California Nature Photography

Topanga, California | 39 Sales


California Nature Photography

Topanga, California 39 Sales On Etsy since 2012

5 out of 5 stars (16)
Catherine Roché

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Catherine Roché

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In Pursuit of Beauty

As a child, the world through my eyes was a place of peace and beauty. Having been home-schooled by my no-nonsense parents, and raised at the end of a rugged, dirt road in the secluded hills of Topanga Canyon— all my earliest memories were of the mornings I spent working busily away at my math books and building my puzzles, and the afternoons I enjoyed alongside my four adventurous siblings: collecting eggs from the chickens, finding and picking up snakes in the garden, chasing one another on bicycles, and journeying beyond the boundaries of our homeland to get lost in "the woods". Each day concluded with plenty of scraped knees, bouquets of wild sunflowers, and stories of the footprints we had found from the mountain lion who was "new in town". On a weekly basis, we walked a mile or two down the hill to visit with the other neighborhood children— and some evenings, when our parents (of whom my mother, Elena Roche, is a plein air painter) were invited to an art reception in Santa Monica or Pasadena— we'd wash our hands, dress up like little ladies and gentlemen, and spend the next few hours rambling among adults in a maze-like gallery: viewing the paintings, speaking to "the grown-ups" with simple language about those we thought "beautiful"... and telling them with perfect bluntness which ones were "ugly" or "stupid". There were no such words as "statement" or "evocative" in our vocabulary; hence, we didn't so much as flinch when someone exclaimed: "but that's Picasso!", because our only response could be: "what's a Picasso?". Then when we got bored with the adults, we'd form a plan to stealthily raid the refreshment table, and go off in search of an adventure.
Come 2008, when the Recession began and I was just turning 10, life took a new direction. Throughout the year as the markets struggled along, the renters who once provided our income left the neighborhood, leaving us with empty pockets. My parents devised a plan to start a bed&breakfast which we would run entirely ourselves— and over the course of the next several months, every last member of the family pitched in as we built this new business. We were off to a very humble start.
At the same time, I began paying interest in the world outside of Topanga as it began intruding into mine. I followed the election closely, stayed behind after dinner to listen to my parents talk of economics and politics, and furthered my education beyond school material.
Two years later, the scene was changing quickly: the B&B was getting busier and busier, and my workload was getting heavier— with both more toilets to scrub and thicker books to read. Political situations both at home and abroad were getting complicated, the bills were rising, and a severe drought was just setting in. It was at this point— at the age of twelve, in which I rightfully referred to myself as a "big kid"— that my regard for the beauty which surrounded me began to change. I no longer took it for granted; I realized the conditions of my childhood weren't here forever, and what I had was precious. Thus, I began asking for a camera— something to capture this beauty. I asked, and after waiting patiently till my grandparents had come to visit, I received "a Canon SD1200 Digital Elf!". I carried it everywhere, whether to work or on the occasional family-outing, and took photos of all the things which made me happy, put me at peace, or quite simply deserved to be remembered.
Six years later— as I head on nineteen, work as the B&B's manager, and chart my path through college— I am as aware as ever of how delicate is the peaceful existence which I had been blessed to have as a child. Nowadays, when I journey off into "the woods" with my Canon SX40, I find myself surrounded by rustling trees, singing birds and trickling steams; and when I return to civilization, I have classical music, books of all sorts, and a loving family. But I know there are very few who can enjoy the same. I know there is a lot of ugliness and suffering in the world.
With all this in mind, my life's pursuit is to embrace all in our world that is good and beautiful. Here on Etsy, I do a little of it through my photography.

Shop members

  • Catherine Roché

    Photographer, Creator, Owner

Production partners

  • Hooper Camera

    CA, United States

    Hooper Camera is a small business near my studio that professionally prints my photographs.

Shop policies

Last updated on March 15, 2016
My photographs are not limited by the printing and framing options I have listed. If you are interested in a different size or medium, don't hesitate to contact me.

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