3. Read My Story

I signed the delivery slip for the UPS man and rushed downstairs again, careful not to drop the precious box. It was May of 2006, but it felt like Christmas to me! I cut open the tape with one side of my scissors, dug through the packing popcorn and produced my prize — my first digital SLR camera.

I grew up with a trusty 35mm film camera and in university, I used a Sony Mavica that saved its photos to a 3.5 inch floppy disk. But a whole new world awaited me with this powerful and modern camera! I’ve updated it several times since then, but I will never forget the freedom that first camera brought me.

Barriere and Kamloops photographer Sarah UnderwoodPhoto by Chris Lock.

I am often asked if I went to school for photography. Originally, my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Lethbridge was intended to launch me into the world of equine behaviour research and training, but by the time I graduated in 2008, my interest in photography had become much more than a hobby. I was already in demand for my equine photography and portraiture, and was apprenticing with a high-end wedding photographer.  I had a natural eye for composition, and continued to educate myself in the technical and business aspects of photography.

After obtaining my university degree, I backpacked solo around Australia and New Zealand for nearly a year.  I took thousands of inspiring photographs while there, and returned home eager to continue my journey with my camera.  Ultimately, the tables on my original life plan turned: I now train horses as a hobby, and photography has become my career. I officially launched my wedding, equine, and portrait photography business 2009, and have worked full-time in my business ever since.  I moved to Barriere, British Columbia (near Kamloops) in 2011, to pursue better weather with a longer warm photography season.

Riding my horse Theo bridleless!
Riding my horse Theo bridleless.  Photo by Avoca Lea Photography.

While my family took snapshots of each other throughout the years, we never did get around to having professional family portraits done (our closest attempt was with a tripod and a self-timer).  I have a handful of photos of me with my horses and dog as a teenager, but nothing that really captures the close bonds I had with them.  What I wouldn’t give to go back and have those relationships photographed fully!  This is what I strive to provide for my clients now:  I believe everyone should have beautiful photos that tell the story of what you are passionate about — your partner, your family, your pets– or whatever inspires you.

You can share that love with others with vibrant, true-to-life imagery.  My photos show the colours, light, and mood of the moment they were captured, and these memories will be timeless, to be enjoyed for years to come. Whenever you look at them, you will be transported back to that instant… this is my ultimate goal when I create artwork for you.


With my husband Chris and our dog Forest.
(photo by David Buck Photography)