Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Waldron.
Laura, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I never envisioned myself as a photographer, but photography has always been something I’ve enjoyed without ever realizing it. My friends and family always knew me as that person in our circle who would document everything. It’s been a running joke that no one needs to worry about photos when I’m around. There was never any artistic intention behind taking these photos, but more my desire to freeze time and remember us in these moments.
One day, I was swooning over a gallery from a shoot that someone shared with me and I said to my husband, “I wish I could be a photographer.” He looked at me and said, “You can.” I argued with him that it just was a silly, wishful idea to entertain. But when he seriously sat me down and made me list the reasons why I couldn’t become just that, I realized I didn’t have a good answer. So, the next day, I went out and bought my first DSLR and began shooting. I would spend hours reading articles about how to use a camera, endlessly watch videos on Lynda about manual modes, and reach out to other photographers I knew with any questions I had. I brought my camera everywhere, and I would shoot anything and everything in an attempt to properly understand how a camera worked in different lighting situations. Slowly but surely, I began to understand the process and before I knew it, images I actually loved were starting to form. Once I discovered photography, for the first time in my life, I was able to be creative, enjoy it, and feel like I was actually good at it.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Since having photos of the people I love was my inspiration in becoming a photographer, lifestyle photography is my main focus. I am absolutely in love with being able to add soul and meaning to every photo. As far as gear goes, I use both a DSLR and mirrorless camera, and only shoot at fixed focal lengths. A perfect camera, in my opinion, is one that is small enough for me to carry often to capture everyday life, on the street, or with friends and family. I would describe my photography style as light and vibrant. I love the look of natural, soft light and a shallow depth of field allows me to truly focus on the depth, rich colors, and tones of my subject.
The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
More often than not, we also find ourselves saying, “Once I get enough money, I’ll do what I really want to do.” But somehow, we never get to that point. These things that we love are a part of us. And when we get too busy making excuses for not pursuing them, we’re not just giving up the thing; we’re giving up a part of ourselves. Doing what you love doesn’t guarantee success or financial stability. That is a reality. But even this doesn’t mean you can’t work on your passion a little—even if it’s just for 30 minutes a day. My advice to other artists is to be present. Make your own opportunity to grow yourself. Yes, money is limited, but ask yourself how important this path is to you. The question might be enough to get you to reconsider how you’re spending it.
While finances are an obstacle in art, another challenge many other artists face is fear. When I started learning photography I felt creative and I felt empowered, but I was terrified. I was so shy and self-conscious about what people would say about my new hobby. I rarely showed my photographs to other people I knew, and it took me almost a year to really begin opening up and sharing my work with professional photography communities for constructive criticism. If I could go back in time, I would change that. I would have found a group early on that I felt I could belong to that would support my work and my growth. It’s important to have a tribe of mentors. Another important piece of advice to artists is to never let fear lead. All of us have things we love to do in life, but sometimes we let things get in our way of actually doing them. We are afraid of messing up, or being embarrassed, or failing. Often, we think, “I’ll do it when I am not so afraid.” But in reality, it works the other way around. The ‘doing it’ comes before the fear goes away.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
You can follow my work on Instagram at @laurawaldronphotography, or on my blog at laurawaldronphotography.com. If you’d like to support my work, you can either submit my work to be featured on your favorite publication, or continue choosing me to tell your special stories in life through images.
- Website: laurawaldronphotography.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/laurawaldronphotography
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laurawaldronphotography
- Other: http://laurawaldronphotography.com/blog
Laura Waldron Photography