Gabriela Escobar Ari
Communication has turned into visual experiences more than ever in history; in this sense photography can be the medium for absolutely everything.
As humans we never stop learning. A lifetime seems too short to learn about all the things I wish I could know. I moved to Canada six years ago, and I am still learning about history, nature, and different lifestyles, and loving every minute.
I have been practicing photography for around twelve years, and I wanted to redirect my ‘visual culture’ to the context I am in, but it is not always easy to change focus.
I am now into my second year of operating a local business in Fernie. It was a ‘now or never’ type of decision after being on and off with part time jobs and engaging photography as a hobby.
Originally, I am from Bolivia where I studied and worked as an archaeologist until moving to Fernie. My interest in archaeology is probably what facilitated my desire to understand historical viewpoints. When working as a photographer of the Ethnography and Folklore National Museum in La Paz, Bolivia, I learned about the manipulation of archaeological collections for databases, exhibitions, and publications.
Once in Fernie, I realized that photography is much more versatile than I had originally thought possible. This opened me up to exploring more opportunities into more commercial photography, such as family portraits, documenting events, and can proudly say it is now a passion of mine.
As with any profession, I decided to further my technical knowledge by taking Gabriela Escobar Ari Arts and Entertainment FEATURE ARTIST some time to study photography at SAIT in Calgary. This opportunity not only furthered my skill development but also allowed me to network with incredibly talented people in the industry and receive mentoring from world-renowned photographers. Mentorship taught me that no matter how famous a photographer you become, you can still be a humble and a very accessible person. Being very shy by nature does not help at all! But it felt good to be appreciated for my work and has given me the confidence to be one with my camera.
The world of photography has so many directions. I continue to be drawn to creating stories and timelines. Film photography and old photographic processes have always been my cup of tea! Right now, I improvised a tiny dark room in my basement and have been developing negatives for some customers in town. In the near future, I would like to source a larger dark room to organize film photography workshops.
I am very thankful of all the people I have met over the past couple of years who did not just help, but pushed me to follow my dreams. When I asked one of them, what can I do to give back, all those great things that made me feel good, they told me, “Just share it, share your knowledge, don’t keep secrets, give it all.” Now I am doing just that, and will continue learning from the new people I photograph, too. Listening to their stories, and capturing priceless moments of their lives is very rewarding.
For more on Gabbi and her work, visit gabbiescobar.com