Biography - Cecelia Louis-Ralston

My sense of community and ancestral history was instilled in my spirit during childhood by my qa̓qna? (Paternal Grandmother). In the Similkameen valley where Iwas raised, it was my qa̓qnaʔ’s stories of place and family that made those black and white photographic images come alive.

After earning a degree in fashion design, my husband and I spent the next 17 years in the Canadian Rockies. It was here that my creativity began to shift into photography and I was further inspired by a third generation photographer William Pitcher.

On the eve of registering at Emily Carr I was drawn home to the Similkameen by an offer of employment. Little did I know that I would find my passion photographing community events, elders and their families, many I have known since I was a child at my qa̓qnaʔ’s knee. Even now photography is reviving the stories and the history as I sit and listen to my people. It is my role to create a photographic history which others will someday look upon as record of the continuance our culture and existence.

I seek to find the truth and individual beauty of each subject, be it their humanity or a unique landscape. My philosophy is to “Seize a moment in time and immortalize it for eternity”.