Today’s interview is with Laura Froese!
Congratulations on being the Click Pro of the Month, Laura! Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in photography?
Thank you so much!
A little about myself…. Well, I am a wedding and family photographer who lives on the west coast of Canada with my videographer husband and our newborn son. I love pajama days, road trips, and binge watching Netflix. I am what I would describe as a “friendly introvert”. I love social media but hate social events! Hiding away at home with my family and a Starbucks drink in hand is my happy place :).
I have been interested in photography since I was a teenager and my parents bought me my first point-and-shoot. However, sadly, that camera ended up malfunctioning and I put aside photography from my thoughts for over 10 years. Then, in my mid-20s, a friend left his DSLR at our house for a weekend and I started to play with it. From there, my interest was rekindled and I started saving for my own camera. I purchased a Canon Rebel, and my husband assured me that, “this would be all the camera I ever needed”. Little did he know how far this “hobby” would go! I originally just wanted to learn so I could take good photos of our future kids one day. I didn’t actually think I would end up going pro full-time. I found Clickin Moms and started devouring workshops and breakouts, and eventually started to charge for my services on the side with friends and acquaintances. This slowly built up over a couple of years until it reached a point where I was ready to quit my job as a software trainer and pursue photography full-time last summer. It feels like such a relief to concentrate all my energies into one career now rather than dividing my attentions.
You photograph a little bit of everything. How come you have not chosen to specialize in one or two genres?
That is a really good question! When I was building my business, I would take almost any job that came along in order to get my name out there and get more exposure. I am actually glad to have experience in all these different areas of photography because that means I can stay with my clients from their engagement, through to their wedding, celebrate the birth of their children with them, and eventually capture their memories as families. I feel that even though these are technically 3 or 4 different genres of photography, they all fit together seamlessly in my mind. If I had to pick a favourite, though, it would be weddings. I love that you get to do everything in one single shoot. You get to capture candids, portraits, details, action, emotion, and get super creative in difficult situations on top of it all! It is like a smorgasbord for a photographer and I love the challenge!
If you could offer one tip to new photographers, what would it be?
Shoot daily! Even if you don’t feel like it or don’t think you have anything interesting to shoot. I feel like I grew the most as a photographer when I did my first 365 project. So many times I wished for the year to be over because I was tired of picking up my camera, but it was so worth it when I look back and see the growth over the course of that year! If you can incorporate a couple workshops, or online courses, into that daily shooting as well, the growth will be astronomical. So basically, “practice, practice, practice!”
I love your use of artificial light in your work. What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn flash but is intimidated?
Thank you! Truth be told, I accidentally signed up for an off-camera flash course by mistake when I was first learning photography (I thought it was a natural light course), but have never looked back since! I love the versatility controlling your own light gives you. If you are feeling intimidated, I will make you feel better by sharing that the running joke within my circle of photography friends is that I am the only person in Michelle Turner‘s flash workshop to ever set her pants on fire while trying to learn off-camera flash!! Trust me, any start will be better than mine! No, but seriously, I would highly recommend taking an online class, workshop, or mentorship to get the basics down. Wrapping your head around the mechanics of using artificial light is very similar to wrapping your head around the mechanics of shooting in manual mode on your camera. You can figure it out on your own, but it is much easier to be guided by someone else in a logical manner.
Once you have those basics down regarding how it works, though, then my next bit of advice would be to use it one time for each shoot that you do. Just force yourself to use it for one shot each time you have your camera out for the next few months. Then two shots. Then three. Then for however many shots you like. Again, practice makes perfect.
You have a Breakout being released, Daring to Be Different: Creating Images With an Edge. What do you expect participants to take away the most from your class?
Honestly, my biggest hope is that they walk away from the class inspired. I like being a little bit different, whether this is in my personality, my interests, or my photography. I like coming at things from different angles and standing apart from the masses. I think it may have a bit to do with the rebellious nature in me – I don’t like being told how to do things! Throughout my breakout, I try to communicate and encourage different ways of looking at things. How can you take a single light source and use it in multiple ways? How can you take a single location and get as much variety as possible out of it? How can you approach your subject from an alternate angle to give a new perspective? And how can you combine all of your preferences when shooting and editing in such a way as to have your own voice and really own that? These are all things that I work through in my breakout, and it’s my hope that people go away inspired to try something new, especially if they are in a creative rut.
Photography wise, where would you like to see yourself in 5-10 years?
Oh, what a timely question this is! You would have had a very different answer to this question had you asked me it but a few months ago. This Spring, I felt like I had really arrived at where I wanted to be with my photography. I had the perfect amount of weddings and other small shoots to meet my needs both creatively and financially. I felt like I was really coming into my own with a sure foundation under my feet. And then I had a baby! The baby was planned, but the way that he would steal my heart was not. In the next 5 to 8 years, I actually see myself in a season of young motherhood, and I already see my photography naturally (and forcefully where needed) adapting to that. I am enjoying and marketing newborn shoots a little bit more. I am taking on less weddings to find more of a balance between work and home life while still being able to give my best to my clients. And I am asking myself what will really matter when I am 80 years old and look back at my life. Time is so precious, and I want to make sure that I have an abundance of it to share with my new little family while documenting their lives. However, I am also a career woman at heart. So in 8 to 10 years, I see myself back where I am just leaving now – lots of weddings and travel and loving it. But for the next few years, a little slower and a more deliberate approach in all things in life, including photography.