Sue Reynolds loved nature and Native American culture before she discovered photography. A fourth generation Northern Californian, she started hiking the Berkeley hills at five. She also heard her grandmother’s stories about a locally famous neighbor: Ishi, the last of his Yahi people. Reynolds began using her Brownie camera a few years later, to record her childhood -- including summers in California's remote Trinity Mountains. By high school, she had experienced the magic of the black-and-white darkroom. It cemented her love affair with tone, texture and composition.
While earning her B.A. in Art History from the University of California, Reynolds worked with The Oakland Museum's curator for Prints and Photography, who introduced her to the creative eye of pioneering women photographers from Dorothea Lange to Anne Brigman to Imogen Cunningham.
Reynolds got her MBA, followed by corporate and agency marketing experience in the 1980s, and went on to found and build a leading PR firm using both her business and artistic creativity. Through the challenges of graduate school and building a business, Reynolds continued to photograph with nature remaining a central inspiring subject for her.
Reynolds' newest venture -- documenting Native American celebrations through exceptional photography, writing and more is creating respect for, and understanding of, Native American people and their traditions
Since 2005, she has photographed and interviewed Native people across the West. Her "Proud People: Nations within a Nation" book, "On the Powwow Trail" article, and slide lectures have touched many and received enthusiastic reviews.
Reynolds works primarily in Canon 35mm digital, with a deep library of landscape and garden images in 35 mm and medium format film. Her images appear in gallery exhibits, client web sites, portfolios and other marketing materials, as well as in the media. Reynolds teaches photography privately and through a local museum.
When asked why she photographs, Reynolds responds, "The process of making images is intensely creative. It’s also about connection. I take time -- often lots of it -- to create a relationship with the people and places I photograph.”
“Revealing nature’s mysteries, and portraying Native people with respect, is a sacred mission for me. Sacred, because it uses my creative gifts to inform and inspire people about the healing value of wild places, and about Native traditions. If my images cause even a single person to reflect on this value, to spend time creating a relationship with nature and connecting with the timelessness of Native cultures …all my photographic energy will have been worth it.”