Thursday, November 20, 2014

Meet This Week's Guest Judge: Laura Morita!

This week's judge is Laura of Laura Morita Photography. Her imagination bursts from every photo! Learn what inspires her here!

1. Tell us about yourself...

Gosh, the answer to this question could go in a million different directions. :)

I'm Laura. I'm a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a physical therapist, a photographer and a dreamer. I feel incredibly blessed to have been given the gift of photography and imagination and love creating images both with my camera and through my editing. I mostly photograph little people and enjoy capturing their personalities. I am probably best known for my wide angle and underwater work. I love color and light, laughter and joy, movement and emotion.

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?

My passion for photography came from a deep desire to create art that made my heart beat faster. For the most part, that passion has been in capturing the lives and personalities of my children and family, but absolutely extends to capturing the lives of others in a colorful, light infused, artistic way. I preserve history: the way she looks when he kisses her, the glint in his eye when he knows he's being naughty, the grumpy face when he's forced to do something he doesn't want to do. Life is fleeting. I want to capture it, and I want it to be beautiful.

3. What's in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?

My Canon 5DMkIII currently has a 24-70L lens (my latest lens acquisition). My most used lens is the 16-35L. I LOVE wide wide angle imagery and find that the 16-35L is the best for capturing skies. I also love the buttery bokeh of the 135L lens. My least used lens is the 50 1.4. 

4. What's your dream project or shoot?

This changes all the time. In the summer, I am dreaming about underwater imagery. Right now, I've been obsessed with creating animal silhouettes and mixing them with real people silhouettes. So, right now, my dream shoot would probably be finding a glorious sunset and photographing my kids' silhouettes in lot of fun positions and shapes and then coming home and creating fine art while collaborating with them.

5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

Marketing is probably my biggest challenge. I recently opened an online store ( for photographers, with my best seller being the Nothin' But Blue Skies bundle pack which includes sky overlays, brushes, actions, and tutorials for adding a blue sky to a blown sky. I know how to add a blue sky to a blown sky and really make it look believable. I wanted others to be able to do that too. I have had nothing but incredible feedback from those who have purchased and used it. It's just hard to keep getting my name out there to a wider audience.

I am an excellent teacher and presenter (if I do say so myself). I have done several presentations for Canon and was a platform speaker at Click Away this September. I have been running online editing workshops for photographers for a couple of years and absolutely love helping others improve their craft. Marketing, however, is not my strong point. So, while I may have the absolute best workshop out there, if no one knows about it, then it doesn't really do anyone any good. I'm working on getting my name out there more because I really do want to improve the work that is out there. It's why I give away freebies on my site. Everyone benefits from learning new things.

6. If you had $500 to spend on photography...

How should you spend it? I'd probably should spend it on marketing.

How do you wish you could spend it? I'd like to buy a used Canon 15mm fisheye.

How would you really spend it? Probably on marketing. Although I also have been really wanting to get a tablet to make editing easier. Why do you ask? Are you giving me $500? You should TOTALLY do that and then I'll be really able to tell you what I would do with that money. Hehe...

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?

Don't even consider going into business until you can say with confidence that you can create consistently good images while shooting under a variety of lighting conditions. And be sure you know how to edit your images with consistency too. Photography literally means "writing with light." Learn to see and appreciate that light. Know where to place your subjects in relation to that light and how to adjust your camera settings to capture your image. And to me, almost as important as learning to see light is knowing how to edit your images to create a final product. Your editing can enhance or weaken your final image. 

Don't go into business just because all of your friends are telling you that you're amazing. That's what friends do. Go into business when you are objectively good. Join online forums. Join photography clubs. Get professionals to critique your work. When you consistently have strangers telling you that your work is great, then maybe you can start considering starting a business. Or not. You can be the best photographer in the world and not be in business. Having a business doesn't make your photography any better. Don't use your business to make your photography seem more legitimate. Use your photography to express your soul.

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