In each episode of First Take With Chris Burkard, the Sony Artisan travels around Iceland, one of his favorite places, with a different creative to explore the area and discuss relevant topics for other creatives. In Episode 4 of the series, Burkard is joined by photographer and Alpha Collective member Erin Sullivan (@erinoutdoors). Watch as the two travel around Iceland while discussing the importance of adapting as a creative and being intentional with your photography.
In Episode 4 Of First Take With Chris Burkard, the Sony Artisan is joined by Alpha Collective member Erin Sullivan (@erinoutdoors). Watch as the two travel Iceland while discussing adapting as a creative and being intentional with your photography.
Sullivan, who is a travel, outdoor and now miniature photographer, explains to Burkard how she started doing miniature photography, a very different form from her typical ‘Erin Outdoors’ content. “Pandemic hits, my calendar evaporates,” she says. “I’m like how am I going to make money? I was also thinking, I went to art school and art school is all about constraints. I mean you are literally paying to be constrained. You’re paying to get assignments so that your professors and teachers and mentors can tell you, here’s your assignment, you have to stay within these parameters, you have to use these materials, it’s due on this day. So I just tried to look at it as an assignment. I thought because I can’t travel right now, how can I create the way that the world makes me feel? And it’s been such a good illustration that you can really do anything.”
The two travel to the country’s beautiful coast and Sullivan brings out her Sony Alpha 7R IV with her Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G Master and Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 G Master to capture the surrounding landscape. As they drive the roads they discuss photography and what brought them to where they are now. “For a long time I didn’t pursue photography professionally because I was scared,” explains Sullivan. “Because if I took that risk that means it’s actually out there. I could actually fail. Versus how it is in my head, which is, oh I can do this anytime I want. It’s so much more comfortable that way.”
The two also explore a topic that Sullivan has previously covered in a TED Talk and that is – Does photographing a moment steal the experience from you? Sullivan explains how there isn’t a clear conclusion to this. It’s meant to make you think about why you’re taking a photograph. Sometimes it brings her closer to the experience, and sometimes it acts as a block from reality.
“I think the key is just intentionality and just asking OK, why am I documenting this?,” she explains. “What does that look like for me personally? What does that mean to me? Because I’ve certainly had so many experiences where photographing it brought me deeper in. It was such an entry point, it was such a conversation starter. It was a way for me to study that place or learn that experience better or remember it.”