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Behind the Lens: Laura Grier

When did you discover your love for photography?

I’m lucky, because I realized my passion for photography at a young age. The best advice I ever got was from a conversation I had with my mother when I was 13. At that age, I really thought I wanted to be a zoologist. My mother plainly asked me what I was good at. Not what I loved to do, but what I was good at. So I said, I am adventurous and fearless, I am creative, and I am good at talking to people. Then my mother said, “OK, based on this I don’t ever see you being a scientist. I don’t see you sitting in a laboratory for hours on end with a microscope. What is it about zoology that you love?” I said that I wanted to travel the world and be around animals and study them, and that I wanted to experience new people and places. So then my mother said ”Why can’t you be the photographer filming the show instead of the scientist?” And it was like a light bulb went off. It made complete sense. From that point on I decided I was going to study photography and nothing has gotten in my way since. She taught me that I should create my dream job around my strengths, weaknesses, and passions and not try to force something that is not in my nature.

What do you look for when shooting a travel couple?

Most of my clients hire me because I am fearless and will do whatever it takes to get the shot. So it was no surprise when I was asked by a couple to shoot their Wedding in the Cayman Islands and then shoot the “Trash the Dress” in the waters of stingray city. At times, I found myself underwater covered by stingrays sucking on my legs and stomach while I was trying to get the shot! I had to be careful not to spook them while trying to focus on getting the shot or else I could have had a fatal Steve Erwin-style accident…I love when my couples are also fearless and willing to do unusual things or go on crazy adventures during our shoot.


Explain your personal style of travel couple photography.

I have a very vibrant, colorful, impactful style. I am known for my adventurous clients and jobs and I feel like that energy comes through in my photos. I always research my locations and want to show off the destination as much as possible. Sometimes that involves adding colorful props, or local people into the photos. I also love when the locale is personal to the couple and I always ask them about their own personal story, how they met, fell in love, and what things they share in common and try to incorporate a personal touch into the shoot somehow.

What do you enjoy the most about couple photography?

I LOVE LOVE. I love documenting it and being allowed a glimpse into the private emotional sides of people. I like when I see another person bring out something different or soft in the other. It’s also very interesting to me the psychology of shooting couples. I feel like I can learn a lot about people and their relationship by photographing them. People’s emotions and insecurities are revealed.


What do you enjoy the least about couple photography?

Sometimes I can be sort of like an unofficial therapist if the couple is struggling with something. I think a camera can belike a passport into intimate situations and by default as the photographer I am emotionally invited in their inner circle. I tend to take on the “energy” of the subjects I am photographing, so if it is all love and happiness, I feel filled up with joy after a long shoot, but if there is tension or problems, I can take on that energy as well.

What is your dream photography destination and why?

Bhutan, Nepal, Antarctica, Morocco, Mongolia, Patagonia…the list keeps getting longer and longer. I love going anywhere new where I am out of my comfort zone and discovering new cultures. Shooting in Peru, India , and Bali have been my favorite places I have taken photos of to date…by far. They still have places that feel untouched by modern civilization and I like being transported back in time, not to mention they are very colourful cultures to photograph.


What advice to you have for other photographers who want to shoot travel couple photography?

You have to love people, all people. You have to love to travel. You have to be patient and talk to couples, learn their story, get comfortable with them and then take them out of their comfort zone too. I find that by asking a lot of questions you will disarm people quickly and get better photos…and sometimes, it’s fun to just have a cocktail first and just hang out before getting right into shooting!:) But definitely do your research on where you are going. Find out the weather, lighting, political climate, language, and learn a few phrases in that language to help talking to locales that you may have to enlist to help you out!

Get to Know the Photographer:
Laura: @lauragriertravel
Travel Blog: lauragrier.com
Photography Instagram: @beautifuldayweddingphoto
Photography Blog: beautiful.photography
Travel Facebook Page: fb.com/lauragriertravel
Photography Facebook Page: fb.com/beautifuldayphotography
Snapchat: lauragriertravl

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