Laura Jeanette Drost (November 2011)

My love for photography started at an early age. I remember flipping through National Geographic and staring, mesmerized, at the incredible photographs. When I turned 16, I bought my first point-and-shoot camera. I made do with it until I turned 20 and then I got a “real” camera. I define myself through the people I choose to call friends. They have all been very supportive of my work and their criticism continues to shape my work.

I often photograph nature, but macro photography will always have a special place in my heart. To see the intricacies of the veins in leaves and papery flower petals only increases my obsession with that which we look over. It’s not that we don’t take time to look at a flower, but rather, we forget to appreciate it for the incredible organism it is.

Not only do I enjoy nature, but watching people and their interactions has always been fascinating to me. I believe the way the lines of the body contour or contrast is a direct reflection of a person’s soul. For me, to photograph a person’s most intimate moments is the highest honor and the truest reflection of self. Not only do I see the subject in the photograph, but I also see myself. The composition and editing are a way for me to layer myself into a person, to connect with them in the photograph.

My camera allows me to translate my emotion into something concrete. Similarly to the gliding of a pen on paper, making fleeting thoughts permanent; photography allows me to give the illusion of permanence to a moment that would otherwise be overwhelmed by all the moments before and after it. For me, photography is a therapy of sorts, a way for me to take abstract feeling and examine all its complexities.

I feel that only through criticism will my work continue to grow and change. I always appreciate input and honest reflection on my work. If you have any words of advice or encouragement, please feel free to e-mail me.