Female Film Photographers You Should Know: Sarah Evelina Button

5 July, 2021

Sarah is a talented film photographer born in Sweden, but raised in-between Usa, South Africa and currently living in Bali, Indonesia.

Her artistic work is based on constant experimentation. In her works she tries to capture the emotions of her memories by playing with various elements of nature and the creative arts.  She loves to see the unseen and appreciate the beautiful things that surround her.

How would you introduce yourself to someone who just met you?

Hi, I’m Sarah, a curious & queer imagineer who explores to create and creates to explore. I try to see the unseen or unappreciated in the world around me. 

What is the memory that you most fondly remember from your childhood?

On my 6th birthday I received a small kit of a butterfly farm that I was to care for and learn the mysteries of metamorphose. I fed the caterpillars, watched them build their cocoons, waited for them to come out again and then when they had unfolded their wings and were ready to fly I set them free . 

Who were the most influential people during your teens and how did they influence you?

Tim Burton, My art teachers, The Sounds.

Tim Burton, as I could relate to his characters not really knowing nor feeling a belonging.  I was drawn to his style, his patience of creation, his desire for musical-kind soundtracks and creating narratives for the odd and “not-normal”. 

My art teachers because they “got me” you know… in that emotional-chaos-mode they understood and made space for me and encouraged me to keep creating.

The Sounds, a female fronted rocknroll band from Sweden. Singing and dancing along to their albums was a great release of frustrations and other overwhelming emotions. Very empowering.


How did you get in the world of analogue photography?

I was really into it during art class at high school but I only really picked it up a few years ago. I think now that taking pictures has become so accessible, it’s like fast-food entertainment. I wanted to slow it down, and capture spaces and places in a more treasured way. I feel a different kind of depth, mystery and poetry in film. 

How would you describe the photography you do? What is your work focused on?

I experiment a lot. Since I come from the path of learning without rules nor boundaries, I try, and fail a lot. I try to capture the feelings of memories, and moods toward different environments.
I think the reason for the repetition of botany in my work is because I envy their roots, and their pride of belonging wherever they grow. We moved a lot during my upbringing so I feel like my roots were pulled up constantly and never really got the chance to grow deep. 

Are you working on any photographic project at the moment?

One of my jobs is assisting a sculptor at a co-creative studio. I have the ambition to capture the essence of the individual artists process as well as their studio spaces.  I just loaded a new film (Eastman 250) in my Pentax K1000 yesterday. The previous roll I shot, I finally started the project and exploration of exposing both sides, however it didn’t come out as I expected..  I would like to try it again though!

Is there any photographic project that you would like to do but have not done yet?

Oh yes, All the time…  I would love love love to try to make filmsoup with flowers like Hanalogital and to get more skilled (and comfortable) within Street Photography, and beside this I would also really like to make my own darkroom. (dream!).

Which camera and which film do you use the most in your photography and why?

My most used camera is my Holga 135BC, I like how light, experimental and playful it feels. However, I am trying to upgrade my knowledge of photography with a Pentax K1000 (broken light meter… ) and have just recently inherited a Rolliflex & Minolta from my Grandfather.
My favorite film is Kodak Gold but the film I have used most is Kodak Vision Cinematic film (only bc it is more affordable ).

Who are your biggest influences?

My biggest influences are the female photographers, musicians and artists who resisted the norms and stereotypes they were assigned and paved the path for the opportunities we women have today..
You can find me admiring Masao Yamamoto‘s photographs whilst listening to Cocorosie and Warpaint in the background.
I’m very lucky to spend most of my time in a creative community, so many of my friends and the people I meet influence me and inspire me everyday. 

What’s the best advice you would give yourself when you started in the world of film photography?

Three things,
1. It’s not the camera that makes a good photographer.
2. It’s about understanding light, time, angles, narrative and patience.
(So if you take your time to learn this, and do your homework you might save a couple of $$ on film).
3. Bring your camera everywhere. 


Find more about Sarah’s Work?

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/emotive_exposure


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