What Photographer Hasn’t Dreamed of Turning Pro? And why wouldn’t they? It’s a seductive thought isn’t it? Spending our days creating beautiful images – and getting paid for our efforts. This is the story of...
What Photographer Hasn’t Dreamed of Turning Pro? And why wouldn’t they? It’s a seductive thought isn’t it? Spending our days creating beautiful images – and getting paid for our efforts. This is the story of one woman who had the dream and her journey to success.
Heather by Lauren Gherardi, on Flickr
We first met Lauren Gherardi in the summer of 2008. At that time she was nineteen-years-old, and we worked together at a chain camera store. In our time together, we often talked about photography, equipment, techniques, and Lauren shared some of her earliest work with us. We were impressed. In fact, we were so impressed,that we have continued to follow her career over the last four years.
There were two things that made Lauren stand out from the hundreds, if not thousands, of aspiring photographers we’ve met over the years. First of all, she had an unwavering, firmly entrenched, belief in her abilities. Secondly, she had a vision. She wasn’t just snapping away. She was producing images long before she ever had the money, equipment, or experience to do so.
How did she manage that? By not giving up and using whatever resources she could get her hands on.
Happy Halloween 2009 by Lauren Gherardi, on Flickr
The above photograph, which Lauren has titled “Day of the Dead”, was one of her earliest attempts at high fashion. Years later, it still remains one of her most viral online photographs!
Beware the March Hare by Lauren Gherardi, on Flickr
Lauren’s early efforts had a gritty, yet whimsical, style. Her photograph’s were heavily designed with custom built sets, full make-up, and elaborate costumes. She used friends for models, did the styling herself, made the jewelry, and borrowed equipment whenever she could. Over the years, she’s advanced significantly in her technique, equipment, and production personnel.
But one thing was apparent right from the start – She knew her direction.
Fly Me to The Moon by Lauren Gherardi, on Flickr
Lauren has graciously agreed to tell us her story.
Lightstalking – “Lauren, tell us about how, and when you discovered photography?”
LG – “I fell in love with photography at the age of nine. My older sister took a photography class in high school, and she came home with some of her work. I was fascinated that she had captured an image and was able to make it into a tangible print all by hand. I used to sneak into her room, take her camera, and pretend to shoot. My grandmother noticed my interest, and bought me a film camera; from that point on I wanted to capture everything.”
light_by_lmgphotography by Lauren Gherardi, on Flickr
Lightstalking – ” Did you know immediately that you wanted to shoot fashion?”
LG – “I always knew that I wanted to shoot something that required more of myself than say weddings or family portraits. Fashion didn’t come to my mind right away. It wasn’t until I began to see other photographers dabble in fashion photography that I took an interest. I love how you can tell a story about a model through the selection of setting, clothing, and accessories.”
Lightstalking – “Your work has a whimsical, almost cinematic, style. Did you discover this part of yourself immediately, or did an outside influence awaken this aspect to your photography?”
LG – “Yes, I always had an interest in creating a world in which my characters (the models) could live. I’m really inspired by fairy tales and movies that have surreal elements. The ability to portray that with my camera is an incredible feeling.”
__Black_Bird___Retro_Glam_by_lmgphotography by Lauren Gherardi, on Flickr
Spoiled Rotten by Lauren Gherardi, on Flickr
Lightstalking – “In the production of your photography you work with a team, and you’ve been doing this long before you acquired professional assignments. Te