photographer

Sara Gardner


my work…

I enjoy documenting the people around me. People who are wading through the muck. Who are digging their hands in the soil in the hopes that they can create something real. The people who are putting their values at the forefront of their lives. Who love whole heartedly. Those who aim to leave the world just a tiny bit better than when they entered it.


a little about me...  

I grew up in a small town in Central Illinois in the 90's. A town with no stop lights, but infinite churches. Growing up I always thought, "anywhere but here". So when I was 21 I moved to Chicago where I lived for seven years. I loved everything about it. The people rushing from place to place, the screeching breaks of the L, the infinite shapes, sizes, and colors of those around me. After seven years I decided it was time to come home. Now I find myself amidst the cornfields and rolling prairies again thinking "nowhere but here". I will always find myself torn, wishing I could exist in two places at once.

I think it's important to acknowledge where we came from, because I believe it has everything to do with the people we become. I grew up without the internet, without texting, without tablets, without social media. There was no standard to live up to, no amount of “likes” to obtain. I remember the small things most of all... the sound of my dad cutting wood in the garage, the shallow sound of my mom playing piano, peddling my bike until my legs went numb, the smell of the dryer exhaust on a chilly summer night. All my life I just wanted to keep these small moments, in some form, so that I could reach back for them whenever I wanted. Photography became that form. 



the fun stuff...

Likes: Coen brothers films, wood burning, Gilmore Girls, whiskey, Jack Garratt, writing, sour beer, thrift stores, chai tea lattes, beach towns, my pups, 50’s furniture, Parks and Rec, sugar, Cubs baseball, sleeping in, podcasts, bare feet, yoga, people watching. 

Dislikes: early mornings, coffee, running, winter, onions, supreme pizza, violent movies, cubicles, deep water, socks, warm soda, ruffled sleeves, salads, christmas music, The Wizard of Oz, dark chocolate, the news.