10 Questions: Lena Peterson

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This week we have with us Lena Peterson, a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Seattle, USA but who travels widely in the USA & worldwide for sessions. Thanks for sharing Lena!

1. Why do you make images?

I like seeing things differently, I like capturing a persons personality and story and showing them how incredible they are. I like sharing in a couples love and capturing the emotion of the day forever.

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2.What is life to you? What it should be?

I think this question is the hardest for me, I like to think my life is about my experiences and how I handle them. I’d like to look back on life and know I made mistakes but that I learned and grew from them. I’m not sure I have the authority to speak to how life should be but I like to think I am doing it mostly right.

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3.Where did you grow up and how did that play a part in your photography?

I grew up in Seattle and live here now but when I was 14 I moved to Missoula, MT to live with my Dad, I think both are considered the PNW but Montana is so different and beautiful. We had a mountain basically right out our backdoor and when I’d get in trouble my Dad would make me go hike it with him and we’d sit at the top and watch the sunset, I always really liked those moments of reflection and like to think they are part of the reason I enjoy photographing in the PNW so much.

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4.There are a lot of professions out there – why be a photographer?

I’ve tried to be a lot of other things but none of them ever felt right, photography feels right and I love doing it. I couldn’t imagine myself doing any other profession with such ups and downs and be happy like I am with photography.

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5. Do you have a “second profession” or passion?

I love design and writing, but I’ve never been as passionate about those two things as I am about photography. Even looking back through old school work I found a paper from 7th grade about how I was going to be a photographer when I grew up. I’ve always been the girl with a camera.

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6. What movie did you love recently?

Oh gosh I really loved boyhood! Anything Richard Linklater honestly is great in my book. I also really loved The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the imagery was amazing and I really like the idea of life being about experiences more than anything.

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7. Are you more of a one-frame-tells-the-story artist or do you prefer collections?

I think it would depend on the story you’re trying to tell. For my personal work I prefer more of the one frame mindset but obviously for the people I work for it’s more of a collection. I love telling a good story, I like people to see my photos and feel the emotion of the day and be able to relate to what’s going on and feel a connection.

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8. Is/Are there any project(s) you wish you could do – or might do?

Oh gosh I’ve been trying to find a more personal project to start for the past year but haven’t found something I feel passionately about that could make a difference. It’s really important to me that any projects I take on or decide to do mean something. I like a lot of stuff my friends and colleagues are doing though like Jillian and her I Woke Up Like This project and Chris Henderson’s Bare Project.

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9. Are there any unseen experimental images in your attic you’d like to show us now?

This image isn’t so much experimental but I just got into prism shooting and using different materials to try and create interesting images and really like this one of my daughter Evelyn.

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10. If you were to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently? Why?

I would invest in learning more about the business side of things, how to price for profit, be more open to other’s advice. Everyone thinks being a photographer is about taking photos but you’re also a small business owner and it can be overwhelming. I feel so lucky to have found a great community who believes in this industry and helping people succeed in it instead of looking at everyone as competition.

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