Now in her third year teaching at GTA Photography Classes, multi-disciplined photographer, Sarah Ballentine, currently teaches our Editing camp and Teen Camp 3. Based out of Montreal, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Concordia University.
She shared with us what sparked her passion for photography, why she loves working at camp, advice for amateur photographers, and much more!
When and how did you fall in love with photography?
I bought my first DSLR to create films, something I had gotten really into when I was younger. The more I was making films, the more I realized how much I gravitated towards its visual qualities. I would use the medium to communicate ideas and feelings through my choices in composition, and I soon began to use my DSLR primarily for photography. My dad eventually gifted me his 35mm SLR and I was hooked.
How would you define your photography style?
I always try to keep my photography honest, no matter what genre I’m using. I want to create an emotional connection between my images and whoever is looking at them.
What was your most memorable photoshoot or photograph?
When I had the opportunity to use a large format camera for the first time. One of the first 4×5 photos I ever took was of my roommate. It felt special to have and capture that comfort and trust with someone in a photo.
Which piece of gear (lens, tripod etc.) is your favourite?
My roommate went on exchange this previous semester and left me her Polaroid OneStep to keep while she was gone. I love the colours that come out in its film and found it a beautiful way to capture candids that only exist as physical objects.
What’s your next photography purchase?
I’ve been on the hunt for a Mamiya RB67 for a bit now. Every time I’ve had the opportunity to shoot medium format I’ve loved how the photos turned out.
What advice would you give to amateur photographers?
Shoot what you love. Don’t stop shooting. Carry your camera with you wherever and whenever. Don’t worry about having the best gear, just keep at it.
What do you love about working at GTA Photography Camps?
Being able to work somewhere where I get to practice and teach what I’m passionate about is such a privilege.
Just so we can find out a bit more about the person behind the lens, could you tell us…
Who is your favourite photographer past or present? Nan Goldin, hands down. She changed the game for queer photography, and helped legitimize snapshot photography in institutional art spaces.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? I’m not too sure. I’d love to live out of a duffel bag for a year just travelling wherever I can find photo gigs.
What’s your favourite movie? This is such a loaded question… I really love Up. It’s one of my faves, and so wholesome. Also, talking dogs? Commuting via balloon house? Yes PLEASE.
What would you do if you won the lottery? Donate most of it, no one needs that much money. Definitely send my parents on a vacation and set them up for a really comfortable retirement. I guess I’d splurge on some photo stuff and A+ food.
What’s your favourite hobby outside of photography? I do lots of sketching and writing in my spare time, along with playing guitar just for myself.
Learn More About The Camp Sarah Instructs: Editing Camp
Editing camp teaches campers the basics of Photoshop and Lightroom to help them enhance their photographs.