Apart from having been featured in multiple well known photography and lifestyle magazines, Traer has also held solo exhibitions of her work in New York, Providence and Tokyo. Traer was the recipient of the 2008 Helen Woodward Humane Award for animal welfare activism and was most recently awarded the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts 2010 Photography Fellowship Grant. Read on further to know about Traer's work:
Traer, please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Traer and I am a photographer. Some of my favorite things are tofu, Iceland, gardening and idiosyncratic Victorian memorabilia (not in any particular order).
What was the reason you chose photography as a profession? What inspired you to work with animals?
Photography and animals are my two greatest loves so it only seemed natural to combine the two, particularly because photography can be a very powerful catalyst in helping to bring about social change. Photos are often much more powerful than words.
Tell us about the 3 books you have written. Just curious to know why you do not sell eBook versions of your books?
Shelter Dogs is a collection of 50 portraits of dogs taken while they were living in an American shelter. Brief bios are offered in the back of the book which inform the reader about the dog’s fate. Many were adopted, some were not so lucky.
Street Dogs takes a look at stray dogs living alone and in packs in the streets, deserts, jungles and alleys of Mexico and Puerto Rico. I worked for many months with local animal rescue groups in both countries.
Wild Horses is a collection of images of the majestic American Mustang and focuses on the perilous existence and bleak future that these animals are facing due to development and private interest.
Photography books are generally not offered as ebooks because the whole point of the book is for someone to own a high quality reproduction of the imagery or artwork. Usually the text is minimal. However, decisions like that are up to the publisher, not the artist.
Tell us about the kind of equipment that you use for photography. Could you please include details on both the hardware and software that you use?
I use a Nikon system and Photoshop CS5. I like to keep equipment very simple and light.
Tell us something about your “Hungry Ghost” series of photographs. What was the inspiration for this series?
Water and transformation were definitely the inspiration for The Hungry Ghost. For me, photography is all about creating a better reality that I can actually experience in person. Assembling images in Photoshop would rob me of the satisfaction that comes from knowing that what I captured really existed.
What sort of techniques have you used for the “Natural History” series? Though I am a total noob at photography, would it be pertinent to ask if this is some sort of multiple exposure trick?
As mentioned in the artist statement, these are all, without exception, single exposure images made in-camera. They are simply reflections caught in glass at opportune moments using a bounce flash.
What is the biggest and most satisfying compliment that you have received for your work?
The most satisfying compliment is when people are inspired to take action as a result of seeing my work. I have been fortunate to receive many letters from people who have decided to start volunteering, or adopt a dog, or speak out against cruelty as a result of seeing my work and that is more gratifying than I can even describe.
Apart from working with animals and photography what other activities do you enjoy? what is your favorite pastime?
What are your future plans as a photographer? Are you working on any new series?
I am currently with Chronicle Books and have a new book coming out in spring 2013. The details are still a secret at this point!
What advice would you like to give to aspiring and budding photographers?
Find a job to support your habit until your habit can kick the job!
Thank you Traer for taking the time for this interview. Your photography is truly inspiring and we wish you the very best for the future.
You can read more about Traer's work at: