Laura Zalenga is simply awesome! She’s one of the most famous photographers there at Flickr and each her upload is worth waiting for. Her conceptual and portrait work is packed with amazing creativity, efforts, and originality that’s sort of rare these days. What a beautiful artist and a great source of inspiration! Her flawless images are feast to eyes and a passionate heart… talented photographers like her are trend-setters. It’s hard to be not in love with her and her art once you delve deep in her photostream and look at those photos that pierce you inside with their charm, beauty, mystery, and loveliness. Laura’s always raising the bar with her extraordinary vision and hard-work. Here’s her interview with some of her most recent photos from Flickr:
I was born in a small city in the South of Germany in 1990 and grew up in a house with a big garden, with a dog and cats, hammocks and a tree-house my dad built for me and my little sister. After finishing my A level I moved to Munich to study Architecture what I still do now.
I’m taking photos since I was about 18 and all I know about it is self-taught. A box filled with old, analog portraits my dad took when he was young inspired me to look through a camera too. So far photography is only my passion not my profession and it is indeed really hard to managed taking photos and studying architecture alongside.
Most people think studying architecture is only fun and not that much to do but I don’t know any other study where students spend their nights and the whole weekend at university. Therefore I have about two or three hours a week to take photos. But I spend all my holidays and semester breaks with photography to compensate that. I overwork and publish the photos bit by bit afterwards.
I love shooting conceptual fine art portraits, stories and fairy-tales. Lately also architecture but I’m at the very beginning of that. I use a Nikon D600 and most often the Nikkor 50mm 1.8.
Besides a huge fan-following and great acclaim, what would you call your major achievement so far?
My biggest achievements are probably my book-cover for the Spanish version of John Green’s book “The Fault in our Stars”, and a shop window background for a big fashion brand displayed internationally coming this summer.
I adore the possibilities of modern photo-manipulation. It gives me the chance to make things come true that seemed only possible in my mind.
What is your method into photography? How do you get what you want?
I search for places and moods that are rather dramatic and then I enhance it with a story I tell through my protagonists. Most often I have a rough concept in mind and then start search for the right location. Sometimes it’s also the other way round and I find a location that inspires me that turns into a concept. But I always let persons, locations and moods change my concept if it feels right.
Sometimes I’d say you can’t invent the wheel a second time and there are so many things that have been done so many times but are still done over and over again. It’s the same with music or fashion. No matter how innovative a concept is there will always be someone who did something similar before you did. The clue is to stay true to yourself, be inspired by others but don’t copy them and have fun with what you do.
Photography completely changed how I see the world. I keep seeing things others don’t see because my eye and mind constantly searches for faces, lights, places, moods to explore through my camera. Now, my ambition is to create pieces of fairy-tales that are able to move the viewer. There is no better thing that somebody telling me that my photo moved something inside them.
I guess the German Alps are the most amazing thing about the south of Germany. But I also adore our forests.
Tell us what keeps you motivated and inspired:
I find that most things I see, feel, hear, smell, taste are able to inspire me. Sometimes it’s a ray of light, sometimes it’s a person walking by buzzing an old song. There are so many photographers that inspire me constantly and every time somebody asks me this question I name others. This time it’s Théo Gosselin and Marat Safin.
I guess everybody says that but the best thing to do is practising all day long. You can read and hear and watch a lot about photography but you will learn most from you own mistakes. Also try to stay true to yourself, don’t copy others, take a notebook with you for ideas that whizz through your mind.