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Get to Know Erin Berzel

Erin BerzelA Montana native, with an education in Photojournalism and a family background in portrait photography, Erin has been a freelance photographer in Portland the past 11 years. Combining her love for people and passion for photography, she creates dynamic images that strike a delicate balance between the storytelling and journalism of photography and the art of the medium.

Q: How did you get on this path to becoming a professional photographer?

A: Both of my parents are photographers and I’ve been shooting since I was old enough to pick up a camera. When I was very young, I spent a magical afternoon in my father’s darkroom watching him produce, seemingly from nothing, image after image from the chemical bath. I’ve known ever since that I, too, wanted to spend my time capturing those images.

After receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Photojournalism from the University of Montana, Missoula, I moved to Portland to start my career. For the next eight years, I worked multiple jobs to make ends meet, but giving up on a career in photography was not an option. Photography is my lifeblood and there has never been a Plan B. For the past few years, I have been doing photography full-time. I’m still in the process of figuring out what’s next, but it feels good to be able to focus on photography and nothing else.

Q: What is your biggest struggle as an artist?

A: I’ve always been extremely sensitive and passionate about my work. This has been a double-edged sword. It is what drives me and what holds me back at the same time. That has been one of my biggest struggles; to open myself up to critique and potential failure or rejection. I guess all of us struggle with that in some way, don’t we?

Q: What do you feel your artwork represents?
A: My work represents the fundamental human desire to connect and form relationships. When I’m shooting, whether it’s portrait, macro, landscape or travel photography, I feel connected to my subject. I can only hope that my photos can produce the same visceral reaction in others that I experienced when I captured the images.

PSBZL-592Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: Right now I’m dreaming of where to travel next. Exploring a new place is one of the most liberating and inspiring things for me. I’m dying to visit Croatia, Greece, Nepal, Tibet, Myanmar, Cuba and Iceland. The list goes on and on. In 2012, while traveling in Cambodia with my fiancĂ©, Jake, we stumbled into a book store with the following St. Augustine quote painted in huge letters across the wall — “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: My ultimate dream is to keep exploring, connecting and traveling…. and to make a living doing what I love. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Click Here to see Erin’s spectacular portfolio of images.

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