For the past ten years, Terra Fondriest has found herself on the journey of navigating motherhood. In 2011, with the birth of her first child, she transitioned from her former adventurous career as a wildland firefighter and wilderness wrangler, into a mostly stay-at-home mom at her hilltop house nestled in the Arkansas Ozarks. It turns out, those prior jobs were no match for the adventure of motherhood.
In between changing diapers, growing a garden, wrangling chickens, cutting wood, and taking hikes with the baby in tow, Terra decided to focus more on learning about photography, not only to document her first child and growing family, but also to help understand it. This new creative outlet ignited her passion for visual storytelling which has grown over time into a long-term personal project called ‘Ozark Life’ where she not only documents her family, but the everyday lives of others within her community as part of a collective patchwork of present day life in the Ozarks.
‘Ozark Life’ has been a way to experience and share with others, the rhythm of life that is so deeply tied to the land and explore the nuances that make living in the Ozarks so unique, yet similar to the human story shared by all.
Terra received her BS degree in Natural Resources from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2004, and postbaccalaureate degree in GIS mapping from Penn State in 2011. Her photography education has evolved from mostly self taught, to the Missouri Photo Workshop experience in 2017, a 2018-2019 Women Photograph Mentorship, and continues presently with other mentor and workshop situations and always self study.
As of 2019, Terra has begun doing freelance work with clients such as The New York Times, The Nature Conservancy, The Washington Post, National Audubon Society, The Bitter Southerner, Bloomberg, and more.