Behind the lens

Edie Sunday: Between the Darkness & Light



Where are you based?

Austin, TX

How do you make a living?

I’m a 4th year PhD student in psychology, currently making a living as a teaching assistant for cognitive behavior therapy and psychopathology.

What camera do you use?

Nikon F3, Mamiya RB67, Pentax Spotmatic II, Polaroid SX-70… and about 10 more but these are my main squeezes.

How has travel made an impact on your life?

It has changed me as a person entirely. I grew up in a small town in Texas where “travel” was something you only saw in the movies; vacation to us was visiting Sea World in San Antonio. I started taking spontaneous road trips with my friends around age 22 and found a sense of freedom and openness to experience that I didn’t know existed. The ability to travel so much over the past four years has given me a special, almost cosmic appreciation for the earth and the creatures that inhabit it.

What is your relationship to travel/adventure, and what does it mean to you?

At this point I almost need it to survive—it is such an integral part of my existence that I begin to feel incomplete without it. I try to go somewhere at least once a month—even if it’s just a day trip to the hill country an hour away. Travel and adventure are sacred experiences that give way to an entirely new dimension of worldly experience. Travel of course also means creation—I make the majority of my work when I am not at home, when new atmospheres are stimulating my mind.

On my 24th birthday Sarah, Allyson and I took off for White Sands, NM. It was January and we back country camped, not considering how cold a desert night truly is. After the sun rose and thawed our frozen bodies, Allyson ran to the top of a sand dune and I snapped this.

I was on a plane back from Portland this past November and had never seen such intricate, other worldly clouds populating the sky below. I shot the roll and exposed over it the following week at home with self-portraits. The result was my head floating like a lost planet.

Every spring and summer I take a week -long road trip with my two best friends I grew up with. This summer was to the mountains of North Carolina. Crabtree Waterfall is large, majestic, and buried deep enough in the forest that we were able to strip down for Polaroids.

There’s a hidden swimming hole in the Texas hill country formed by ancient underground caves. It’s on private property, but the owners once didn’t mind a few respectful visitors here and there. I took this photo of Lainey from the top of the cliff, which I jumped off of and into the water just moments later.

We were on a four hour hike through the rainforest in Rio Celeste, Costa Rica. We finally reached the river and I veered just far enough off the beaten path to shoot a nude self-portrait series.

I met Meredith in New York this past November. I shot this portrait in her living room in the early hours of the morning with the intention to expose over it with city lights. My plans rarely work out and I rarely mind.

Kaiman and I drove out west of Austin, walked to the top of a cliff and had this sunset all to ourselves. Although we were friends before, this was when our artistic and human bond really started forming.

Allyson in White Sands, NM. The negatives from that trip to NM lasted me months—I experimented consistently in the darkroom, photoshop, and with mixed media. The results were many of the first photos that felt like a true expression of me.

Big Bend, TX before the sun rose. There’s nothing like a morning moon.