Skip to content

Creative Corner: A generations old passion finds new twist

Sara Herkes found a love for maternity photography using designer dresses

Sara Herkes grew up in Hawaii watching her dad work as a photographer and videographer. Little did she know that one day history would repeat itself.

Like many people in their newfound freedom, when Herkes, determined to step out of her father's shadow, headed to college in Washington, D.C she fell in love with Greek and Roman art and archaeology, setting her sights on a career in anthropology.. But, when she took her first college photography class, she realized that she, too, belonged behind the lens.

Herkes returned to Hawaii after completing her undergraduate degree and landed her first job out of college as a wedding, event, and portrait photographer, which began her professional career.

Later Herkes decided to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Colorado-Boulder where she met her husband, Travis Rupp. 

Rupp teaches Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology at CU-Boulder and now the couple lives in Frederick with their two-year-old daughter, Zoe. 

Although Herkes briefly had a nine-to-five job working at University of Colorado, photography kept calling her back.

"It turned out that I really couldn't get away from photography," Herkes said, adding she loves documenting the world and the beauty of how it affects her memories.

"​​I've always seen the world through a camera. One thing that I love about photography is it helps me remember things. I will remember something because I took a photograph of it. Not necessarily because I have the photograph but because my brain went through that process of composing a shot, analyzing the light and thinking about something that was in front of me," Herkes said. 

For photographers, the golden hour — the period of the day just shortly after sunrise or before sunset which causes daylight to be softer — is a prime time to take photographs. For Herkes, even when she is unable to hold her camera, she takes in the details of a setting while imagining the shots she might take. 

"It allows me to take a moment and appreciate things in a way that I don't think I would have normally done. I know, at the end of every day when the sun's starting to set, even if I'm not shooting, I can look out my window and see it's the golden hour with that beautiful light. I appreciate it more because I can imagine the photographs I could take at that moment in time,” she said. 

In 2018, Herkes opened her current business, Sarah Herkes Photography and Design LLC  and decided to go back full time into photography giving her the flexibility to choose her own style and hours as she raises her daughter.

"I wanted to be able to be home when I need to and want to and decide, how much of my life is going to be my work and how much of my life is going to be home, which is not really something you get to do when you're working for somebody else," she said.

While she does some branding/headshot photography, her main focus, professionally, is maternity, newborn and family photography. She's working on increasing her model closet for maternity shoots and has a model call out to show off her two new dresses, which are all by the Dutch designer, Ingrid Mii Estilo

Herkes is experimenting with how she'd like her maternity photos to look. The model call is part of her work toward going further with her work. 

"I'm building my maternity client closet, which I'm very excited about. It's allowed me to spread my wings because I'm getting to really play around with these dresses that really inspired me and with finding a location that really works with them. I'm loving how my art is really evolving as a result of it, " she said. 

Before building this client closet, Herkes had a casual look in her photos. She surprised herself by being attracted to maternity gowns. She said, "In Colorado, I was a little worried they would clash because they were formal gowns. But now that I'm shooting them, I'm loving the juxtaposition of the rugged nature of Colorado with these very formal, beautiful gowns." 

Herkes is always looking for different styles, different types of composition/angles and different looks to push herself and her art. 

"I have an appreciation for what you can do in photographs that I am always striving for something more. Perhaps, that's how it should be when you're an artist; that you always try to reach for something more," Herkes said.