through a different lens
Words by Sommer Brugal Photos by Sarah Frankie Linder & Eric Morales
The definition of beauty can differ from person to person. So, to understand just how those perceptions vary, I sat down with two photographers whose work strives to capture beauty in everything.
Sarah Frankie Linder is a commercial, editorial, and fine art photographer. She focuses on finding playful elements in unconventional spaces. Eric Morales is a self-taught photographer, who is evidently keen on capturing an individual in any circumstance.
Both are photographers, yet each occupy different perceptions of beauty. But according to Linder, that’s the beauty of photography. “Everyone has their own style and what they’re drawn to.”
How do you define beauty? What draws you in?
Sarah: For the most part, I would interchange the word interesting for beautiful. But the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Because a lot of times, the things I find beautiful are really weird, banal, everyday things.
Eric: It can’t be squeezed into words. The only thing I know about beauty is that it’s everywhere, waiting to be noticed or discovered. [When] I recognize [it], I’m drawn in by all of life, immediately as it exists before me.
What about your work do you find beautiful?
Sarah: I’m always looking for composition and color blocking, [and] I often use humans as just one part of a concept. When I see [shadows], I see them just as physical an element as maybe the wall in the photo. A color block is just as real to me in that time as whatever [other] physical objects are around as well. Deep down, I feel like I’m trying to make a far-side cartoon. It’s very dry.
Eric: Beauty is inherent in all beings. When I have the opportunity to witness and experience that beauty up close, whether my subject be still or in motion, calm or shy, fully present or painfully distant, I get a little glimpse into the truth of what we are.
How has your idea or perception of beauty evolved since growing as a photographer?
Sarah: It’s become more distilled; sometimes it’s straight minimal. When I’m able to say just what I want to get across in the photo and nothing more, that’s when I’m happy.
Eric: I’m continually learning to see how beauty within people extends in all directions. To photograph someone’s pain definitely has potential to awaken a new and wider perception of beauty that most of us would otherwise willingly turn away from.
What about Austin or the Eastside do you find beautiful?
Sarah: The Eastside is just way more visually interesting. You have a really unique blend of old stuff and new stuff. You have way more color on buildings on this side of town.
Eric: Being allowed to be weird is the most beautiful thing I can think of about Austin, or of any place. It’s a treasure in Austin I hope is never lost.