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Sarah Cass

March 28, 2012

Sarah Cass

Introduction by Bree Davies

Photographer Sarah Cass makes people smile. Awkward people, shy people, people in bands, friend-people, suits, strangers, dogs, cats, babies, whole families. Everyone that passes in front of her lens smiles — eventually. Sarah’s magic is in her own sweet awkwardness, a valuable gift that translates to ease for her subjects.

There is no poking, prodding or primping happening when Sarah Cass takes your photograph; she wants to be there as much as you do, and she knows how weird it is to have a photograph taken. So she aims, in her subdued and meaningful way, to make you feel cool. Not corny cool. Just cool enough to be yourself in front of a camera.

And there are more than just smiles frozen in time — Sarah catches people screaming, laughing, yawning, jumping, punching and doing whatever it is they feel like doing in the moment. The ease of it all becomes apparent when you yourself are having your picture taken by a Sarah. No ego, just you, Sarah and a camera.

Sometimes, photo shoots involve costumes or confetti or duct tape. Other times, they involve Sarah convincing her subjects to lie down on the floor of a department store for a split second to take advantage of a unique tile pattern. (Or if you’re the band Cryptacize, your shoot might mean breaking into a school yard after dark to sneak some photographs against a mural.)

The world is her studio, which is why, if you look closely, you might recognize not just the people in her photos, but the places, too. From time to time, Sarah will use meticulously chosen yards of fabric or detailed wrapping paper for backdrops, but usually, she scouts for intricate door frames, freshly painted walls, fences, rugs, curtains, and the occasional killer sunset. From the store fronts of Los Angeles to the cliffs of Victoria, British Columbia, the doorways of SoHo and the box cars of rural Colorado, the photographer finds a preexisting beauty to enhance her subjects.

Sarah photographs all types, but her focus has always been on her first love — music. Her subjects have included Bon Iver, Girl Talk, Mirah, Japanther, Dirty Projectors, Bad Weather California, Passion Pit and dozens more. Since she first began taking pictures of big name country stars who would pass through her hometown of Grand Junction, Colorado, more than a decade ago, Sarah’s photos have remained bright bursts of human expression in it’s rawest form.

Sarah Cass now resides in Olympia, Washington, with her husband, Joel Davenport, and their two cats. When she’s not shooting, she’s working as Production Manager for K Records.

1. What is your hometown?

Grand Junction, Colorado!

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

I’ve thought so hard about this, and I have no idea!

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Maybe Roseanne?  I love her!

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Dan Eldon’s journals — he was incredible!  I heard that they’re making a movie about him soon . . . I also love Sarah UtterStacey Rozich, and Jill Pucciarelli’s work so much!

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

I’m currently reading “The Hunger Games” and “The Lying Game”.  Ha!

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

I can’t stop playing the new Bon Iver record — it’s so perfect for Winter.

And Bryan White — I could listen to him every day for the rest of my life.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

I can’t even remember the last movie that I watched, but Season 6 of “Skins” has had me bawling so many times recently.

8.  Cat person or dog person?

Cats and pugs!

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

You should always be kind.

10.    How do you define sin?

Doing anything that you know is wrong.

11.    How do you define virtue?

Being morally good.

12.   Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

I want to be cremated!

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

Bree Davies, Bryan White, Kyle MacLachlan, and Alexander Arnold.

Sarah Cass

Thanks to Bree Davies @CocoDavies for introducing Sarah!

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