I was so excited when wanderlust adventure photographer, Laura Grier, reached out to me to see if she could borrow some of my dresses for a wearable art David La Chapelle inspired photo shoot in the desert. I sent her my dress made of vintage romance novels, a pink ombre wedding dress and a hot pink tulle veil that must have been more than 40 feet long. I loved working with her so much, she later took a bunch of my light up dresses for weddings at Burning Man, she photographed my Jackson Pollock inspired painted dress at the LACMA light exhibit, and then again we worked together on a very colorful candy covered photo shoot at the Original Farmers Market, and Dillons Candy Bar.
From the wilderness to remote villages, her hyper color, fun, retro glam, adventure-filled, one of a kind, creative free spirit shines with her work. She travels with meaning, and is so generous, empowering women through her photographs around the globe.
Even when I work with her locally on my fashion shoots, I get this vibe that I’m working with the Indiana Jones of adventure, and high fashion photography. Maybe it’s the hat she wears, or maybe its her confident globe-trotting attitude. But whatever it is, she absolutely captures the fun, adventure-filled, whimsically magical surprising vibe I was aiming for.
I asked her some questions about how she has been able to enfuse her life and her work as a wedding photographer with so much adventure, and this is what she told me.
“I always believe in having a plan or an idea, but also being open to that idea not happening the way you think it’s supposed to. Part of the magic of travel is the serendipitous things and people you meet along the way. I always plan the beginning and end of a trip and usually leave room for flexibility in the middle. Always bring fun, colorful, flowy things to pose with wherever you are. It makes your pictures more fun and pretty. Always talk to people and be open to getting to know them and changing your perspective on places. You’ll get the best photos if you take the time to talk to people. Try something new, at least one new thing, every day.”
Laura is “a do-er.” She doesn’t just talk about something, she makes it happen. Her attitude is: “So just get out there and make it happen. Book a ticket on a credit card. You don’t have to get on a plane to have an adventure, you can go on a road trip. So, pick a date, put it on your calendar. I find that if I book a plane ticket I’m already committed and it’ll force me to make the rest of it happen. Find your inspiration everywhere. I sometimes get mine from a photo I see on Instagram, a news article, etc. I never know where my inspiration for my next adventure will come from! I can even be inspired by color.”
How did you manage to make adventure your career??
I went to a 4 year university to learn photography and learning a skill like that can be used in so many different ways. Every kind of industry needs images, so I leverage that skill all the time in many ways to create jobs. And usually those jobs are based around places I want to go, people I want to work with, images I want to create, and adventures I want to try. I’m very proactive in getting the jobs I want. There’s no magical company that’s going to hire me to get me to the places I want to go. You have to get creative in how you make your money (i.e. selling art, writing stories, hosting adventure travel workshops, working events and weddings).
Any tips on how to add an element of adventure to your life or career?
In my 20’s, I didn’t have the money to travel, so I offered to do the work for free in exchange for travel. I put things on credit cards and knew I would be able to pay them back. You just have to do it. It’s not always going to be the perfect timing or scenario in your life, but it’s worth it. I think it’s important to get out and travel to re-calibrate your perspective, make you appreciate things, and reevaluate your priorities in life.
Anything else you want people to know about your brand?
I’ve always been promoting adventure and empowering females, and I really believe in travel that can give back to social causes, i.e. travel with meaning. I feel like my brand is really doing that now and it’s really important to incorporate this into what I do.
Check out her website for more information.
Location: Dillon’s Candy Bar at the Iconic Original Farmers Market. Clothing and Accessories by Tutu Yummy, Rainbow Wedding Dress Petticoats and Cake Shoes by Evey, Hair and Makeup by Krystal X Kaos and Cindy Sterling. Models: Nora Merschel and Milanya Maria. Photography by: Laura Grier