Rfotofolio is pleased to share the work of photographer Laura Burlton. Laura’s’ work was chosen in our call for entry INPrint by our guest juror Catherine Couturier of the Catherine Couturier Gallery. Thank you Catherine for your time.
We are pleased to announce we will be sharing the work from INPrint in collaboration with Photo Méthode Gallery in Austin, TX March 2017. Thank you Tina.
Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in South Texas with a few years away in Austin, Oklahoma City and the UK. I grew up in an artistic family. My mother was always teaching me how to draw, sew, embroider, do crafts, and quilting. My father taught me photography basics when I was quite young. There was always something to do with my hands. I was also an avid reader and have always had quite an imagination. I have tried not to lose that as I have aged. At the moment I live in Houston, Texas with my husband and two teenage daughters and I teach photography at Houston Center for photography as well as run my own portrait and wedding photography studio.
Where did you get your photographic training?
I got the basics from my father and then I took classes in high school and at Glassell School of Art. I also had quite a bit of on the job training at another local portrait studio.
Did you have a mentor?
I have had a few. Amy Blakemore and Will Michels were instrumental in teaching me darkroom and alternative processes and keeping my interest piqued. They are both working artists and professors at the Glassell School of Art which is part of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
If you could spend a day with any other photographer or artist living or passed who would it be?
Probably Sarah Moon, Eugenio Requenco, Luis Gonzalez Palma, Julia Margaret Cameron…hard choice. There are many more not listed because I know them and could spend the day with them if we could get our schedules straight!
What hangs on your own walls?
I have only just started a small collection. I have pieces by Lori Vrba, S. Gayle Stevens and a lot of work from friends in the toy camera community as well as a bit of my own work.
Would you share with us an image (not your own) that has stayed with you over time and why?
Julia Margaret Cameron’s work with female portraiture has always stayed with me. It’s very etherial, soft and feminine. “Anatomie” by Sarah Moon is another, although I love almost all of her work. It is very dark and unlike anything I had seen when I was getting into photography. “Mr. Giggles Plays God” By Louviere and Vanessa is another as well as their film of Holga stills, “Repetition Compulsion”. “Fireflies” by KeithCarter. I could go on and on. Really I like photos that evoke no set time or place. I love antique processes and I love photos that make me question how they were shot as they compel me to learn more.
What image of yours would you say taught you an important lesson?
My image “Star Girl” It taught me that I did not need expensive equipment to make engaging images and I also could build “sets” with some chalk on my concrete driveway. Basically the image hammered in the concept of keeping it simple.
What equipment have you found essential in the making of your work?
My Holga camera plus some Ilford film. This has been a constant, although I have started using my digital camera more for personal work.
Is there one thing that you wish people would stop doing when it comes to the creative process or the photographic world?
Not really. To each their own. The medium is always evolving and from experimentation comes new ideas and innovation. For my own self I am trying to worry more about finished images and series than process. Who cares what tools are used as long as the images created are beautiful? If I had to pick one thing that I do not like, I would say it is that I prefer beautiful images that can let me make up my own story rather than mediocre images that have to be spelled out by the photographer’s statement.
Whats on the horizon?
At the moment I am playing with wet plate collodion images I have made and then digitized. I am looking at Byzantine Icon painting. I also recently inherited my mother’s sewing machine so I am looking into making quilts and tapestries from images. I always seem to have about 5 projects going on at once. I will most likely continue to work on my chalk series as well. I have been working on it once or twice a year for about 8-9 years and will continue to do so as long as I can come up with ideas.
Thank you Laura for sharing your work. To learn more about Laura please visit her site at, Laura Burlton.