Sarah Bultitude uses photography to convey how she responds to current events, nature and the world around her. Often preferring black and white, she creates emotional portraits that convey a story and a fragility/strength, using a variety of techniques.
Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sarah Bultitude grew up surrounded by photography. Her Grandfather and Father were both avid amateur photographers. She loved watching prints emerge from her Father’s garage darkroom and sat through countless slide show evenings viewing her Grandfather’s travel photos. It wasn’t until her mid 20’s living in Portland, Oregon, that she attended night classes on film photography, development and print. Photography lingered as a strong background passion for many years as she raised a family.
Portrait of Sarah Bultitude by Nat Ord
Sarah Bultitude, please introduce yourself
My name is Sarah Bultitude and I am a photographer living in New Zealand. As a child, I vividly remember having my photographs taken by my Father, who was a keen amateur photographer. My brothers and I were told to sit on a high cane stool that creaked as you moved! Dad used large ambient lights, which made you hot and fidgety - two bad combinations for photography and small children!
Where do you live, does your place of residence inspire you to take pictures?
I live in beautiful Queenstown in the South Island. We are surrounded by dramatic mountains and lakes. Living in such a majestic environment makes it impossible to not be inspired and draw energy from my surroundings!
Do you have a photographic background?
I took night school courses in film development and print in my 20’s. Over the years I have also attended a couple of workshops and undertaken online courses, but mainly I am self-taught through experimentation.
How comes that you are interested in photography?
Definitely from my Father and my Grandfather, who was also a keen photographer. I watched numerous slideshows of my grandparents travels throughout my childhood. Memories of my Father’s passion for developing and printing in his garage darkroom cemented an interest and a love of the smell of chemicals!
Which photographer has inspired your photography?
It’s so hard to narrow this down to only one! Many photographers inspire me, but those who inspired me early on were Sally Mann, Marti Friedlander and Robin Morrison.
Why do you work in black and white / color?
I definitely lean toward black and white due to my love of film and the honesty and starkness it portrays. I don’t avoid colour, but when I use it, it’s quite muted.
How do you prepare for a photo?
Usually it’s a well thought out process! I write my ideas down on paper and continue to formulate the shot over a period of days/weeks/months. I then figure out how to execute it and if needed I will do a trial shoot. Many times things change on the fly during the shoot as the idea evolves.
What are your technique and creative process?
I generally shoot tethered in the studio directly into Lightroom. After some initial adjustments in Lightroom I will take the image into Photoshop to refine details, but I try to get the shot in camera. I have also been experimenting with Exposure X5 for some vintage effects.
Which projects would you like to tackle?
I would love to do another documentary series and be confident enough to try some artistic nudes.
What do you do in your life besides photography?
I enjoy art, reading, movies, yoga, trail walking, my dogs and cooking for my family.
Thanks a lot Sarah Bultitude for the Interview
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