Each month, I interview a local photographer. Interested in participating? Please leave a comment!
Ingrid Barrentine is a wife, mother to a beautiful baby girl named Rosie, coffee addict (and quite possibly snob, she thinks), lover of the outdoors, traveler, and a photographer.
Most recently, Ingrid worked as an award-winning photojournalist at the Northwest Guardian on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Prior to that she spent time in Eastern Washington at the Spokesman-Review and interned at her hometown newspaper, the Yakima Herald-Republic. She has freelanced for notable organizations including The New York Times, Wired magazine, and the Associated Press. Ingrid believes in the power of a single image and works hard to look for and capture moments that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Roxanne: When did you become interested in photography?
Ingrid: In 1995, my father gave me one of his cameras to use while on a family vacation in the American southwest. After wandering about the desert with the little point-and-shoot for several hours, I was hooked. It wasn’t until two years later that I acquired my first film SLR and began experimenting with different techniques. After I graduated from high school, I bought a good lens and film body to document a six-week-long bike trip through England. Ultimately, photography during a two-year-long trip to Romania showed me I could overcome my introversion and fear of people. I could get close to and observe them through the lens. The camera became my crutch and eventually my career.
Who or what influenced you to become a photographer?
My father is a hobbyist and when I was growing up, he always had a camera loaded with transparency film lying around. We would have real slideshows (yes, slides and projector) in our living room and reminisce about our family vacations. I remember some of my favorite childhood memories to be making images on our summer vacations and then viewing them on the big screen during the cold of winter. Later on in college, a photojournalism teacher helped me narrow my photographic focus to photographing people in everyday life. That fact combined with my experiences overseas convinced me that photography was what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.
Why is photography important to you?
Photography motivates me to see things that I’d otherwise overlook. It also helps me document a moment. Cliché as that might sound, it is so true. Even in this digital age where everyone has a camera phone and posts images at an almost nonstop pace to the Internet, a good moment captured will still cause one to stop and pause and reflect and hopefully feel something and learn. That is my goal with the camera.
What motivates you?
I love to see and experience new things. Some people call it wanderlust. I think new environments and challenges better my photography and so I almost always try to incorporate them into my work. Having a 4-month-old has slowed me down a bit, but has also opened up a new realm of photo possibilities … BABY!
What’s your favorite lens or other piece of photography gear?
I love my 50mm 1.4. I’m not a fan of cluttered backgrounds and focus that runs from here to infinity, so the prime lens is perfect for me. I love the way it isolates focus and blurs imperfections. I hope to add a 24mm 1.4 lens to my gear closet later this year. Perhaps it will be my new favorite?
What advice would you give someone just starting out in photography?
Becoming a photographer is like stepping out on a long journey. There are lots of highs and lows. You will probably realize five years from now that your work from now wasn’t quite as good as you originally thought. You will change styles as you refine things. And you will find that the more you shoot, the more you will fall in love with your craft. Enjoy the ride!