Critique

Portfolio: Sarah Borst

In “Portfolio” we feature young photographers and showcase their works – here is Sarah Borst and her project about the Savannah's socialite Diana Rogers.

In our section “Portfolio” Bird In Flight editors present photos from budding young photographers who work in various genres, and ask them to share why they decided to do photography, what goals they pursue, who they have learned from and what they have learned. Today’s issue is on Sarah Borst’s portfolio.

Sarah Borst, 21 years old

Born in Davidson (North Carolina, USA). Studies photography in the Savannah College of Art and Design. She received second place in the International Photography Awards competition for portrait photography. Sarah is also a finalist in the Lucie Awards in the Deeper Perspective Photographer of the Year category.


When did you get involved into photography?
When I was in high school I bought a used Canon Rebel from a local camera shop and was dubbed “the photographer” of my friend group. Thus, my infatuation with the documentary snap shot and the formal portrait began. My friends couldn’t wait to see my Facebook album of the weekend upload on Sunday night before school on Monday. It was a pretty cool, unofficial gig.
What do you shoot?
My photographs tend to fall under the category of documentary portrait. Having grown up in the theatre, I am obsessed with community, and tend to surround myself with theatrical people, especially those who challenge social norms. I yearn to hear people’s stories and connect with them through their past.
Why do you consider photography your thing?
I have a fear of losing moments. My urge to photograph is an attempt to hold those moments, in boxes, like cultural objects. It is my solution. It is the way I see, and process the life around me.


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What, in your opinion, makes a good photograph?
It is our individual responses to a photograph that makes it good. It is the room photographers give for the punctum response (the pinch) to occur in their work. The value cannot merely lie in the photograph alone. It shares its value with the projection that the viewer casts upon it.
What difficulties do you run into as a photographer?
Well, I am still a student at Savannah College of Art and Design, so to claim that I fully understand the industry would be quite a bluff. But, as far as the photographic community in general, I think we all struggle to define our voice, and discover what sets us apart as artists. No art is autonomous.
Whose experience do you find interesting?
Diane Arbus is my gal,forever and always. I admire the trust that lies between her and her subjects. They are aware she is there, and readily give themselves to her. They’re in on the secret. I also adore Nan Goldin, and will hopefully get a chance to speak with her at the International Photography Awards next week. Her diarist approach to portraiture is something I intend to explore in the future.


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What camera do you shoot with?
I just got the Nikon D810 – it is a dream. My next purchase will be a Leica.
Do you earn a living off photography?
Seeing as I am still a full time student, I do not. I do client work here and there, but my main photographic energy is going to my personal work right now. I do, although, work part time at a health food store called Brighter Day in Savannah Georgia. I am a total health nut, so Brighter Day is my escape out of the artistic world, into the health world.
What else do you like to do?
I am very interested in art theory, so I could possibly become a critic. I hope to continue my studies in history and theory within a Visual Arts MFA program. Another secret – I would love to be a Dermatologist with naturopathic roots. I am obsessed with organic, cruelty free skin care products and often blog about them on my website.
What are your goals?
To be happy. Honestly. I always get a bit of an eye roll when responding to a question like this with that answer, but, I would not be photographing if it did not bring me joy. My family, friends and health are the most important things in my life.


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