Born in 1998, Saige (She/Her) centers her work around her experience with family and the dynamics each family holds. She is inspired by Sage Sohier, Tina Barney, and Abe Morell. Through the use of portraiture she aims to convey the emotions and characteristics that are passed down one generation to the next., @saigeannephotography


Saige Schrater in conversation with Stephen Gerrick

SG: What is your background? How do you think it has influenced your work?

SS: My background within photography started when I was a young girl but mostly in highschool when I worked in the darkroom. I have always been drawn to people and learning more about them using images to show what the average person might not pick up on right away. Working with people has influenced my work now because it led me to ask personal questions that I might not have thought of without working one on one with other people around me.

SG: Does your earlier work influence your work now?

SS: Absolutely! My work pre-college was just figuring out the camera but since I started college in 2017 I knew that I wanted to work with the people I loved. I wasn't quite sure where it was going but being able to work through it by taking images has helped me.

SG: What has art school taught you? Has this been helpful? SS: Art school has taught me more than I ever thought it could. I've learned so much about theories of art. Also what makes something beautiful in the sense of mind over quality. It's hard to explain exactly but without it I think my level of thinking would be much less. It has also been so helpful constantly being around other creative individuals. This helps the creativity flow so much better than if you were by yourself.

SG: What are you hoping for the audience to take away from this body of work?

SS: I want viewers of my work to understand family dynamics. Every family has their own way of functioning and it's something that everyone tries to understand -- by creating images it is helping me better understand.

SG: What is the process when creating images? What and who inspires you?

SS: My process is usually pretty relaxed. I try to capture images in the moment and if not in the moment I will try to create staged natural scenes. I also really enjoy creating portraits and using a frame within a frame. I am really influenced by other photographers who photograph their life and their family such as Sage Sohier, Tina Barney, Elinor Cauricci, and Abe Morell.

SG: What is your relationship to nostalgia?

SS: I am a very nostalgic person. Ever since I was young I have been passionate about family history and trying to learn more about the times when I was not around. This also has made me quite a family person. I always want to spend time with loved ones and learn more about their lives.

SG: How has making this project affected you?

SS: This project has definitely been a hard one. It has pushed me to create and constantly question myself. Overall I am glad that I am pushing myself though because the nostalgic side of me will be happy I have these images in the future.

SG: What about portraits draws you into the photographs?

SS: Portraiture has always been my go to due to the fact that it allows you to get up close and personal with the subject. This creates a stronger connection with the subject and I as well as the viewer and subject. I think portraits also create another dimension to the project.

SG: Do you think this project will continue?

SS: I will definitely continue this project. I am sure it will evolve over time to something different but the foundation will always be there.

SG: What is next for you?

SS: I'm looking forward to graduating and taking a break from the constant flow of images and will hopefully begin creating images more thoughtfully over time and for myself.