maanantai 21. huhtikuuta 2014

Laura Dark - Beauty in Darkness

 Model and Photography: Laura Dark
MUA: Deanna Roberts
Hair: Beth Gray

Laura Dark is a conceptual portrait and fashion and beauty photographer from Columbus, Ohio. It has been said that, “what Laura can do in a half a dozen frames would make grown men cry.” She is best known for her dark portrait and beauty work which has been described as, “beautiful and creative to the max….the images are so realistic and haunting…it’s insane.”

Laura is well known for her many publications, magazine covers, and her 2 years as Senior Fashion and Beauty Editor with the avant garde fashion magazine, Dark Beauty. She has been published in Gothic Beauty Magazine, Bizarre Magazine, and Auxiliary Magazine just to name a few.

The reason why I wanted to interview her, is the fact how beautiful her pictures are, how talented she is in so many ways and how she had inspired me trough the years I have been trying to find myself. When I found out that there is gothic subculture, I have always came across her pictures in the internet. They made me feel I can try something new and be me. During the interview I realized that even the persons who we look up to, have had problems when it comes to their lives.

"I have always had eating issues myself and have gained and lost hundreds of pounds. My only goal is to make people feel good about themselves, even if for only a brief period of time. So few women ever get that", Laura said and really means what she says.

"Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by the beauty that can only be found within the darkness of loss. What starts out as sorrow soon becomes a beautiful mess, tangled, and struggling; leaving the viewer with only a sense of chaos and the inevitability of a new beginning," She describes her work and we all can see the results.

Model: Odette Despairr MUA: Laura Dark Wardrobe: Darkspectre

How long have you been doing photographing and why did you started it? 

I had started my art career as a portrait sketch artist, but decided that field was so very limited that I couldn't make a living from it. I had picked up some photography skills in high school when I was the yearbook staff photographer. I went to college for Graphic Design, but I hated the school and was burnt out by my second year and dropped out. I went back to my hometown and apprenticed under a local photographer for two years before breaking off on my own. I started taking images of families and wedding and then in late 1999 I started shooting bands. In 2000 I started shooting alternative models for their portfolio updates and alternative websites and fashion designers. Since then, I have been making a living from my photography in the alternative scene with bands, models, magazines, and websites.

Your style is very gothic and dark, is there any specific reason for that?

I knew I saw things differently than other people when I was in high school. I came from a very small community of people and I guess if we would have known what "goth" was back then, my friends and I would have been the "goth" kids. We dyed our hair black, we wore black clothes, black eyeliner and the boys wore makeup too. I think I was the first girl in my school with a nose ring and a tattoo. It wasn't just a phase for me, it became a way of life, the music, the fashion, the alternative culture. I was highly influenced by music, specifically industrial and metal. I found a lot of girls my age were dressing in alt fashions and makeup but were making themselves look harsh instead of pretty and I thought, "why can't we be dark AND beautiful creatures?". So I started striving for that look in my images. Beauty in Darkness.

Left: Were you invited to the "Monster's Ball"?
Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett were.
Models: Manzin and Odettedespairr
MUA: Makeup Vamp
Hair: Synthetic Rebellion and Gray Artistry
Wardrobe: Darkspectre Custom Couture and Props
Shot for: Auxiliary Magazine — henkilöiden Beth Gray, Nez Wilburn, Manzin Dammet, Jackie Steinert, Deanna Roberts ja Scott Tater Lynd kanssa.

Right:  Model: Bri | MUA: Rahela Akasha | Wardrobe: Darkspectre Custom Couture and Props

Where do you get all of your great ideas? 

"My number one influence is Tim Burton. His films and art have driven me to find beauty in the decay of things. His heroes and heroines are tragic beauties and there is a sadness captured by him that so few other artists can reveal in a story. Lydia Deets from Beetlejuice was one of the first true "goth" girls I remember seeing when I was young and I instantly fell in love with her. Even now I find his leading ladies in his new creations to be fabulous dark beauties that inspire me; The Corpse Bride, Sally, and Mrs. Lovett.
In photography I have been influenced by so many artists, but I would say if I had to pick one it would be Michael Rosen. His images are a mix of photography and digital artistry that is just amazing! Mr. Rosen creates a world of fantasy sometimes glamourous and sometimes scary. He takes you to this magical place and holds you there. I hope one day to reach that point in my art, to hold a viewer completely captive in my images.

Left: Model: Xlcr Moon MUA: Makeup Vamp Hair: Odette Despairr Wardrobe: Too Fast

Middle: Cover of Vain Girl Magazine
Model: Odette Despairr
MUA and Photography: Laura Dark
Wardrobe: DarkSpectre Custom Couture 

 Right: Gothic Noir: Model: Odette Despairr MUA: Makeup Vamp Wardrobe: Romantic Threads

How does it feel to see your pictures in magazines, specially in the covers? 

Amazing. I always enjoy seeing my work appreciated in print.

Do you have any tips for starting photographers/models? 

Networking is a HUGE part of business, at least is for me. It's more about WHO you know these days. I network my ass off. I contact magazines looking for submissions, I hit up wardrobe designers to shoot their new lines, have lunch with other photographers, etc. I'd say 75% of my business is networking. I tell new photographers to skip all the photography classes and take business classes. If you have the talent for being a photographer, you can pick up the technical stuff by apprenticing, but business is tough. You have to know accounting, have customer service skills, be able to sell yourself and your images. Without that, it doesn't matter how talented you are.

This is Laura in Barnes & Noble holding the current issue of Gothic Beauty Magazine. She shot this editorial of Wednesday Mourning with Atelier Gothique jewelry, Kinky Kitty Wardrobe, Makeup Vamp, Makeup Artistry, Crane Conception Hair, and Darkspectre Custom Couture and Props wardrobe.

What beauty means to you? 

Beauty is everywhere. Not all people can see it. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way. I see beautiful people who hate themselves because the world has beat them down. "You're too fat." "You're too thin." "Your skin is bad." "Your boobs are too small." I hear it when they are in my studio. "Can you fix this, it's always bothered me." Some don't have to say anything because I hear it in their voice or see it as they try to cover it up.
Everyone should feel beautiful. Everyone has that right. Everyone should be able to hold an image of themselves in their hands and look at it and smile.

Is there any memorable stories that had happen in behind the scenes? 

Ha! So many behind the scenes stories. I work with some of my very best friends in my studio, so we are always making new memories.

Back cover of Tenebrous Magazine
Model: Odette Despairr
MUA: Makeup Vamp
Wardrobe: Darkspectre

 Little Miss Perfect
Model: Bre
MUA: Mascaraid and Gray Artistry
Photography: Laura Dark

 Model: MsPoisoness
Makeup, Wardrobe, photography: Laura Dark

What is the best thing in your job? 

I really love everything about photography. I love drawing up a concept and coming up with the hair and makeup designs, picking out the wardrobe, building the set (real life or digital), setting the lights, shooting, and retouching. The process is pretty amazing. So many people think being a photographer is just setting up lights and pushing a trigger. There is so much more that happens behind the scenes, people just don't realize the art behind really great photographs.

Who is the person you would love to be working with? 

 I really don't have a specific person I'd like to work with, but rather I'd like to get my work into more mainstream fashion magazines. I'm really trying to get into Z!NK and runway Magazines.

 Left: Model: Brianne Jeanette MUA: Rahela Akasha Hair: Synthetic Rebellion Wardrobe: Aaron James 

Middle: Model: MsPoisoness MUA: Mascaraid Wardrobe: Laura Dark 

 Right: Model: Odette Despairr MUA: Makeup Vamp Head Dress: Bubbles and Frown

If you weren´t a photographer, what is the other option for you? 

I would probably be a makeup artist or work in marketing. Those are my two other favorite pass times.

What is the one thing that you are the most proud of? 

 Ugh, that's a tough one. Lol. I'm a self hater and horribly ocd so I'm not really proud of anything I do, but I guess it's got to be juggling a marriage, a owning and running a full time business, and raising two beautiful children at the same time.

So, last, what is your next project, is there any future plans you are waiting for? 

My goals this year are pretty straight forward. I'm trying to book out my year with paid work and behind the scenes gathering up images for fashion editorial submission. Really hoping for a couple of larger magazine covers as well.

Thank you for the interview!

 Model: Odette Despairr MUA: Laura Dark

 Awards and Honors 2011 – Photographer of the Year – Runner Up
Model Mayhem Photographer of the Week - 11 time winner
Model Mayhem Picture of the Day - 62 time winner
Model Mayhem Concept of the Day - 30 time winner Daily Deviation - 6 time winner Featured News – 28 times

More pictures and official pages:

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