Getting to know Nature Photographer Sarah Marino

creativity & photography photographer profiles speaker series Dec 06, 2022

As I progress as a photographer and a human I continue to have admiration for the people that share their own journey, insights, and knowledge.  Sarah Marino is one of those people.  An incredibly articulate speaker and excellent writer I have learned a tremendous amount from her teachings.  Always things to come back to in an image, presentation, or ebook.  

She is part of the Fall Speaker Series on where she will speak about the Expansive Mindset.   Before you tune into the speaker series take a minute and get to know a little more about Sarah.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in your photography?
Before photography, my relationship with nature was very casual. It was little more than a vehicle to get outside and relieve stress. After more than a decade of photography, I have learned so much about the natural world and that feels like a big gift. For me, learning about something in nature leads to wanting to see it in person. Thus, the lesson is that curiosity leads to all kinds of interesting experiences and those experiences have the potential to be incredibly enriching. For example, I have had an obsession with seeing fossils in Death Valley National Park and that has brought me to all sorts of places I would have never been motivated to visit and photograph before.

What is the most memorable scene you have captured? 
I have had the good fortune to visit this Joshua tree forest in Death Valley National Park under some unique conditions on a few separate occasions, including right after about six inches of snow fell overnight. On a different day when I took this photo, we had planned to head out for sunset to a lower elevation area of the park so both my husband and I were dressed for warm weather (shorts, light coat) and only prepared to be close to the car (barely charged phone). As we neared our intended destination, we noticed a cloud bank lingering over a nearby high plateau and thought it was possible that these Joshua trees could be enveloped in fog. We quickly changed plans and we were right! When we arrived, the sun was breaking through the fog and we were surrounded, briefly, with magical light.

We left the car very quickly and both wandered away without much thought. Dense fog quickly moved in, all orienting landmarks were instantly obscured, and the temperature dropped dramatically but we were both distracted by the unique photography opportunities. As twilight set in, we met up again and realized that we had made some really poor decisions given the weather. We were both chilled and disoriented. Luckily, I hastily set a GPS point for our car before walking away but we had just switched from a handheld GPS to a GPS app and didn't yet know how to use the app. So, we headed in the wrong direction, getting more disoriented and further away from our car in the process. After some panic, we figured out what had gone wrong with the app and eventually made it back to the car well after dark. This scene is memorable both because of the conditions but also because it is a constant reminder to not let photography get in the way of basic safety practices when outside.


Who inspires you to create?
While I admire a lot of photographers, my inspiration for creating my own photographs is the natural world. The experience of being outside and creating an archive of my experience is what motivates me, and I find inspiration in the process of exploration and discovery. Wanting to see more of the natural world is what continues to inspire me to get outside and spend time on photography.

What is next for you on your photographic journey?
I'd like to start publishing physical books. I have two initial projects in mind (one portfolio project and one educational project) and hope to see one of them come to fruition in the next few years.

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