Sara Swaty lebt in Los Angeles. In Ihrer Arbeit beschäftigt Sie sich mit Identität und Gender und Rassismus.
I began exploring the concept of gender and individuals along the gender binary in my last few years of college in Rochester, New York. I was inspired by many questions, and found answers within my subjects. Through this series, I was introduced to transgender men and women (and people in between). I was curious about beauty standards and what society and culture deems the “ideal” man / woman. My only formal education that explored the complexity of gender and different practices around the world was in Cultural Anthropology, which led me to face my own ethnocentrism and question what is “normal” or “weird.” I am grateful to the many patient people who sat in front of my camera and educated me about their personal perceptions of gender and how they see themselves.
I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BFA in Photography and minored in Cultural Anthropology in Rochester, New York. After college, I moved back to St. Louis and began documenting the transgender community in my hometown. I currently live in Los Angeles, California.
What is your standard camera equipment ? Is there any special or favorite gear ?
I use a Nikon D850, Fuji XT-2, Mamiya 7ii, and recently acquired a Hasselblad CXI — a system I’ve dreamed of owning for years! I love the experience of using film and treasure my analog cameras for those special moments. When I travel, I bring my Fuji and either my Mamiya or Hasselblad film system.
How do you process/edit your images ? What particular darkroom technique, software or apps do you utilize?
I use Adobe Lightroom to maintain my photography archive and edit and process images. I occasionally use Capture One, and then bring images into Photoshop for final adjustments if necessary.
Do you have photographic role models ?
There are so many inspiring and incredible photographers…some of my favorites are Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Renee Cox, Herb Ritts, Francesca Woodman, Erwin Olaf, Ren Hang, Synchrodogs, Inez & Vinoodh, and Philip Toledano.
Is there a portfolio or photobook that inspired you ?
Rrose is a Rrose is a Rrose: Gender Performance in Photography is the first gender-oriented photo book I discovered while beginning my gender photography project in school. It was like nothing I had ever seen before.
On my wishlist is Zanele Muholi’s Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness and The Museum of Crying Women by Francesco Vezzoli.