Laura fuses her love for skateboarding and photography, meeting the eye quite effortlessly within the portraits, fashion, architecture and action shots. Read the full interview and feature in VANDALS by Lodown and enjoy these photos from a recent trip to Tel Aviv with the Girls Are Awesome initiative.
How did you experience the country & skate scene on your recent trip to Tel Aviv with your crew?
Yes, I’m still psyched about the city. I had different expectations, but got surprised in a very positive way. I loved the colors, the architecture of the city, the food, everything is modern. The evenings are buzzing, but it’s still relaxed and the people are friendly and attentive. On the first eve we came to know the „J.S.G. (jerusalemskatergirls)” and could connect as if we had known each other for years. I believe that it’s irrelevant where you’re at in the world when you love skateboarding. You feel comfortable and at home because the lifestyle and interests are quite similar.
Five essential items to travel with?
Camera, skateboard, ankle brace, chocolate and my heating pad for the back.
What gets you hyped to go out & skate?
Everything! I go crazy, if I don’t get out. For my jobs I spend a lot of time picture processing on the computer, but my feet get itchy when the sun is shining. Taking two hours off to go skate helps so much to relieve stress and feel free again.
What did skateboarding teach you? Does it affect how you approach things in life?
Definitely to fall, get up again and carry on. Skateboarding influenced my whole life. Through skateboarding I met so many great people who are still on my side. Skateboarding brought me to photography and that’s the best thing that could’ve happened to me. The learning processes for both are very similar. I just started shooting photos, much like you get on your first skateboard without really having a clue what you’re doing. Initially I had no idea how anything worked, but went for it – just like in skateboarding. But at some point, things progress and you start dealing with questions like, “What’s behind all this?” Thank you skateboarding.
Now that you do commercial work and document skateboarding… how do you compare the work process? Do you prefer to set up and prepare the shot according to your vision or just let it ride?
There is a big difference between commercial jobs and documenting skateboarding. Commercial work is usually planned out in detail, like how many shots, which models and even the setting dimensions. With skateboarding I can be free and prefer this way of photography.
Is it hard to put down the camera to skate or do you sometimes go skating alone, so you don’t miss the shots with your mates?
That’s a good question. I usually can’t focus on both at the same time. When I wanna shoot good photos the skateboard is usually just for pushing from spot to spot. It can get frustrating when we get to a spot that I want to skate. My cameras stay at home (except the T4 is always with me) If I’m hyped and just want to skate.
Best shot that happened by pure coincidence?
I wanted to shoot a portrait of Sophia and used the sky as a backdrop. When I pressed the shutter release, a perfectly oriented flock of pigeons flew through and made the shot – my jackpot by pure coincidence!
Favorite format & camera?
I dig 35mm and medium format, although both evoke different effects on me. At the moment I’m thoroughly enthusiastic about the handy Fujifilm X-Pro 2, which shoots full format like my big Canon. For the Tel Aviv trip I tested the Rico Gr1v and was totally surprised by this compact wonder.
What would you like to do in a parallel universe?
I would love to have special skills, like more pop to skate. Processing color film from home in a fingersnap and through beaming I could go anywhere anytime. Besides that my life would probably be the same.