Ongoing Process — An Interview with Laura Schaeffer
To say that Laura Schaeffer is good at taking photographs is an understatement. We featured her work a while back and we can’t help but try to learn more about her. She has been more than gracious to let us into her personal space and talk about her creative work and never-ending process to improve her craft.
Hi, Laura. Tell us about how you discovered photography. What was the first memorable experience you had with it?
I guess it’s due to my mom and her always carrying a camera around when I was little.
How would you define photography?
It is an appropriation of reality of sorts.
What do you think is the best thing about it?
It is somewhat intuitive and feels natural, at least to me.
How does photography fit into your personal life?
It’s something I consume on a daily basis and it has a huge influence on how I perceive things.
What subject do you feel naturally attracted to?
People, fabrics, light and their environments.
How do you stay creative?
This is going to sound cliché but I’ll have to go with the internet as a source of inspiration.
What would you say are the most challenging things about photography in this day and age?
Your portrait shots are highly inventive and nuanced. What inspired you when you were working on them?
I usually do a lot of research, but like leaving some room to improvise and explore the space and usually the person or object within.
We noticed that you mix a lot of influences in your photographs. It has elements of fashion, fine art, and conceptual photography. Would you call this your signature style?
I’m not really comfortable calling it my signature style yet, I guess to me the whole style thing is more of a process. I really like working within these genres though, exploring the boundaries of each and how they can be deconstructed.
How would you describe your style in five words?
currently and constantly under construction
In your opinion, what makes a good photograph?
I believe composition plays a certain role and you should have some kind of connection to your subject, who or whatever that may be.
What’s your favorite photograph? Why?
I guess I don’t really have a single one, I’m usually pretty bad at deciding things like this. If I had to go with one, I think I’d choose the out of doors series.
Any artist/photographer out there that you follow?
There sure are a lot, to me, it’s particularly nice to have friends around who do great work and watch how they develop from up close.
What would be your dream project? Or which artist (living or not) would you like to work with if given the chance?
I guess it would kind of be a long term project together with people I enjoy working with and being able to take some time creating a concept and just explore it.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
There’s not really another option to be honest.
What’s next for Laura Schaeffer?
Finishing art school, probably moving to someplace else and I hope a bunch of exciting projects along the way.
How do you think people should handle success and failure?
I guess you should always keep pushing yourself forward either way, developing a high tolerance for frustration, however, is helpful.
What do you think matters more — talent or skill?
In my opinion the concept of talent keeps getting mystified. I believe both can be acquired to some degree.
What does a perfect day look like for Laura Schaeffer?
When I truly feel satisfied with what I have accomplished, whatever that may be on that particular day.
Any last words for our readers?
If you’re interested in Laura’s work, you may head over to her website for more.