3 Questions Digital Series

Garret Suhrie

An interview from Art in Embassies 3 Questions Digital Series with Garret Suhrie, who speaks about his creative process and photography.

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Full Transcript

My name is Garrett Suhrie. I’m a photographer specializing in nocturnal landscapes. So we did a couple of cross-country road trips in my childhood. My dad was unable to fly, so every couple of summers we’d just drive out to the West Coast, to Yosemite and Yellowstone, and visit a bunch of parks along the way. My brothers, the whole time, their face is buried in the game, boy. But I was just head out the window the entire time, just completely in love with the landscape. So I got like even from a young age, I was always drawn to that.

And yeah, I definitely have them to thank for taking me on those trips because they really kind of connect, really dug that dugout, that love into. My dad got me a subscription to National Geographic when I was six.

And, you know, growing up in central Pennsylvania, I thought the problem was just boring trees and flat. And, you know, it was like, this is not the most impressive landscape to grow up in, getting a small taste of how big the world was and just the amazing people that are out there and the amazing scenes.

And it was just it just, like, sparked my imagination and just made me really just want to see the world, I mean, and all the amazing places on it. So I feel like that as an introduction, that that introduction as a kid is really kind of what sparked my interest in the world as a whole and wanting

to get out and see as much as I could. My dad gave me on my 18th birthday, my grandfather’s camera, which is this ultimate delta, like it’s six different lenses. And it was it was an antique, but got the job done.

I was a painting major at Tyler School of Art. When I was going there, I also started traveling. I did like Semesters and Tokyo and Rome and kind of fell in love with traveling to. And painting didn’t really seem to seemed like it would mesh well with my love of travel.

So that’s when I started, picked up the camera and started exploring that as a medium. I like to treat every photograph like that and really hard to kind of bring the the grandeur and the beauty of of a place into just a 2D frame.

So whatever I can do to kind of convey how amazing that places is. Whatever can draw your eye in and kind of give you that sense. There’s lots of parks that I’ve been to dozens of times. I mean, I’ve spent years just wandering around Utah and Arizona, Colorado and all the same places dozens of times.

Until I get the right wired or get the weather I’m looking for, you know, just capture that perfect moment. Yeah, like Utah and like Escalante I’ve been to a dozen times. I mean, Washington and Oregon, I’ve spent years and visited the same place many times.

I feel like every time you see a place, you can see it completely differently. And just based on, you know, whether the weather’s different or your frame of mind is different and you can find something new every time.

Sometimes it’ll just be a five minute walk from the cars and cancer being the red tide. Sometimes it’ll be, you know, three weeks hiking across Washington. It all depends, really. I mean, I never really know what I’m looking for until I find it.

Sometimes it’s just long backcountry trips, and sometimes it’s just something I see on the side of the road. I can do whatever inspires me at the moment, really. I’ve just always had a, you know, a love of the natural world.

A lot of, you know, everything nature. And I’m just hiking. And the wilderness has always kind of been my passion. So I’ve always just wanted to try and convey some of the beauty that I find out there and, you know, kind of do justice to nature and portray the beauty that I find they’re trying captured on the lens. It’s definitely a feeling that I’m trying, trying to portray. Like sometimes I get out there and I’ll just all, like, laugh, almost cry. Just like the beauty of a place can really just, like, take my breath away.

And so I feel like I’ll know when I when I’ve kind of captured that being a photographer, I get to still do what I love and make a living at it. Sounds pretty win win as far as like, as far as I can say.

I mean, I’ve had some sketchy moments. Tumbling down the waterfall, falling through the frozen lake, that sort of thing. Gotten myself into some silly situations. One time I was on a on a mountain in Vancouver, and I started sliding down the mountain.

And somehow in the middle of this slide, the release of my bear maze came off and I bear maced myself in the face and my water bottle was frozen. So I just had to lay in the snow and just melt snow on my eyes for almost 6 hours until I could finally see again.

It was, you know, myself into some dumb situations, but I try and be saved and I feel like my photography is kind of how I speak, the joy that I find out there. I can’t always describe why this place was amazing, but I usually take a picture of it and translate the awe that I saw there to other people. So it’s just it’s kind of how I share my vision of the world.