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Art & Life with Laura Casner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Casner.

Laura, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My story as a professional photographer was the silver lining to the 2008 recession. I had just finished school and moved to NYC to work as an Advertising copywriter, and 8 months into my new job all hell broke loose. (Can I say that? I think it’s appropriate). The who country was getting laid off, and advertising jobs were the first to go. I moved several times in search of more affordable rent and worked whatever jobs I could get. But, I craved a creative outlet, and writing had been tainted. Enter photography. I had no intention of making a career out of photography. I had always been interested and I needed a new way to creatively express myself.

I would post things on social media, and eventually enough friends and family told me I was good, that I decided to put together a portfolio and show a couple of professional photographers. I am a realist, so I chose people who would tell me if I was bad, but they told me I had an excellent eye for composition and all the advanced technical skills could be learned. (Yay!!) I never looked back. The biggest learning curve for me was learning how to make the vision in my head a reality with technical skills. I started by sitting in the dark with a single lamp and moving the lamp all over the room to see how the light changed, eventually adding more and more lamps.

I started working as a photographer gradually in various types of photography, trying to figure out what I wanted to focus on. As a runner and adventurer, I naturally gravitated towards sports and fitness, outdoor lifestyle, and travel photography. In mid-2013 I hopped coasts to the west coast to pursue more of this type of work, and now I hop back and forth between LA and NYC, and wherever else the wind carries me.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I focus on photography that portrays an action oriented lifestyle. Whether commercial or journalistic work, I aim to portray a slightly augmented reality and to tell a story. When it comes to advertising work, I tell brand stories and portray that brand as it fits into our lives naturally. It’s not just about a surfboard looking great on a beach, it’s about waking up with your friends at 5 AM, the drive to the beach, the surf, and the taco truck on the way home.

In my fine-art landscape work, I am known for sweeping landscapes that remind us, as humans, how dwarfed we are in comparison to the vastness of our space. I transport people to a time, a place, and an experience, and hope to make them feel like they are involved in the photograph.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
Take business classes, if you plan to make your art your career. I hear this all the time from other artists, and it’s the same advice I wish I had had. No matter what kind of artist you are, you will be running your own business, and as creative people, it’s not something that necessarily comes naturally. You will not only be making art, but you will also be your own marketer, designer, networker, etc. You will do all the things.

Eventually, the goal is to get to a point where you pay other people to do a lot of these things, but there’s a long road before that level of success, and you should be prepared to wear many hats. There are a lot of really talented artists out there, and at some point, those who are working are those that can successfully run a business.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
The best way to keep up with what I’m working on is to follow me on Instagram. I work with brands and people who have a story to tell, and a need to advertise a product or service and the best way to support me in this is to book a shoot!

The best way to support my fine-art work is to purchase prints directly from me. Most landscape imagery on my Instagram, or in my stock library (https://lauracasner.photoshelter.com/archive) is available for purchase.

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