Member Spotlight: Laura Barisonzi


Member Spotlight - Laura Barisonzi

[ June 29, 2009 ]  

How did you get started in photography?
I fell in love with photography when I was studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. I started skipping my language classes to wander the city with an old Soviet era Zenit and years old expired Kodak film that was sold for about 10 cents a roll. The sun is always at a low angle there and that may be why I still shoot so often dawn or dusk. My biggest photographic disappointment is still some rolls I shot during November at Lake Baikal which froze and were unusable.

Indoors or Outdoors?
Location scouting is endlessly entertaining to me. I love shooting outside and much prefer the challenge of changing environmental conditions to the studio. To me there isn't a brand of lights in the world that can compare to the sun. That being said, I am a lighting junkie and frequently arrive at shoots with multiple generators.

How to you achieve the natural relaxed look of your portraits?
I strive to connect with my subject and make them feel as comfortable as possible. I shoot a wide range of people in my work. Recent assignments have included a an Olympic sharpshooter, the daughter of a 9/11 victim, basketball player with Down's syndrome, and a famous yogi. I try to understand as much of my subject as I can and put that in the picture, rather than applying a cookie cutter style on top of their face.

What would you say is your signature style?
People always comment on the color in my work. I started as a painter and though you can't always pick every color of your palette in photography, I try to really use color theory to my advantage and exploit the full vibrancy of color in my images. My lifestyle and sports work are both based on the beauty of real active people and natural movement rather than stiff poses. Working with athletes is always a treat because of the extraordinary control they have over their body.

Do you make time for personal work?
I do personal shoots and projects on a regular basis. My most recent personal projects were on free running in New Mexico and winter surfing in New Hampshire. I'm currently working on a project that I hope will capture a different side of yoga.

How do these projects affect your commercial work?
They give me more developed ideas to bring to my assignments: new angles, new lighting, new concepts. Also, they make me a lot more confident about taking risks while on assignment which I think can be the hardest, but most important thing to do.

>> See more work from Laura Barisonzi

>> See other member spotlights on the member spotlight index

>> Find out more on how to become an member