ARTIST OF THE MONTH - LAURA WOOD
The Summer is nearly over but that is no reason why we should not continue to present you our Artist of the Month. It is the amazing Laura Wood from England. When it comes to family photography, her name and her beautiful moody images of children, are always an institution within our LLF community. Take your time and have a look at Laura's beautiful work.
How old are you and where are you from?
I’m 31 years old and I live in South Yorkshire, England.
Tell us a little bit about your life in the moment?
I live with my boyfriend Paul and son Arthur in a town surrounded by beautiful countryside. I am expecting another baby in December and can’t wait to see my two year old son become a big brother. I have been a professional photographer for a year now and aside from shooting a few weddings a year I mostly photograph families.
I am inspired by my son and try to tell the story of his world through my photography.
How did you end up being a photographer?
I have always been interested in photography but didn’t use a DSLR until Arthur was born in 2015. My friend kindly loaned me my first camera after having belief in my ability through seeing photographs I had taken and edited on my phone. I started to post photographs of my son online and interest started to grow so I kept learning and improving and then set up my business last year.
It was a huge leap of faith and I’ve learned so much in a couple of years – the pressure was enormous as I’m entirely self taught and I’m still learning all the time, but I can’t imagine doing anything else for a living.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Personally - Living in the middle of nowhere with my boyfriend in a home that my children love to come and visit. I’m a real home-bird and don’t like to be far from my mother for long. I hope my kids will grow up to treasure family time in the same way as I do.
Professionally - Photography is something I will always love now – it’s become such a big part of who I am and how I see the world that I can’t imagine my life without it. Learning to appreciate this medium and all the types of art that inspire it has truly enriched my life – I basically walk around wearing rose tinted glasses. I would love to teach more as I would like to pay some of the kindness forwards shown to me by other photographers who have taken the time to help me grow.
What gear are you currently using?
Canon 5d Mark 3
Sigma Art 35mm 1.4
Canon 85mm 1.8
A few kit lenses
What advice could you give out to a new starting photographer?
Don’t be disheartened when feeling stuck creatively or feel like your work doesn’t compare to that of others. It’s so easy to look at other photographers and feel discouraged because you believe their work to be better than yours – instead of being down about it be inspired by it and know that everyone starts somewhere and we’ve all taken photographs that we would rather no one ever saw again!
When I first posted in this group last year I received one like on my photo, and that was from a friend. It was a photograph I was really proud of at the time and I remember feeling all sorts of disappointment and self doubt, but instead of never posting again I just tried to get better. I studied and took photos every single day to improve. My work started to attract more engagement and I now post regularly and with more confidence. I still post photos that really don’t attract much engagement at all and I’m ok with that – I believe in documenting the journey and trying new things whether they work out or not. Have the confidence to create B-side work as well as feature-worthy photos – it’s all part of your art and your journey.
Did the LLF community changed the way you see or shoot families/kids/newborns etc.?
Absolutely. I wouldn’t have learned half as much or half as quickly if it wasn’t for this group. The talent in this group has inspired the steepest and most rewarding learning curve of my life. The uniqueness of the artists has given me the confidence to find my own style and to shoot the way I see the world and to tell the story I want to tell.
What plans do you have for this year?
Giving birth! After that I will take a couple of months off work and focus on raising my children and documenting the beautiful chaos that is everyday life. I hope I will spend more time blogging and focussing on teaching others. I will look forward to working with clients again in the Spring and to continue defining my style and working on projects that make my heart sing.