Christine Merchent

Christine Merchent

Christine Merchent knows golf and she knows photography. Nearly a decade ago, Merchent took up the art of photography and hasn’t looked back. Her work has been featured in PGA Golf Magazine, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Style & Clothing, From Photographer to Gallery Artist, and the iTunes “What’s Hot” list.

Her current collection of work, “Ballerinas on the Green,” emerged when the idea of the unorthodox pairing of ballerinas and golf took hold, demonstrating the discipline, intensity and beauty both sports bring to their respective theaters. Merchent is co-owner of Purgatory Golf Club in Noblesville, Ind., where she ran daily operations for 14 years. We caught up with her earlier this year.

1)       How did you get involved in photography? How long have you been practicing?

I’ve been interested in photography for a long time. When the late Pamela Mougin became our family photographer in 2007, I saw her create amazing artwork from images she captured in our backyard. Now I was really interested, so I took and finished my first online photography class in October of 2009 and haven’t stopped studying since.

2)       What is your goal as a photographer?

I like to tell stories with my photography. I was a writer before I was a photographer, and communicating what is in my head and heart is probably what I enjoy most. Even when I capture a landscape image, something that was already there, I’m sharing what I think is interesting about the scene. But for instance with the Ballerinas on the Green, it’s all self-reflective and autobiographical. I’m taking stories that I see play out every day and adding a twist to make it more interesting. Since the dawn of time with the cave dwellers, they painted the buffalos on the wall, what they saw every day. Then with the ancient Egyptians, they did the same thing but to add emphasis, they made the Pharaoh huge to add emphasis. The ballerinas are my Pharaohs, adding importance to my everyday life.

3)       What are your favorite sources of inspiration?

My favorite source of inspiration is everyday life. Lovely and intriguing things develop before our eyes every day. I have the great blessing of being able to capture them with my camera. Now with the assistance of junior golfers and ballerinas I can take those stories and share them with the world in an unusual manner, one that makes a person stop and think. I also like drama and color, for instance the dramatic skies at sunrise and sunset. I also like humor when I can work it into an image.

Find out more about Christine’s work at http://www.christinemerchentart.com.

Rachael O'Dell
rodell@nickelplatearts.org