My name is Emily Berlant and I am new to Indigo Creek having just recently moved to Ashland from Grants Pass, Oregon. I came to Ashland for a fresh journey away from the town I spent the majority of my growing up in. Ashland presents new opportunities, a new lifestyle, and new comrades. I chose Ashland specifically because of my boyfriend TJ, a local musician involved in more projects than I can keep straight. My biggest fear about moving to Ashland was about not being as close to the river and not getting enough time with water. In Grants Pass, I lived right on the Rogue River and spent every free day on or by the water. I was so relieved to find my way to Indigo Creek and already have a summer chalked full of river days!
My entire life has been directed towards rafting. I grew up on the Lower Rogue and the Main Salmon in Idaho thanks to my parents. They both started guiding in the early seventies and continued to do so long into the eighties with a close-knit group of guides that still reunite annually. They have given me the opportunity to learn extensively about myself and the natural (and unnatural) world through the river canyon. Some families go hunting, some skiing – we go rafting. My dad’s “GAB Trips” are infamous throughout our circle for their ease and simplicity. My mom, who was one of the first female guides in Utah, taught me the power of being a woman on the oars. They, along with my whole water family, have inspired me to be the best boater, the best photographer and the best person I can be. I’ve had the opportunity to add the Green River, the Middle Fork of the Salmon, the Grand Canyon and most recently the Illinois River to my repertoire.
On and off the river I tend to have my camera, my dog, or both, in my hands. In January of this year I mustered up the courage to begin displaying my photos publicly and have been overjoyed with the response I’ve received. Under the title “Photos Through Purple Frames” I get to express my creative side through the lens and give others a glimpse of what I see through my purple-framed glasses. In the few months that my art has been public, I have grown in my skills and learned more about what I like about myself as a photographer and what my adoring fans like to see. When I have camera and dog in hand, dog becomes my primary model. Java, a purebred teddy bear of a pit bull, is a walking bundle of love that converts any skeptic instantly. He constantly reminds me to stop and smell the flowers and to make time for water.
I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season with Indigo Creek Outfitters! Be on the lookout for photos and Java! Come hang out down at the office and let’s get on the water!