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Empowerment Through Photography with Allison Barr

In general, I'm really interested in capturing the women and trans/enby folks in my life, as well as those in the art field. Also with my Photojournalism background, I love conducting features on people doing noteworthy things. I hope through my work people feel empowered and highlighted. I'm always drawn to color, because that's just how I feel, all the time. I feel and see things in color, and I love transferring that into something tangible.

Growing up, I always knew I really loved people but faced bad social anxiety. I also knew I wanted to pursue portraiture photography, but had a hard time expanding outside two friends that would model for me. One day, a local Portland model DM'ed me and asked me to collaborate. This wasn't weird for me at all. I was an internet kid who had internet friends when I was younger. I agreed to meet up with them, but had a really bad panic attack in my car before doing so. I remember I was late and couldn't get out because I was so nervous to hang out, let alone be vulnerable with art making, with someone new. I ended up pushing myself, and had the best time.

They taught me a lot about pushing boundaries in art and creating a sense of photography community. They subconsciously encouraged me to reach out, and shoot with new people who all shaped my life and my art in some way. A lot of these people are still my friends today and I wouldn't have done it without this first person inspiring me to do so. Now, I have met so many amazing people all over the world that I feel really really lucky to know. My life is different because of photography, and I owe it all to them.

I define my style in so many ways. It's taken me years to really hone in on the fact that I love lifestyle and feature photography equally. While I have been practicing fashion/editorial style photography for years, a part of my heart always longs to capture real people in real life. Like documentary Photojournalism. This picture (the horizontal one I sent you with the guy in the girl in the purple and blue lighting) is a picture I think of that epitomizes how I see the world. This picture is taken of two of my really good friends, in a restaurant in Portland we love to go to late at night. I also don't know how to explain it, but I feel a lot of things in color, which is something I try to translate into my photos. Taking this, and seeing how it came out after getting it developed, felt like a sealed deal to me because my head glamorizes so many still moments in my everyday life. I am obsessed with coming of age movies, and I've always wanted to make work that felt like that. That picture, to me, finally felt that I captured that feeling.

Allison Barr's photography is featured in our first issue, 'Criticizing Gods and Keeping Ourselves Warm'. Pre-order opens January 8th, 2021.

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