Ardent Photography Main Page Portrait Photography Art Photography Sarah McTernen
University Place, Washington
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Sarah McTernen, Photographic Artist
Self Portrait of Sarah McTernen I was an amateur photographer (aka not selling anything) for eight years before starting Ardent Photography in 2005. I have always seen the world differently from others, but the ability to capture that vision did not become feasible until one Christmas and a fortuitous Christmas gift from my aunt of a disposable camera. Though my father had been a photographer when I was a child, with his bag full of lenses and filters, I didn't see the power of the photograph until I started shooting that first roll of film. That is what began this habit I have yet to shake. I bought over twenty disposable cameras in the following four years before finally doling out the money for a cheap point and shoot Vivitar. The Vivitar lasted only a few months. My yearning for more creativity and control demanded a higher level of technology. In 2001, I turned to a photographer friend of mine and requested a camera recommendation. He suggested I go digital. After doing my research, I did, buying an Olympus C3030z. From then on out my destiny was sealed and my hard drive was full. Since that time I have upgraded to a new digital SLR. The SLR provides me with more control over the final image and RAW format pictures which are closer to 35mm negatives than any previous file formats.

Family Portraits created by Sarah McTernen In 2004, I made the decision to create Ardent Photography as an on-site studio that would cater to individuals who wanted portraits that reflected their unique personality. I wanted to provide my clients with an opportunity to have quality portraits taken at affordable prices without the stuffy nature of a studio. I remember being a child and sitting through seemingly eternal evenings at portrait studios trying to get the 'perfect family photo.' Of course, by the time we got to the studio, someone had found a new stain or torn a shirt or fouled up the precisely done hair. Then we would get into the small room where the camera was, and be positioned as mannequins for the ideal portrait. The pictures were always 'nice' but never an accurate representation of my family. I had the same experience when having my senior portraits taken years later. Most of the pictures I hated, because they were very fake and did not display my true self. When it comes to my own clients, I want them to be as comfortable as the can be, so I go to them and take their portraits in their home or another familiar setting. The portraits that result from these sittings are often more candid and revealing than the standard studio shot. Take the picture to the left. The mother is mostly shaded by her two sons who receive the full benefit from the afternoon sunlight. She holds them together but they get all the glory.

Sepia Eye created by Sarah McTernen The other side of Ardent is art. When I first started shooting with those disposable cameras, I took pictures of my friends and maybe a tree that caught my eye. As the years went on, I discarded the mantra that I had heard so much in my youth that 'a picture is no good if it does not have a person standing in it.' I began taking photographs of the thing in my life I thought were beautiful. Some of these pictures were still of people, but a greater amount were of the sky, trees and full ashtrays at local hangouts. With these images I began to hone my skill for lighting and set up. I sell my art through this website and through various sites across the Internet including Zazzle and Etsy. Locally, I participate in about four festivals a year in the Western Washington area. I also sell my vision through what I call Project Photography. I love sharing my unique vision of the world with people and local businesses through stock images that I already have on hand or specific projects for businesses and individuals.

Windmill created by Sarah McTernen Please let me know if you have any questions, either about Ardent or about myself, by e-mailing me at

Thank you,

Sarah McTernen

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