Rachel Balunsat


In 1990 I began my studies in sociology and photography at the University of California Santa Cruz. The marriage of my two interests gave birth to a passion for documenting life as I witnessed it. By the time I received my BA in Fine Arts/Photography, my quest for truth had given me a camera through which to scan the world for honest moments and to reveal life to itself.

In high school I had become inspired by photojournalist W. Eugene Smith, who worked for Life magazine and was known for his images documenting and exposing the effects of mercury poisoning on the Japanese people in Minamata. I saw Smith as an activist participating in the dialogue of world events through visual essays. Spellbound by his poetic visual stories, I began to seek the elements of truth through my own camera: the candid, peoples’ unselfconscious moments, and the often unnoticed, important juxtapositions of objects and people in the world. Everyone and everything around me had a story within.