Photographer: Lauren Field
Location: I am based in New York City. Though I grew up in Portland, Oregon and in many ways still consider that home. A good home base is where you are surrounded by people and things that are simultaneously supportive and invigorating.
Style: I would say my photography style is intimate/moody/honest. A blend between fashion/documentary. I only want to shoot people I am drawn to / love.
Equipment: I work with medium format film and polaroids (though would love to do large format). Currently, I am shooting on a Mamiya 6 which is a square frame! It's important to note that the quality of gear is not of large importance but more how much it dictates how and what you shoot.
Photography is all about capturing that moment. What’s the secret?
I disagree that photography is about "capturing" but rather all about MAKING. Seeking out soft light or the right location and placing the subject in it is only half of the process. The other half is working with the person you are photographing to create an image where something is at stake (either the photographers or subjects gender, vulnerability, sexuality, relationship with nature or other people, aesthetics, etc).
How did you get into photography? Tell us about your first experience.
I have been photographing for seven or so years. It wasn't until I used the darkroom in high school that I really fell in love with it. The smell of darkrooms always reminds me of Sally Mann and the patience and handwork photographing requires. I can imagine her spending hours hunched over the developer, watching photos of her children in the water appear through emulsion.
Tell us the story behind one of the most memorable photos you’ve shot…
I've been photographing with my best friend and muse for a few years now. So many memories shooting together! The first time we shot underwater near Mt. Hood - the water was freezing. Another time I photographed her nude in front of a slide projector. I remember distinctly its dense light and hum.
"I disagree that photography is about "capturing" but rather all about MAKING. Seeking out soft light or the right location and placing the subject in it is only half of the process. The other half is working with the person you are photographing to create an image where something is at stake."
What is a constant source of inspiration for you as a photographer?
The people in my life are constant sources of emotional and visual inspiration. I'm also deeply moved by natural landscape; yellow hills, deep canyons, green dripping forests, fall in New England.
Who has been a great influence or mentor to you and what did you learn from them that you still carry with you today?
My professors at Barnard/Columbia have been pivotal in my personal and artistic development. They've helped me to investigate the intellectual side of photography. Ryan McGinley is also someone I admire. His work is beautiful and daring. I've enjoyed modeling for him and have learned that positivity and risk taking goes a long way.
Finish the sentence...
If I weren’t afraid I would… photograph strangers.
I wouldn't be where I am today if... I didn't have such wonderful parents.
I've been listening to... the new Beach House album.
Kids these days... are not alright.
I look and feel my best when… I'm dressed like a boy.
When no one is looking I… take self-portraits.
Traveling... is everything.
I respect... my boyfriend Saha, because he is an incredibly kind and talented person.
Tag a friend to feature and ask them a question: Grace Ahlbom, @sk8rmom420. She photographs the gritty youth in an aesthetically clean way. My question for her is: What the future for photography and the self is in the age of Instagram?
Grace Ahlbom answered: I'm a huge advocate for Instagram, it's only been helpful in getting my proper photographic work recognized. The app also allows my audience to see the correlation between my formal photographs and my everyday life. They work together hand in hand. Looking back in history, photography has had several "deaths"; large format to 35mm, film to digital and so on. Photography is one of the only art forms that's dependent on technology. Though I wouldn't consider them deaths per se, the art of photography is always changing and evolving, which is exciting.