Sarah Dolliver is a nature photographer based in Sedona, Arizona. She sees nature as rich and diverse -- with the ability to move one to a place of awe, excitement and even utter stillness. Nature shows the world as it is: intricate, unadorned, tall, flat, delicate, bold, rugged and peaceful. Says Sarah, “Photography has the capacity to capture all this wonder in a single click of the shutter. A compelling photograph can shift the viewer into experiencing a remarkable natural moment, as if he or she was actually in that space and time.” And this is Sarah’s desire – to elicit an internal “wow” in viewers – as if they had been sharing the very same moment right along with her.
Visual artistry runs in Sarah’s family. Her father’s mother was an oil painter. Her mother’s father embraced home movies when the first film cameras became available. Her father was a wood carver, turning a 2-dimensional picture into a 3-dimensional carving, which is, ironically, the opposite of what Sarah is doing now. And her cousin is currently an artist and art teacher in Maine. Yet even with all these artistic influences, Sarah’s own interest and immersion in visual expression blossomed later in life.
Sarah’s early life was ripe with intellectual pursuits. As a native of the Northeast US, family vacations mostly consisted of trips to the many New England historical sites or to see family. It wasn’t until she discovered Arizona and other parts of the Southwest in the mid-1990s that she dreamed of breaking these patterns and becoming an outdoor girl.
In 2004, Sarah made her dreams a reality when she and her husband moved to Sedona. Within 15 months, she began hiking and, watched longingly as the hike leader took photos of remarkable Arizona landscapes. Following his lead with her first camera in hand, it wasn’t long before she became the photojournalist for the hike group, publishing a visual recap of each weekly hike.
Rave reviews came pouring in from her hiking partners. Then, on a trip to Florida to visit family, her cousin-in-law was captivated by one of her images, declaring it “National Geographic quality.” His interest was so strong that it woke her up to see that she could be overlooking her own talent.
Primarily self-taught, Sarah has advanced her skills by rigorously breaking down the photographic process to understand what works…and what doesn’t. Studying elements such as composition, light, depth of field or long and macro exposures, enlightens her and lifts her level of skill. She mixes learning and doing, over and over again – and it seems to be working. She was a winner in the Zen Pet Contest (sponsored by BookSpan) in 2012. She was a Top 50 Finalist in the Arches National Park 2014 Visitor Photo Contest, honored with both of her submissions reaching the Top 50. Sarah is also the Grand Prize Winner in Rio Nuevo Publishers Spring 2014 Photo Contest. Plus, Sarah’s work is seen regularly in the Friday Foto blog of Arizona Highways Magazine.
Sarah has always been an eager learner. She earned an Associate’s Degree in the early 1970’s, which along with a BS in Management from Bentley University in Massachusetts, propelled her early career as an officer in the banking industry. In 2005, she graduated from the Thomas Leonard Graduate School of Coaching and still offers life coaching upon request. She is also a practicing Reiki Master.
Outside of photography, Sarah enjoys her 3 cats, music from many genres, healthful living and the promise of new awe-striking locations. She has been a resident of Sedona since 2004.
You can enjoy Sarah’s work at http://www.FocusOnNaturePhotography.com and at http://focusonnaturephotography.fineartamerica.com/