CAROL STERNKOPF

I’m an artist. And for over 20 years, photography has been my medium.

I live in pictures, which makes it pretty much impossible to explain in words all the ways photography moves me. I’d rather show you my images and hope they better explain my devotion.

Nonetheless, words:  I love the honesty of it. The story underneath the still. Nuances of light, color, and contrast. The thrill of an unexpected moment. It’s incredibly hard work to document the world authentically, and to get out of the way enough to really capture something true.

When I look back on my childhood, I see now that I’ve been practicing looking at the world through a lens long before I ever had one. Unstructured and organic, my early years were spent lying on a dock watching fish, lazily wandering the Wisconsin woods, or sitting quietly watching wild animals go about their daily routines. I learned how to disappear into the Observer, to adventure into unknown territory, and to practice a kind of reverence for what I discovered. Those skills have been foundational to my art as a photographer.

As for influences, artists need mentors and I’m blessed to have had so many. Painters, sculptors, actors, writers, photographers – they’ve all generously shared the genius of their process as well as their results. I have also been deeply influenced by many who have achieved fame in the photography world – Williem Wegman, Keith Carter, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Mary Ellen Mark.

When it comes to my own work, I follow my intuitive “YES” towards the people and projects that invite me to re-investigate the world and to share in the joy of those discoveries.

No rules.

Carol