When photography and writing meet at some breathtaking location in the middle of nowhere, you know she might be around. With her inspiring photographs and enticing words, visual storyteller Laura Austin has walked an admirable path of passion, serendipity and success.
Making “the simple fantastical and the fantastic feasible”, photographer and writer Laura Austin keeps on traveling the world behind her camera and we keep on marveling at her experience. She took a break in her journey and talked with us about freedom, the importance of doing what you love and the restorative power of Solo Road trips.
Let’s make it big… Your craziest dream up to now.
Hmmmm… this question is hard for me to answer. When I was younger I set specific dreams: “I want to be a graphic designer”, “I want to work at a snowboard magazine”, “I want to be a professional photographer”. But those things happened a lot sooner than I expected, which always left me sitting there wondering what I was supposed to do now that I’ve accomplished my “dream”. After realizing this, my goal now is to live out a life that allows me to do whatever my dreams are in that moment. In other words, to have a career doing something I love, but with the freedom to break away and do something I want to do that might not be work related at any moment. As I’ve matured my ideals have changed so drastically, so now I am just trying to leave room for spontaneity because tomorrow I could want something completely different than what I did the day before. At this point I am just surrendering and riding the wave.
You grew up surrounded by mountains but at some point decided to move to Los Angeles. How did it all started? How do you balance your life in the city with your passion for traveling?
I grew up in small mountain towns in Colorado and Vermont. However, when I was 18 and going to college for graphic design, I was offered a job to work as a designer at Quiksilver… a job I would have wanted once I graduated college. So I left school, packed up my car, and moved across the country to take this job.
The mountains are still very near and dear to my heart. I can become quite claustrophobic if I am in the city for too long, so I venture out to nature on a pretty regular basis to keep my head on straight. Luckily Los Angeles is surrounded by every type of landscape you would crave in a relatively short radius.
Going where your camera takes you seems like a pretty exciting road to walk along. What would you say is the most unexpected place or situation your camera-compass has led you to?
Hmmmm… A few years ago I watched the series on Netflix called “Chef’s Table”. One of the episodes stuck out to me with this chef Francis Mallmann, he cooks strictly outdoors over open fires. I left a comment on his Instagram saying it would be a dream to come down to his private island and shoot the experience. Much to my surprise, he liked my photography and invited me down to Argentina. I spent 10 days shooting on his island in the middle of nowhere, eating incredible food, with outstanding company… and I would have never have ended up there if it wasn’t for my camera.
You give the impression of being a highly passionate and motivated person. Do you have a happy place/moment/object you like to turn to when you need to regain your energy or have an extra dose of inspiration?
Well thank you for the kind words. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though. I go through spurts of feeling disenchanted and unmotivated. When that happens I tend to take off on Solo Road Trips. These trips allow me time to disconnect from all the excess that doesn’t matter and reconnect with my passion. On these trips I get myself into nature and shoot photos just for me, reminding me why I got into photography in the first place. These trips have become such a staple for me that I wrote a guidebook for solo travel which can be found here.
Let’s make the dream real in our minds for a second… What do you see if you raise your eyes from the screen?
Ha, nothing too exciting at the moment. I am sitting at my desk in my home in Los Angeles. Outside I am surrounded by trees and can see the sun setting in the distance. Not complaining.
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