The Essence of Ojai


Photo Credit: Steven Yoo ’19

Serena Warren ’16, a current senior, has spent the fall trimester capturing environmental portraits of various farmers and artists under the guidance of David Kepner. Environmental portraiture focuses on portraying an individual in their organic environment. By photographing these individuals, Serena has illuminated their unique stories and the influence of Ojai on their artistic visions and careers.

Here is her take on her project:

What sparked your interest in photography?

I have always been interested in photography since my mother is a photographer. In my sophomore year, I took Thacher’s photography course with Ms. Mahoney. During this period, my interest in photography grew significantly. This year, along with my independent, I am taking AP Photography.

How did you choose the topic for you independent project?

I believe Ojai has a unique culture of creativity that is hard to find because artists have difficulty supporting themselves by means of creativity, which they can do in Ojai. I wanted to capture the essence and innocence of this creativity in photos.

Who are you photographing?

I am still not completely set on all the people I will be photographing, but at this point the list includes Robert Dautch (BD) on his farm, Grace Bueti-Malloy at her farm, Calvin Zara at the Farmer and the Cook, the people of the Rancho Inn, the owners of Modern Folk Living, the owner of Knead, and the owners of Summer Camp.