ORIGINAL PEOPLE: ERIN BERZEL Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just east of Glacier National Park, over the Rockies and south of the Canadian border, lies the Montanan town, Conrad, where Portlander-of-nearly-a-decade, Erin Berzel, spent her formative years.

You may recognize Erin from the accompanying photo. She’s one of The Original‘s original servers (she’s been here since the beginning), but she spends most of her time shooting photos.

Erin says both of her parents are photographers and she says she’s been shooting almost her entire life (since the age of six). When she was very young, she spent a magical afternoon in her father’s darkroom watching him produce, seemingly from nothing, image after image from the chemical bath. She’s known ever since then that she, too, wanted to spend her time capturing those images.

And she’s been capturing them ever since. She shot for her high school yearbook and shot the streets of Europe while studying abroad. After graduating from the University of Montana with degrees in Spanish and Photojournalism, she interned with Missoula’s daily newspaper, The Missoulian, before moving to Portland to work as a wedding photographer’s second shooter. And, presently—among many other assignments—she shoots for us.

Basically, whenever she’s not bringing you your food, she just might be shooting it—she shot most of the things she brings to your table for our website, and she’s photographed most of the photos seen on this blog (the good ones, at least). But Erin’s also teaching photography to Portland’s children for the nonprofit Saturday Academy, freelancing with the upstart Beer West magazine and—with the wedding season ahead—she’s preparing to shoot lots of couples tying the knot. She spends what little time she has left translating the inspiration she draws from nature into macrophotographic images, documenting for us the details we so often overlook.

So pick up a copy of Beer West, visit her website, or keep reading this blog to see how Erin captures the faces, places things and ideas that surround us.