When I first started looking at contemporary fine art photography in a significant way, I profoundly connected withBeth Yarnelle Edwards’ images of girls in their bedrooms. I have kept an eye on her image making over the years and when I recently discovered she was about to publish her first monograph, Suburban Dreams, by Keher Verlag of Germany, I thought it would be a good time to not only recognize Beth as a Success Story, but learn more about what goes into her process of making work.
Beth was born in a small coal-mining town in Pennsylvania and relocated to Los Angeles as a child. She received degree in psychology from UCLA and then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where she got a MA in Teaching English as a Second Language. After teaching for seven years, she took time off to be at home with her son. It was during that period that she realized her fascination with how people live and inspired by a writing course, learned to tell her stories in a visual way. She went on to receive an MFA in photography, but is now an adjunct professor of English as a Second Language at the University of San Francisco. “My day job is related in some ways to my interests as an artist. My purpose is to teach students to communicate in English and to navigate American culture. At the same time that I educate them, they teach me many important things about themselves and their ways of seeing the world.”