OAN - Who are you? What makes you do what you do as an artist?
CH - "My name is Carrie. I am the owner of Carrie Hill Creative, which is a photography company specializing in authentic documentation of truth in relation to the human experience. I think one of the reasons I do what I do is because in my life experience, people tend to only see the truths they want to see, and shirk from the truths that make them uncomfortable. I feel it is both a duty and a calling to help showcase subjects that the general public tends not to want to read about, because visual experiences humanize even the most difficult subjects, which cultivates empathy -- and that is something that the world at large could use more of"
OAN - How long have you been a visual artist?
CH - "I've been photographing since I was a child, but I started getting serious about improving my photographic skills in 2008, and began photographing professionally in 2018"
OAN - What is your favourite camera to shoot with?
CH - "I shoot more frequently with a Nikon d750 DSLR, but my great love is film -- for that, I shoot with a Nikon F4s, which is a 35mm camera"
OAN - What inspires you and what artists have influenced you?
CH - "Inner strength is something that I find particularly inspiring. Artists that are currently inspiring me include Jackie Dives, Charlotte Schmitz, and Robert Mapplethorpe"
OAN - How has COVID 19 impacted you and your art?
CH - "Aside from business being virtually nonexistent and having to reschedule sessions I had booked prior to COVID, the pandemic has actually given me a chance to take stock, see where I am at in the goals I've set for myself, and begin a photography project I have been planning for years. So in a sense it has really grounded me and given me opportunities when I otherwise may have had to postpone, being short on time. I've also been about to dabble in some landscape photography, which always gives me joy"
OAN - Any exciting or upcoming projects you want to share with us?
CH - "I'm currently working on a portrait series on mental illness, which is a subject near and dear to my heart as someone who lives with mental illness themselves"
OAN - Can you share your experiences working with survival sex workers and how that has influenced your work?
CH - "This is a very personal question, and tough to answer! For me, seeing the strength of people who are at the utmost periphery of marginalization, who have such resiliency and resourcefulness despite the odds that are intrinsically stacked against them by institutional barriers, systemic racism, classism, poverty, ableism, sexism, mental illness stigma, whore stigma, and so much more - I am in awe of these women. If I can show a fraction of this in my own work, I will have considered my efforts successful"
OAN - In your artist bio you mention that your images stray from the status quo? Can you please elaborate on this?
CH - "It is my general experience that people generally like to see what is pleasing to them rather than to see the truth, regardless of how filtered the reality is from the prettiness of the image. I prefer to show people the authentic. Sometimes authenticity means amplifying marginalized voices, while other times it's taking a self portrait in the middle of a major depressive episode. At times it's being part of a political demonstration, while other times it's using nature to convey mood in an intimate way. Seeing, rather than reading, has the capacity to quickly provoke the mind and haunt memory, and can more often cultivate relationships between people who don't necessarily hold the same points of view, but find something in common based on the truths they see. It's one of the reasons memes can be both excellent at conveying information and also be subjects of extreme division. Above all else, showcasing images in an authentic, unfiltered way means that the people viewing the images also have the opportunity to find something true and authentic within themselves. And I believe that aspect of the human experience is both underrated and too often overlooked"
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