It is definitely tough to create your own signature look much less a signature photography style. But we think this young lady is well on her way to greatness. With dreamy and ethereal photos that are truly one of a kind, Lauren Engel has an eye for capturing her subjects with great care and detail.
What is your story?
Since I was 13 years old I have been using the software Adobe Photoshop for my Design & Technology class in school to do graphic design. One day, I was looking through the portfolio of a photographer online and I love how vivid the colours were. From then on, I wanted to learn to use Photoshop to edit pictures. I loved and enjoyed it so much that everyday after completing my homework for school I would read many tutorials online till my eyes went sore and fingers went numb. I started out with editing pictures that I shot with my parent’s digital camera while overseas on family trips. As time went on, I realised that I wanted to pursue fashion photography so on my 16th birthday, after saving for many months I finally splurged on a DSLR and everything started from there.
How long have you been doing photography?
In a way I started doing landscape photography since I was 12 because I had my parents’ small digital camera with me whenever I was overseas from the Oman desert to the Great Barrier Reef. I only started to pursue fashion photography at 16 so since I am turning 18 in a few days,that would mean that I have been doing photography for two years now!
To be a good and qualified photographer, does one need professional certificate or academic study?
In my opinion being qualified doesn’t mean that you already have a professional certificate and getting a professional certificate doesn’t mean that you are a qualified photographer. In fact, I am currently applying to universities and none of them are photography or art schools. I feel that photography is best learnt when you teach yourself because this way you are able to develop your own sense of style.
What is your area of specialization in photography? Will you be open to explore other categories of photography?
My specialization would definitely be fashion photography. I have always stayed up watching fashion shows online, reading blogs about upcoming models and keeping track of the latest fashion trends for inspiration. I don’t think other genres of photography interest me as much as fashion photography!
Is winning awards important?
Ten years down the road, I hope to become an agency test photographer, so winning an award is not that important for what I want to do in the future.
What inspires you?
I like to look at photography blogs and fashion websites like Fashion Gone Rogue. Most of my inspiration stems from there.
Which is more important; skills, talent or the camera?
I think there should be a balance of both. I have been using the Canon 500D with kit lens or my 50mm f/1.8 for more than a year now. After getting more experience, I decided that I needed to upgrade my lens. So, just a week ago, I got a new 17-55 f/2.8 and my pictures now look a lot more sharper and the colours are more vivid than before! But of course, the more important thing is the person that is five inches away from the camera.
What advise would you give to an aspiring photographer?
I would definitely say, start with Photoshop, because that is what differentiates the levels of photographers. By starting with Photoshop, I learnt a lot more about colours and how to manipulate them so that when I’m shooting, I can envision what the final image will look like once I am done editing it on the software. When you are more proficient in Photoshop, I then suggest investing in a DSLR to take their photography to the next level.
Which photographers do you admire?
I absolutely adore Zanita Whittington, especially her style of fashion photography – very put together and yet not too polished. I like a lot of agency test photographers because the style is a little different from mainstream photography because it focuses more on highlighting the features of a model. I look to different photographers fro different styles of photography i.e Emily Abay for agency tests and Jessica Kingelfuss for quirky fashion photography.
- Liyana Meer