Kari Wehrs is a photographer whose camera reveals her documentary interests.
Growing up, Kari spent hours flipping through her Grandmother’s family photo albums that dated from the late 1800’s to the mid 1900’s. The photographs were compiled neatly, often with handwritten notations, which suggested to her that they were precious objects. Wanting to see the details of each image, Kari often examined the photographs with her grandmother’s magnifying glass. She loved the idea that time could be recorded and “held” in photographs.
Leaving her home state of Minnesota, Kari attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine in the fall of 2007. A short drive up the coast, Kari found the place where she spent the next handful of summers (and a couple of winters) working at the Maine Media Workshops + College in Rockport, Maine. It was here that she developed her deep interest in the techniques, technology, and history of the medium.
Kari’s most recent work is portraiture employing the wet plate collodion process (tintypes). While embracing multiple methods of photography in her own work, she has become captivated by the tintype process due to its historical relevancy and associations with the past. She sees the tintype image as a personal object: a memento. The tintype process appeals to Kari’s documentary roots and her desire to make images that survive, over time, as a photographic object and record.