Photographer Rachel E. Rainwater has returned from her travels in Europe, and she’s got the photographs to prove it. Originally from N.Y., Rainwater studied photojournalism at Rochester Institute of Technology, but her love affair with the lens began long before her college degree.
“I was very little when I started. Like anyone, you get a toy camera and kind of go crazy with it. I guess I never got over that,” she says.
Rainwater found her heart in the darkroom during her teen years. “I realized this is what I needed to do,” she says.
For “Hjem Igen: An Exploration In Coming Home,” Rainwater’s latest project, the photographer used a variety of cameras, including the iPhone, to shoot her subjects. “The camera is just the tool,” she says. “It’s about the story.”
With this project, Rainwater diverges from her photojournalism roots and delves into the territory of memoir. “This is the most personal project I’ve ever done,” she says. “Generally, as a photojournalist, I look for other stories, but this is more of an exploration of myself and myself as an artist.”
In “Hjem Igen,” Rainwater examines the notion of returning, and ponders the definition of home.
“I’ve moved so much and my family, we’re transplants here,” Rainwater says. “But now this is home, so these pictures are from all over. Significant places to my family.”
Rainwater’s work will be displayed as an installation piece in order to fully explore her artistic vision.
“I hope people walk away with a question, or maybe they’ll begin self- evaluating after seeing the project,” she says.
Rachel E. Rainwater’s photography will be on display Friday, June 29, at Old Whiteaker Firehouse, (1045 West 1st Ave).