We had the good fortune of connecting with Daria Ratliff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daria, alright, let’s jump in with a deep one – what’s you’re definition for success?
Aristotle said that “happiness is an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue”. Obviously, the theme of discussion is not happiness but success, however, one cannot deny the correlation of the two when it comes to examining our achievements in life. It means, the fulfillment as a person, which is different from harvesting the material achievements that money helps one to obtain. It is to look around and find joy in the processes that shaped you as a person and knowing that sacrifice pays in the end. Not the kind of sacrifice for working yourself to death long hours in the day, although this is also noble and worth of praise. But the sacrifice of not bending to the garbage that are against the universal values that shaped our civilization: goodness, beauty, truth. It is to know that your soul has not bent to darkness, nor complacency. We are all imperfect, and we are all learning as we go and we cannot avoid mistakes, on the contrary. But our conscience takes a larger role later in life, regardless of the material achievements. It is to come to peace with the compromises you made along the way.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am just a little more down to earth than the question suggests. The longer I photograph, the harder I find it to be creative. I can’t even remember the last time I really saw something original and fun out there, and I am trying to be respectful of the many people who are trying very hard in the industry, including myself. It is not that. As an advice, artists should move away from social media for a while and allow themselves to be less visually polluted to “create” something. When I detached myself from the buzz of the world, I can find more meaning on what I’m doing than ever before. The more I photograph the less I want to be creative, and the reason is this: I like photographing people and I like to see them in front of the camera. I do not want to overthink this; I do not want anything to take away from the time we have together. And that’s it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is nothing more enjoyable in people than chatting with them. Then we can just drive around and chat more. I find more interest in people and I like to hear what they have to say. Picnics are fun, really. I am not a city person, so anyone visiting my family will have to stick around my home and enjoy talking and eating homemade food
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh, I could stay here all-day mentioning names. First, by the Grace of God I am where I am. My sweet and loving husband, Joel is the first name that comes to mind, as always. To my sweet mother, when visiting from Brazil, helps me with absolutely everything in my house so I can work without thinking about diner To Lauren Ratliff, for her support when I first started photographing. To a dear friend who moved to Seattle, Iara Watney Pires, who made things lighter and enjoyable in the process of learning photography. To Gustavo Galbatto, who knows everything about everything photography related and loves sharing what he knows without blinking. To the folks that make online classes possible. For you-tubers that put content out there for free. To friends who would watch my kids while I went out on sessions.