Terra Fondriest is a self taught photographer who calls the wooded hills of the Arkansas Ozarks, home. She became a mother 5+ years ago and her life long interest in photography became more than that.
Terra grew up in the hustle and bustle of the Chicago 'burbs. She went on to the University of Illinois for Natural Resource studies, then traveled the country for several years working on an elite wildland firefighting 'Hotshot' crew. After several more life adventures, she settled down with her husband near the Buffalo River in the Arkansas Ozarks.
With the birth of her first child coming, Terra finally said goodbye to her dad's old Canon ae-1 film camera that she had grown so fond of, and purchased a DSLR Canon. After several years of practice and study, her passion for photographing her family's relationship between each other and our natural world has grown into a quest for her artistic voice and a project that's dear to her heart.
She now enjoys capturing her family's story as time passes on, as well as stories for other families and events.
Daily life, for so many people, seems to be filled with stacks of time commitments, long to-do lists, constant distractions, and monotonous tasks. I feel like it's harder than ever to make sense of it all, and easier than ever to become disconnected with our families and our natural world. As an artist, I strive to bring that human and natural connection into my work. I want those who view my photographs to feel the mud between their fingers and toes, smell the Ozark air, remember the laughter and simplicity of childhood, and be inspired to find that love and wonder again for each other and nature.
Most of my work, at this point in life, revolves around my two children and our life in the hills of the Arkansas Ozarks. We were fortunate to land here a handful of years ago because of my husband's job, and I have come to feel like there is no better place to develop my artistic voice than our home in the woods and the daily life of raising two small children here.
By being present outdoors with my children for most of our days, with my camera in tow, photography often helps me to shove aside overwhelming feelings that life can bring on. It creates a primal simplicity and focus that I feel my soul craves.
I not only seek to inspire others to connect with simple nature and relationship based moments, I want them to feel those moments through my photographs.