Sara Orme

12.06.2012 in12:20 in Portraits -->


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Sara Orme’s work reflects a childhood of extremes. Born and raised in genteel Christchurch, her holidays were spent with her Maori father’s family in a small rural community. Back home, her dad, a lawyer for the Christchurch City Council, took her to garden parties where she’d meet dignitaries such as the queen or prime minister.

Negotiating these diverse milieus, she developed an easy empathy with people of all walks of life, whether the young models in her raw, fresh fashion shoots or the gang members who are the subject of a personal documentary project.

She grew up with a rich visual life nurtured by her art teacher mother, and as a child she and a friend would set up elaborate fantasy photo shoots. At university she studied art history and sociology, majoring in women’s studies. Some may see irony in that for a fashion photographer; Sara sees a visual celebration of women.

She juggled her exploration of photography with motherhood, before studying formally at Unitec in Auckland. Her commercial work is evenly split between fashion – both on location and in the studio – and people-based advertising campaigns, all enriched by her personal work.

She retains the sociologist’s fascination with people’s stories, seeking an emotional quality and beauty beyond the surface in all her work.