And while I love getting to connect and be social with so many different families during our sessions, about 80% of my working time is spent alone – sitting in front of my computer – editing, blogging, working on my website and marketing, designing announcements and albums, etc, etc… Now, don’t get me wrong!!! I absolutely LOVE all of that! But, sometimes, the lonely sets in and can get to me – The socializing aspect of working outside the home is something I did not expect to miss so much! As a nurse, I always had tons of awesome co-workers around to chat with – whether it was just to talk about what was happening in our lives or whether it was asking them a question related to my job, it was so great to have so many people there and available to me.
But, thanks to photography forums and Facebook – I found it is possible for me to have the same kind of co-worker relationship with some amazing photographers from all over the world! While some are local to me – right here in Cleveland! (Hi girls!!!) and we meet up as much as we can to chat face to face and bounce ideas off each other – the friendships we have forged with each other are priceless to me. Others, live in far away in places like California, Hawaii, Alabama, or even Costa Rica (Hi, Ashley!!!). And although I haven’t yet met any of them face-to-face, I am so thankful for the friendships I have formed with them. They are always there when I need a color check on an image or have an amazing business idea that I want to run past them. We support each other and are there for each other and it’s such an amazing thing!
Today, I am lucky enough to be featuring one of these amazing ladies on my blog for you! Laura, from Laura Pope Photography is an extremely talented photographer from San Francisco. She specializes in maternity, newborn, family, and couples photography. I am in love with the way she uses her amazing locations to compose her images and her light/airy, film-like editing style. I’m also thrilled I got to interview her because come October – I will actually get to meet her in person!!! We are rooming together at the Click Away photography conference in Seattle! It was great getting to know her a little better before then – and as soon as I found out that she’s as much of a craft beer lover as I am, I knew us being roommates was meant to be 🙂 . So, now time to introduce you guys to Laura and her amazing photography!!!
Hi Laura! I just have a few questions for you so my readers and I can get to know you a little better! First up, let’s go back to the beginning – How did you first get started with photography?
Well, I was a freshman in high school and all of my friends were spectacular artists. I wanted to be in the Art Club so that I could join my friends on all of the cool field trips and take classes with them, but I couldn’t draw or paint for the life of me. Seriously, it’s embarrassing! I took an interest in photography because I thought it was something that I could learn. When I told my dad about this, he pulled out a giant metal box and inside was a gorgeous Nikon F2. He showed me how to load a roll of film in it and told me to put the needle of the light meter “somewhere in the middle”, haha. The next 4 years, I took summer classes at other high schools since mine didn’t offer any – and by the time I was a senior, I helped to start a photography department and won multiple scholarships to art colleges! I’ve been obsessed with the craft ever since. Although, my subjects have changed quite a bit since then – I mostly did street photography while I was in high school – now, my models are beautiful people who want me to capture a particular season of their life!
I’m a maker – and I have a need to be creative! I definitely got my mom’s creative side! 🙂 She fostered a hands on, creative childhood and I think that because of that, I have a need for a creative outlet as an adult. Photography checks so many boxes for me. I get to express my vision, but it’s also very technical, too. I love that about photography. Of course, I also love to be able to capture a memory as well. I look back at my daughter’s baby books and look at the photos of the real moments. The ones where they are experiencing their first taste of ice cream – giant smiles across their faces. The pictures of them sleeping on their daddy’s chest… Those moments are fleeting, and I’m so glad that I can cherish them for a lifetime. I love being a professional photographer because I can help document those precious moments for my clients as well.
When I look through your photos, I’m always so in love with your locations. Do you have a favorite location?
This is such a hard one to answer! I’m incredibly lucky that I live in Northern California! I moved here about 9 years ago from Los Angeles and I’m still constantly amazed by the beauty around me. A 5 minute drive from my home takes me to the Pacific Ocean. 10 minutes and it’s to the bustling downtown of San Francisco.. I have to say that my favorite place to photograph is anywhere with sprawling openness. A golden grassy field, the gorgeous bluffs overlooking the sea, all of it. I can’t choose just one!
Right now I’m completely obsessed with this photo. Sometimes, I “know” when I get an incredible image – and other times, I have no idea until I get home and I start culling them. For this shot, I had no idea what kind of gem I got until I started going through them on my computer. Leah’s expression, the lighting, the location, everything about this shot is beautiful to me. It also screams California. Waves are crashing right behind her, and the image is just drenched in the warm sunlight. Her whole session was a dream come true, but this image is my favorite.
I’d say modern, fun, and meaningful. My style feels slightly documentary – meaning a gallery from me would contain many of those in-between, honest moments with a little bit of smiling and posed ones sprinkled in there, too. I like to keep my sessions looking timeless by using a neutral pallet – and I think that my images do look bright and airy – but I find it hard to evaluate my own work!
I think that I gravitate towards storytelling photographers. I believe that I’m a story-teller, too, so I guess I do gravitate towards a photographer with a similar style as myself. As for picking a photographer? It’s so hard to choose just one – I have an incredible network of amazing and talented artists that I know. Right now, at the top of my list is The Blissful Maven because her sessions are so full of raw emotions and connections between her subjects.
Yes! Travel! It’s been a long time dream to take an excursion with National Geographic. I feel kind of nerdy admitting this, but I get their monthly excursion catalogs and I carefully flip through the pages and day dream about actually going. If I had to pick one place to go to tomorrow, it would be Morocco. Then India. I want to go everywhere with my camera in my hand and my husband beside me!
2016 was a huge year for me in that I really found my editing style. I think any photographer can relate to that excitement and huge sigh of relief when you get to that point. For me, it took 3 years! In 2017, I’d love to take a photography class to help push myself and to keep learning. I always feel inspired and motivated after I take classes, so I’d really love to take more this coming year. I’d also really love to start incorporating film into my client sessions. I’ve been having such and incredible film journey that I want to start to offer it for my clients, too.
Haha, ok – here they are!
1) I love to quilt. I’m actually pretty horrible at it, but I’ve made 6 quilts so far and I love them in all of their flawed glory.
2) My husband proposed to me in Prague. I can’t believe that we managed to travel through 4 countries before he got down on one knee! I honestly had no idea he was going to propose! It’s still one of my favorite memories to date.
3) I own 3 pairs of shoes. A pair of brown leather boots that I wear through fall and winter, a pair of Birkenstocks that I live in for the rest of the year, and a pair of Sorel boots that I wear to most photos sessions so that I can stomp through water, grass, mud, and not have to worry about my feet. I’m definitely a minimalist when it comes to shoes!
4) I love craft beer. My favorite at the moment is a grapefruit Sculpin by Ballast Point.
5) I used to work at Warner Bros. in the photography department. I had so many amazing experiences there! One of the biggest perks was getting to preview movies even before they were released! I got to watch Letters from Iwo Jima with Clint Eastwood sitting in the row behind me!!!
Thanks, Laura, for letting us get to know a little more about you and your work!!! This gets me so excited to finally meet you!
If you are interested in finding out more about me and my photography – Click on over to the about me page or check out more posts from the Cleveland mom blog! Also, be sure to check out my portfolio to see some of my work and contact me to book your session!
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