1992 shortly before she and her family moved to Erie, PA from Ohio. Although she has never taken any photography classes, she has a natural eye for detail that certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed in local contests and shows.
In 2017, she entered a photo contest at LEAF and one of her photos was chosen to be featured in their calendar. In March 2018, she received an Honorable Mention in photography at the annual Barber National Institute Art Show & Sale for her photo titled The Gift.
I had the privilege of interviewing Sarah so we can learn more about the creative mind behind the lens. Let’s take a look:
What is your process? Do you go in with an idea or do you just start taking pictures and see what happens?
I’ve done both. I like to get candid shots, so sometimes I just take the photos and see if I capture something I love. That is how I snapped The Gift, which won Honorable Mention. Other times I start out with an idea (such as my Message in a Bottle series) and go about choosing the props, time, and location.
Who is the first person you show your photos to?
Often, my good friend in Oregon gets the first look. She is also a photographer and has been a second shooter for her sister-in-law at special occasions.
What is your favorite place to take photos? Favorite subject?
My favorite subject must be my daughter. My favorite places are Presque Isle and Asbury Woods. I like the variety of interesting outdoor shots. Trees can be great backgrounds or wonderful nature frames, and the beaches can provide great leading lines and nice horizons. I like the challenge of incorporating the sunlight, either shining through the leaves or sunsets, making everything more vivid.
What software/apps do you use to manipulate your photos?
I use Snapseed for editing. I would like to learn Photoshop as well, so that’s on my to-do list.
Do you find yourself always looking at the world, wondering how it would look as a photograph?
I often look at things from a different angel. I like to notice the details that can be overlooked or taken for granted with a cursory glance.
How do you think being a wife and mother has shaped your photography style?
I think being a mother has given me an appreciation for capturing little details before they change.
What are some challenges you’ve encountered?
Not yet knowing the best way to capture an image. Wishing I could be in multiple places at once so I could know the best angle before the moment is gone.
Do you find that photography gives you a different perspective on life?
Perhaps so. I think it can certainly show others my different perspective.
Do you think the photographic eye is something people are born with, or can it be learned, or both?
It probably comes more naturally to some but one can certainly learn it if they have a desire to do so.
What are some useful tips you have for new photographers?
The best thing for me was taking part in a group that had a different prompt for every day. It made me think of ways to photograph things I may not have thought about on my own, so it helped me expand my horizons.
Thank you, Sarah, for taking the time to talk with me. Look out for some of her photography at the 2019 Barber National Institute Art Show & Sale in April. In the meantime, check her out on Instagram (sarah.perino) and Facebook (Sarah Perino Photography) to see more.
Erin Maloney is pursuing her Associate’s degree in Business Administration Marketing & Management and will graduate in March of 2019. She is a poet and a writer who is passionate about art and helping it reach all who can be touched by it. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.