Student develops photography skills

Photo courtesy of Alison Pate A portrait titled, “Dad,” from Pate’s most recent art series.

Photo courtesy of Alison Pate A portrait titled, “Dad,” from Pate’s most recent art series.

“Ever since I was a kid, I was always drawing, painting, doodling on my parents’ walls,” junior Alison Pate said.

Pate has always been an artist. She discovered her love for photography in eighth grade and it has grown ever since — finding even more momentum in her college years.

Coming to Linfield, Pate said she didn’t think she would be so serious about her art. She initially planned to double major in Spanish and studio art but said it became obvious that she wanted to devote her time toward an art-based career.

“Being an art major is probably one of the hardest things I can think of doing. The art professors really push you, but I’ve really matured as an artist,” Pate said.

Once Pate completed all the introduction art courses, she took more photography classes and a bookbinding course.

Pate said her art is largely inspired by people.

A self-portrait of Pate.

“I’m really inspired by human interactions and human relationships. The idiosyncrasies that make up everyday life are really interesting to me,” Pate said. “I love photographing people more than anything else.”

Pate has tried out other forms of art such as drawing and painting but said she always finds that she goes back to photography.

“I like the freedom that photography gives me,” she said. “The lens brings a sort of closeness and a connection to my subject that is absent in some other mediums I’ve experimented with. There is an intimacy that a camera lens brings.”

Pate said one of her favorite projects was one she did her freshman year, when she convinced some of her guy friends to wear fake eyelashes and let her photograph them.

“I was playing with masculinity and femininity. It was sort of crazy, but it was fun. I’ve mellowed out since then,” she laughed.

Aside from photography, Pate said she has discovered an interest in book binding.

“I work a lot in book making,” she said. “I’ve just started getting into that, which is really fun.”

When she’s not busy in the art studio, Pate enjoys baking and movies. She is also the go-to photographer for the band Jack Ruby Presents. She met the band her freshman year, and after attending a few shows she asked if she could photograph them and they gladly accepted.

“Alison is an amazing artist. She photographs what is really happening, visually and emotionally,” Jesse Hughey, class of ’10 and lead singer of Jack Ruby Presents, said. “She is able to really capture the energy of the moment beyond a simple photograph.”

As for future goals, Pate said she is unsure, but she mentioned pursuing a possible internship with a photographer this summer.

“I want to take a few years off after college and just live,” Pate said.

Kelsey Sutton/Staff reporter
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at

1 Comment on Student develops photography skills

  1. Hi Alison – really nice to see you in the on-line paper…..makes me miss you more. Love you Mom

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