#018 – Humble ventures of pictorial pleasure

I first picked up photography when I was about twelve years old, so I have been practising it for roughly ten years now. For me, photography is an interest that comes and goes, but it has always been a constant in my life. Nowadays I would not leave the house without a camera. It would feel like I am walking out bare-naked.

Throughout the years, I have explored different areas of photography. Getting people on camera has always been one of my favourite things, but sometimes it can be hard to find models or it feels awkward to ask. Often I have resorted to things directly around me: friends, cats, cities, landscapes. I did quite a lot of analogue photography in my teen years, but eventually I felt like I wasn’t making good use of my digital camera, so recently I’ve been trying to focus on that more.

Around the age of sixteen, film started to become an additional interest for me. My best friend Lauren had set up the global project Document Your Life, and I joined in making monthly videos too. This has been an incredibly fun and wonderful experience that has allowed me to explore my creativity on a more regular basis. The only challenge is that it has sometimes taken away my focus on photography, which I’m trying to work on now. Nevertheless, I am very glad to have added film to my list of passions. I even dabbled in some other projects, like this dance video I made with a friend in 2015. You can watch it here.

Document Your Life has also taught me to find inspiration all around me and show things from my own perspective in my own way. It has been an opportunity to find and create my own style. I think developing your own style is one of the most difficult things in creative arts – especially with the world wide web, there is so much content out there to compare yourself to and it is easy to get yourself lost. Now that I’m maturing, I find that I am finally able to stick to my own things a little bit. I am finding confidence with my own style.

I don’t often realise it, but creating is actually such an enormous part of my life. Having creative interests is so natural to me, I really don’t know any different. Often it is other people that point out to me how “creative” I am. I love film and photography, but I am also passionate about dance and music. I especially love it when these intertwine – like when I shoot dance videos, or when I take pictures at a concert. These are things I would like to keep doing. Concert photography in particular is something I’d very much like to take up in the future.

One of my favourite things in photography is shooting with other people. It is a way of bonding with them, and if I’m shooting with someone new, it is exciting to get to know them better. I also adore the challenge of getting my perception of their personality across on a still image. This is something that I do in film too – though Document Your Life is mainly about capturing memories. I like the opportunity of capturing my friends’ charming qualities. With that comes another chance to interact with people – many times I have people look forward to my video because they’re going to be in it, or sometimes they even admit secretly wishing they would be featured one day. Isn’t that great?

…if I’m shooting with someone new, it is exciting to get to know them…

In terms of aspirations, I’m not sure what the future holds. I consider myself an amateur photographer because I don’t have any qualifications in this field and I don’t see myself as an expert. I would love to pursue it as a side job if I could, but I’m not sure I have the confidence right now to advertise commissioned work. For now I am just practising photography because I love it, and I know I will keep loving it for years to come.

Check out more of Laura’s photography:
 photographs.by.laura   photographs.by.laura   @treaclewaffle

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