I have come to realize I am a terrible blogger. I forget to post, ALL the time. But I recognize the problem, and am doing my best to be better.

That being said, I am super excited to start sharing new work with you. Below is a creative time lapse I created for my stop action class. I shot this on my Nikon D800 with the Composer Lensbaby. I believe it was shot with 5 second intervals ( next time around I will do a little shorter). This was sunrise at the Mesa Lane Steps in Santa Barbara, CA.

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The Home Stretch

Today at 3:15pm I have my grad review. My progress and performance over the past 2.5 years will be evaluated, and I will either pass (which means I can make it in the real world,) or I will fail (which means I have more work to do.) I created this self portrait as a reflection of the past couple weeks. I have been so wrapped up in a whirlwind of retouching, printing, website editing, researching, and preparing in general that I have forgotten to breath. This image depicts myself looking toward the light, taking a breath, leaving the craziness behind, and seeing the end.


My time at Brooks is almost done.

I am not sure I have fully accepted that yet…


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This is a shoot I worked on with my friends/classmates Dan Quinones and Michael Bernardoni for our advertising concepts class this past August. We had to build a concept advertising a beverage of our choice, our only requirements being that it had to be a night scene, and we had to build two life size walls.

This was one of the most fun/challenging shoots I have ever worked on. We worked weeks on estimates, research, scouting for wardrobe, and collecting materials. We built our entire set by hand thanks to a strong group effort and the added help from my fiance Jordan Parsons.

We were inspired by the movie Lawless, and in the end decided to create an image around Ole Smoky Moonshine. Below is a timelapse documenting the two days we spent inside a sound stage building/shooting/tearing everything down.

<p><a href=”″>Ole Smoky Moonshine Shoot – Timelapse</a> from <a href=”″>Sara Risvold</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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Let Them Eat Cake

Its been awhile since I have blogged, and I feel terrible for neglecting this responsibility…
Life has definitely gotten in the way of my social media responsibilities, but isn’t life about embracing the moment?

Anyhow, my apologies for waiting so long to update you on my photographic endeavors.
I have recently found that Brooks Institute never ceases to push me outside of my comfort zone, and for me that is being pushed into shooting people.
Here is a small sampling of a very stylized shoot I did, embracing the character and persona of Marie Antoinette.

Marie AntoinetteMarie Antoinette



Marie AntoinetteMarie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette



















A huge shout out and thank you to my team!

Model(and fellow Brookie): Morgan Taylor Berschauer
Assistant: Eryn M Brydon
Hair/Makeup: Berenice Gallegos

Although my passion for shooting people lies within raw, authentic portraits, I really find a lot of excitement and joy in these highly stylized shoots.
Its amazing to put so much time into planning, and then watch the entire shoot unfold just as you envisioned.

Until Next Time

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Sweet as honey

A little video I made about a recent shoot I did, check it out!


from Sara Risvold on Vimeo.

A little video I made about a recent shoot I did, check it out!

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New Work | Good Los Angeles Food

My colleague Amy Barnard and I recently finished styling/shooting menu items for 5 Los Angeles/Santa Monica Restaurants. The menus boasted colorful dishes sure to delight foodies of all sorts. Here are a completed shots:











Brentwood Cafe – Los Angeles

Brentwood – Los Angeles

Capo – Santa Monica

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Benjo Arwas | A Passion that Inspires

Recently I had the chance to chat with Brooks Institute Alumnus, Benjo Arwas. During his time at Brooks, Benjo was a source of inspiration to so many and continues to drive many of us to work harder. His sheer talent and ability to produce large quantities of top notch work was/is astounding.

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What have you been working on since graduating Brooks Institute? I am doing exactly what I was doing while I was in Brooks, just without driving 3 times a week back and forth to Santa Barbara. Shooting, Producing, pushing the work out with marketing, promoting, meeting people, being exhibiting, and consistently creating to learn and to experiment.

You shoot a lot of film, what does film give you that you can’t get from digital? A wise friend of mine define it the best. Film is like a hand written love letters, or like a conversation in-person. It will always last and will touch a person better then text message, or email. I see film as opportunity to have a bit more time with the character/personality and to get to know them better, the camera is only a tool for a great conversation.

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What is your routine before you go on a shoot? Pre-production is number one in everything, but you need to know how to be flexible if anything changes. Usually, a lot changes because you see the wardrobe and the model/talent in person, and you get a different tweak of inspiration. I rarely follow what I planned at the very beginning, I am always making little changes in lighting, background, location and mood – eventually talking with the creative team to see their thoughts and feedback, and continuing from there or going back to the source.

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All of your personal is work is amazing. which of these projects is closest to you, and what inspired it?

All of my editorial and personal work are close to me and I see as “personal work”. Everything right now is close to me, but the most favorite ones are those which I created as an outtake, or just before or after the main shoot. These are the moments where I was actually just capturing the person’s character,  not the set, the makeup, the hair etc…Its a different feeling for me that allows me to be connected with that picture better.

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What advice do you have to the upcoming graduates from Brooks, or any young photographers?

Bob Dylan said: “Don’t think twice, its alright,” and thats the main thing, If you have an idea, or vision – just go for it and make it count. Prepare yourself for the worst, and know how to find quick solutions. Go out and expose yourself to the world and get inspired by people and places. Photography is only 3%-5% of the actual profession – everything else is dedicated to promoting, getting inspired, pre production, post production, accounting, marketing, traveling, casting, meetings and what not. The “click” is the last thing you are really doing…If everything around it is well prepared and perfect – will take you less then 3 minutes to capture the moment you planned. Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.30.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.30.23 PM ALL IMAGES © BENJO ARWAS 

For more work and information take a look at

Make sure you check out my personal favorite of his projects

I LIKE STRONG BLACK COFFEE, AND ART Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 10.16.04 PM

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