Anna Verlet Shelton

Where are you from/based now? 

I was raised in Florida and Ohio. I've been living in Portland, Oregon for the last 11 years.

What is your background in photography? What got you started? 

I have no formal background in photography. I've always taken photos, but didn't really have an aesthetic intent until about 5 or 6 years ago. I got a particularly good roll back from a hiking trip which kind of sparked my interest. There are so many magical places surrounding the area that I live; I feel like I've had plenty of material to work with in order to learn more about how to take better pictures.

Could you tell us a bit about your working process, your shot look very candid, do you ever plan things? 

My process is basically to have a camera with me at all times. I'm always on the hunt for something to photograph. It kind of heightens the experience of where ever I am. If I've ever planned a shot, it rarely worked out. It's just not my thing. To be honest, I think I'm a better editor than a photographer. For every good photo, there seems to be about 20 bad ones. I shoot with film and just kind of snap away in the hopes one will turn out. 

It seems like you travel a fair amount, is there anywhere you would particularly like to go?

The main pleasure with photography is that every place is interesting because you're about to be exposed to something new. You end up relishing the mundane as well as the majestic. I wanna go everywhere. I've been thinking about Costa Rica lately. I wanna hang out with some monkeys and sloths. 

What drives you to keep taking pictures?

I'm driven simply because I feel like photography offers endless possibilities. I still get excited whenever I pick up a roll to see what developed. I've sustained this feeling long enough to sort of count on it. It's the same way I feel about music. It may sound simplistic, but photography and music are two things I know I can trust to make me happy. They draw me out into the world. 

Who or what inspires you? 

I could name photographers, musicians, filmmakers, writers, and friends who are inspiring for days, but instead I'll say I'm inspired by certain qualities that I imagine them all to possess; I'm attracted by a disciplined playfulness, a curiosity and compassion toward nature and our place in it. 

Are you working on a project at the moment? Where do you want to go with your photography? 

I don't know where I wanna go. I feel like so far I just keep doing what I'm doing and opportunities arise from it. I'm worried that if I start to think about it in a more formal or professional way, it'll become too fragile and the feelings I have about it will change.


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