I am a large format photographer based in the Eastern Sierra. I work with traditional photographic materials. I love photographing landscapes and have shown my work in various corners of the globe. But the thing I enjoy the most (besides LF work) is bringing large format photographers together in beautiful locations to interact, share, and learn. I am the publisher of Looking Glass, a magazine dedicated to promoting work by contemporary film photographers. (www.lookingglasszine.com)
Feel free to contact me at laura [at] lookingglasszine.com (replace [at] with @).
It’s All About Film
People regard you as a creative person. Do you agree?
Yes. But so is everyone else. I see creativity everywhere in everyone.
What in your personal life has influenced you to choose photography?
In 2007, I was compelled to take a personal inventory during a year-long illness. That experience shifted my priorities and dramatically altered the course of my life. All I could think about was making photographs I hadn’t made yet. Those unmade photographs would have been my one regret if my health hadn’t improved. So I made the choice to make a full-time commitment to photography.
Have you ever felt enlightened by an event in the past that has given you a new perspective on life?
Facing my own mortality at the age of forty-something was illuminating. It made me shed my old skin, find my own spirituality and learn to burn a little brighter. It instilled me with the sense that I could accomplish anything I set out to do.
Do you strive to be unique in your creative endeavors?
I strive to be myself, pursuing my own creative interests. I believe we all have a unique contribution to make during our lifetimes.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work?
I have an aversion to places that are crowded so I live in places that are underpopulated. I’ve lived in the Southwest for the last twelve years in smallish communities such as Jerome, Arizona, and Taos, New Mexico, and have finally found my comfort zone in the Eastern Sierra. Nature, and what we’re doing to the environment motivates me and keeps me focused primarily on landscapes.
If you had to start over, would you choose a different path?
No, I believe that everything in my life is just as it should be at any given moment in time.
In thinking about the things that you have created, is there something that you hated but the public may have loved – and perhaps purchased?
Collectors enjoyed and purchased my gravure work. I didn’t hate those photographs, but I got bored with the process of making them. The goal of trying to create flawless negatives for silver printing became a more meaningful challenge.
Are your negatives flawless?
Of course not! But that’s part of the fun. My negatives are never perfect enough so I work harder to achieve perfection. And when I create a really nice negative, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. It’s a cycle that instills me with a sense of wellness.
What is the best advice that you have been given?
The best advice I’ve been given is to move my work. Don’t let it hang on my walls. Sell it.
Has rejection ever affected your creative process?
No, I take rejection with a grain of salt and I quickly move on.
If you had the chance to live during a different artistic movement other than now, which one would you choose?
The Modernist Movement.
If you were our President, what would your first order of business be?
I would create a government works project for photographers so they could earn a living doing what they love to do.
If you and I were to trade places, tell me one thing about yourself that I should know.
I’ve been told I’m fearless.
If you could change one aspect of our society through your work, what would it be?
I would change the harmful ways in which people communicate with each other.
How do you deal with creativity blocks?
I don’t deal with them anymore. What’s the point of giving blocks any energy?
Can you see your finished product before you start it?
Sure, but I stay flexible. If I find a better way I’ll follow that path.
Is there a particular place where you feel most creative?
Death Valley National Park.
If you had the opportunity, what creative person (living or dead) would you like to work with? Why?
The photographer Brett Weston. I would have enjoyed watching him print and learning from that experience.
Are there any other creative channels you use to express your creativity?
Organic vegetable gardening.
With respect to your creative activities, what has been the greatest obstacle that you have had to overcome?
Learning how to correctly expose and develop film.