BEHIND THE HUSTLE: PHOTOGRAPHER LAURA AUSTIN

HRD-16-001---CMPGN---RELAUNCH---BLOG-ASSETS---Comp01_02 HRD-16-001---CMPGN---RELAUNCH---BLOG-ASSETS---Comp01_06 HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?

I took an unorthodox approach to end up where I am now. I worked in Action Sports for a long time and then got tired of sitting at a desk so I took a job at a snowboard magazine as an online editor. Working at a snowboard magazine was fun because it allowed me to travel but it limited my subject matter. I was more interested in the personalities and the story behind the people. So, quit the snowboard magazine and jumped off the cliff into the world of freelance.

CAN YOU SHRED?

Yeah, I've snowboarded since I was seven; grew up in a small mountain town. Originally born in Colorado, I lived there until I was 13 and then moved to Vermont with my mom. Spent my high school years in Vermont, but again, grew up in a small ski towns my whole life and now I'm in the middle of Los Angeles.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT LOS ANGELES?

Exactly. The great thing about Los Angeles and the surrounding areas is that, sure you're living in a city but you have every different landscape around you. If you want beach, it's there. If you want mountains, if you want dessert, amazing coastline up in Big Sur ... for me being someone who photographs the outdoors and my stuff is very location dependent, the accessibility to all those different environments is key.


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WAS THERE A MOMENT THAT A SWITCH FLIPPED IN YOUR HEAD AND YOU'RE LIKE, "I CAN REALLY DO THIS. I CAN PULL THIS OFF"?

I took a trip out to Iceland as a vacation. I had always been interested in photography but when I went on this trip to Iceland it just clicked for me. I was so in my element, just excited about what I was doing. After that trip I realized I'm going to find a way to turn photography into my profession.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY THAT DRIVES YOUR PROFESSION?

I'm not like a techie nerd about photography. I'm more attracted to where my camera takes me and the experiences my camera affords me. I see photography more as a lifestyle than thinking of it as a career or my job. In the beginning I traveled around taking my camera with me and now my camera takes me all over the world. I'm attracted to the places it brings me and the people I get to meet through photography. HRD-16-001---CMPGN---RELAUNCH---BLOG-ASSETS---Comp01_16

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU OTHER THAN SAY, GAINING NEW EXPERIENCES? ARE THERE SOME THINGS YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH CAREER-WISE?

My overarching goal is to do whatever I can do that will allow me to live the lifestyle I want to live. I like the freedom that photography affords me. I don't have this goal I see in the distance, but I always want to be progressing. I don't have a specific idea of where I'll be in 5 years, but I know I'll be doing something I'm passionate about and that's what matters most.


HOW DO YOU MOTIVATE YOURSELF?

There's a lot of hustle involved and a lot of self-motivation involved to do anything freelance. I'm the type of person if I don't feel like I'm being productive I go crazy. There's a lot of networking involved. There's a lot of honing in and just refining your skills and just being a self-motivator.


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HOW WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE LOOKING TO TAKING THAT LEAP TO GO FULL TIME INTO THEIR PASSION? WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM?

Is it more of a risk to spend your life doing something you don't enjoy? I think people are scared to pursue what they're passionate about because of the risk involved immediately knowing that they don't know. There's a lot of unknowns in doing that. I think it's more of a risk to not pursue your dreams than to stay doing something you're not passionate about.


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