My photography comes down to this:
When people tell their stories, I listen with my camera. I constantly end up in situations, even when I am out photographing landscapes, where fascinating stories tumble out of complete strangers. Why, I can’t say. Instead I try to anticipate and honor these intimate moments by translating stories into compelling images.
Somewhere on Highway 89 I began to almost expect and rely on these exchanges. They resonate through my first book, U.S. Highway 89: the Scenic Route to Seven Western National Parks (Sagebrush Press, 2009). In the three years of research and photography for that project, I drove 15,000 miles to document the 1,600 mile, border-to-border transect through the intermountain west. I also jumped in the middle of a Hell’s Angels motorbike ride, learned to throw a tomahawk and went on my first cattle round-up with new friends I made along the way.
For historian Gary Toppings’ The Story of the Cathedral of the Madeleine (Sagebrush Press, 2009), I produced a full color photographic essay documenting Utah’s Catholic community in their spiritual home. Photographed between Christmas and Easter 2009, I was granted extraordinary access to witness the major liturgical rituals and individual acts of faith for the series. Under a tight deadline, Topping’s history was issued to coincide with the August 2009 centennial of the landmark structure.
I look for my own stories in the context of the American West. I am most interested in the competing drivers of change and tradition; volunteerism and leadership in rural communities; passionate individuals of any stripe; and the romance of the road. I am currently working on another book-length project and creating a fine-art series that reinterprets western themes.
Based in Salt Lake City and Torrey, the gateway town to Capitol Reef National Park in southern Utah, I am conveniently located to serve documentary, editorial and commercial clients throughout the intermountain west. If you have a story to tell, let’s begin the conversation (contact link).
Ann Torrence drove over 15,000 miles to research and photograph her first solo work, U.S. Highway 89: the Scenic Route to Seven Western National Parks. The Highway 89 project explores a north-south transect of the United States as a metaphor for the myths and realities of the American West. Ann’s documentary photos explore the interplay of the human element and landscape; transformations of culture–what is kept, lost, and reinvented over time; passionate people of any stripe, and the idea of the great American west.
Ann is based in Salt Lake City, where she co-founded Utah’s largest photography group, PhotowalkingUtah (1000+ members), teaches workshops on photography for the University of Utah’s Continuing Education program and was the Entrada Institute 2010 Artist-in-Residence (in Torrey, Utah). Her book won the City Weekly 2010 Artys Award for Best Non-Fiction Book.