Meet Laura Meyer, a wedding and portrait photographer in the Chicago metro area. Laura is a right-eyed Nikon shooter.
Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
It really was a series of events that lead me into photography. In High School I wanted to take photography, but my parents could not afford to buy me a camera. My uncle had inherited my grandfathers Pentax SLR kit when he past away almost ten year before and surprised me with it one afternoon. He thought that I could give it some use, and that I should have it. It was an amazing, a perfect setup. A great body from 1979, perfect condition and six fast lenses, from macro to telephoto. I learned the magic of B&W photography in high school. I graduated and went to college not sure what I was going to do with my life. I took a month long trip with my college to Africa, I brought my camera and 30 rolls of film. It was an amazing experience!! It was then and there that I decided to change majors and learn as much as I could about photography. Photography is my passion and I feel so lucky to be able to pursue it as a career!
Nikon D300, 70-200mm f/2.8, 1/1250, ISO200, 140mm
What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
Network, network, NETWORK! Get to know other area photographers. My first two years as a recent grad and new professional were so lonely! I was trying to take on the photography world alone and inexperienced. I met a couple photographers that took me under their wing and shared so much with me. In the last two years I have become really involved in the photography community, attending seminars, meeting with other area photographers, shooting with each other and sharing my ideas. The photography community is really open, so many experienced photographers are willing to share so much information with you, it is amazing!! I have never heard of another market were competitors are great friends and there are no secrets, makes me love photography even more!
Nikon D300, 24-70mm f2.8, 1/125, f/4, ISO400, 28mm
What makes you different from everyone else?
Every photographer has their own unique style and “eye.” I am working on developing my brand to fit my style which is still in the works. Still being new to the wedding industry I am still developing my style, overtime I hope to develop into a unique brand here in Chicago.
Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
Jasmine Star although she is pretty well known in the industry now she is still relatively new. I love her style and her personality, it really shows through in her brand and her portfolio. I am striving for that in my brand.
Nikon D300, 24-70mm f2.8, 1/640, f/3.5, ISO400, 42mm
One item you can’t live without?
My iPhone, it is AMAZING! I have all the information that I need anytime and from anywhere, it is really like a ultra small laptop.
Your own favorite bokeh image?
Nikon D300, 70-200mm, 135mm, 1/320, f/2.8, ISO400
I am not sure of my favorite book, I am currently reading What I Know Now, Letters to My Younger Self, edited by Ellyn Spragins. It is a grouping of letters written by extraordinary women of our time sharing their wisdom and what they wish they would have had when they were younger. It really interesting.
So many…this is a hard one! Since we just finished the holiday season I would have to say Love Actually, a grouping of funny love stories based around the holidays.
Nikon D300, 24-70mm f/5, 1/125, ISO200, 70mm
Where do you find inspiration?
The Internet, blogs, web forums, Magazines and everyday life. There is inspiration everywhere!
If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
Jasmine Star…and so many others!!
Nikon D300, 24-70mm f2.8, 1/100, f/5, ISO800, 38mm
Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
I am a member of PPA, WPPI, DWF, and the b-school.
What did you have to do to actually take the leap? Did you have any hoops to jump through?
I graduated college and made a very bumpy transition from student to professional. I wish I would have networked more while still in college, but I was a working student with no extra time. After college I left my “day job” and jumped into Photography as a career going down many roads before finding the wedding and portrait road was the road I was meant to be on. It was a very hard time in my life, I was broke and struggling to find work. I made a lot of mistakes along the way and learned a lot from them.
Nikon D300, 24-70mm f2.8, 1/200, f/5, ISO400, 70mm
Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
My advice would be not to be afraid to try things and make mistakes, take that leap and look for a support team. I met a lot of people in similar situations as I was and together we found a way to pursue or dreams as photographer. I love getting together with this group of photographers and looking back at how far we have all come as individual artists!!
Anything else you would like to share?
I am excited to be at WPPI for the first time this February!!
Nikon D300, 24-70mm f2.8, 1/500, f/14, ISO640, 36mm