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.  Below are photos of me in action, taken by assistants and friends over the years — as you’ll see, I have a habit of finding a way to get a high vantage point!  I also don’t mind wading into the water or climbing through shrubbery to get a unique angle.

sarah photographing

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 documented!  This is what I strive to provide for my clients now:  I believe everyone should have beautiful photos that show 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, and high quality prints and products.  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 that canvas on the wall or thumb through your album on the coffee table, you will be transported back to that instant. This is my ultimate goal when I create artwork for you.  Over the years, I have commissioned many professional photographers and aspiring friends to do the same for my husband and I, and our home is filled with beautiful prints, canvases, and albums.  Below are some of my favourite photos of me with the people, animals and places that I love!

 

sarah-portraits

(Photo Credits: Row 1: David Buck, Katie Leitch; Row 2: Courtney Adams, Tanya Epp, David Buck; Row 3: Katie Leitch, David Buck)

Too long? Didn’t read? Scrolled to the bottom? In a nutshell: I have a Bachelor of Arts, have been photographing professionally since 2006, adore Australia and New Zealand, am married to a wonderful guy, train horses and our Irish Terrier in my spare time, and oh — I play a mean game of Scrabble!