October First Friday


35mm can be disappointing — it can be exhausting, unexpected, and let’s be real — expensive. But in spite of this, and in many ways because of this, it is one of the most rewarding endeavors I have experienced. Although my love affair with film began about five years ago, these emotions have remained at peak intensity since the day I developed my first roll. Film photography has shown itself to be a teacher to me time and time again; it continually offers me lessons of patience, acceptance, and perseverance. There are times when I am not necessarily satisfied with the results but I have learned that it is okay, for I am an ever changing artist, woman, human being — constantly evolving and reshaping what I define to be beautiful and how I want to capture it. Film allows me to explore its possibilities and embrace the beautiful imperfections that come along with shooting analogue.

This collection of photographs was captured in Bali, Indonesia. I find a liking to preserve the distinctiveness of an individual and the unique lived experience which they embody. Portraits have the ability to evoke a feeling of simultaneous mystique and familiarity. They too capture the instantaneous identification of the human experience combined with the intrigue to understand a person’s story. The juxtaposition of the human form and botanics, as emphasized here, celebrates the simplest expressions and interactions of life.

These photos are dedicated to and inspired by those whose form I’ve been allowed to capture and whose story I’ve been able to become a part of.

“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart, leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.”
– Irving Penn 

Instagram: @atessamaria




My challenge as a photographer has always been one of translation. How can I utilize this box of glass and metal to describe what I see before my eyes? Can I transcribe it faithfully? Is it possible to express more than a visual record of a place on Earth; can I invoke the feeling of a place within a viewer?

I believe this is the primary goal of the artist - to crystallize and re-create their sensory experience of the world. The first goal is to provoke a response, and the next is to promote thought. My personal hope is to create a sense of longing - to feel nostalgia for a place by viewing a picture, even if you’ve never been.

For the past two years, I’ve had the privilege of working as a photographer and videographer in the outdoor sports industry. This has granted me more days in the wilderness than most can afford each year. However, the focus of my work has migrated away from that desire to translate, and has been replaced by contracts, assignments, and shot lists from companies and clients.

This exhibit, and my continued work as a landscape photographer represents my hope to keep up my work of translating my experiences and feelings in nature.

I chose to focus on the concept of prominence. There are two main ways to quantify the size of a mountain, with either the ultimate elevation of its peak, or its prominence - the mountain's height relative to its surroundings. Too often people fixate on an arbitrary mark of elevation (Colorado’s obsession with 14,000+ft peaks, for example). Too often do we disregard the context that prominence brings to mountains. In a barren and flat desert, a peak rising a mere 600 feet from its humble surroundings can seem more imposing than a giant lump of earth that just so happens to be 14,000 feet tall overall.

Each mountain pictured has a striking degree of prominence, both in physical space and also in my mind. I hope that I can present to you the space that each of these monoliths carves in my mind, and inscribes inside my soul.

“…mountains remind us of our vulnerability, our ultimate lack of control over the world we live in. Mountains…demand humility, and yield so much peace in return.”
— Alex Lowe

Instagram: @kevintakashismith


First Friday Artist Reception
Atessa Farman at Stripe
Kevin Takashi Smith at Stripe Men
October 5th


Leave a comment