Laura Tillinghast Photography

Laura started making art at a young age, discovering photography as her true passion in college. From that point on she has never put her camera down. Shooting primarily advertising and editorial content, you never know what you will find in front of her lens. Also an educator, Laura holds a series of popular photo workshops that focus on the fundamentals of lighting.

Laura uses Zenfolio for her portfolio web site and Blog as well as for client proofing. Check out this video for more on how Laura uses Zenfolio.

Always pressed for time, Laura get images to her clients quickly and efficiently using Zenfolio’s online file delivery system. She loves that she can send beautiful gallery invitations, impressing clients with the sleek and elegant presentation. The customization tools available from Zenfolio have enabled Laura to brand her site completely, making it unique and entirely reflective of her style and identity as a photographer.

Where were you born and raised? Where have you put down roots?

I am originally from California, growing up at the base of Mt Shasta near the northern end of the state. After college I moved around a bit living in Portland (OR), Santa Fe and Miami before finally returning to California where I live now.

What type of photography do you shoot? What type of photography are you most passionate about shooting?

As a commercial photographer, I shoot a little of everything. Working with magazines I have been able to shoot a wide variety of food, products, portraits and still life. Shooting with advertising clients, I am usually focused on shooting clothing, jewelry or hair/make-up. What I love to shoot the most is fashion and beauty. I am happiest shooting with my amazing creative team and an inspiring model.

How long have you been a shutter releaser? What led you to this profession?

I have had a camera for as long as I can remember but I got serious about photography when I was 17. I took my first paid assignment in 1998.

How has Zenfolio helped your business?

Moving my pro site to Zenfolio has saved me so much time and stress. Many of my clients are on the east coast and Zenfolio makes it easy to deliver files and make deadlines without having to burn a CD or use FTP. Thank you Zenfolio!

MAC or PC?

Hands down, MAC.

Do you have brand loyalty for Canon, Nikon or something completely different?

There is no brand loyalty in my camera bag, I seem to have something from every company. My main camera these days is a Canon 5D.

Is there a place you have never been that you long to visit and yearn to photograph?

That’s an easy one! New Zealand is on my bucket list to visit and photograph before I part this world.

Are your photography skills self-taught or were you classically trained?

Both. Studying photography in college taught me the basics of dark room processing. Practicing on my own taught me more about lighting and what will work. I think trial and error is a great approach in the beginning until you get what you are after.

What advice would you give a new photographer just starting out?

When you get your first gig, (or your first really important gig) don’t reinvent yourself. There may be a temptation to use a better camera or a new piece of equipment or something you think other photographers are doing. The best strategy you can have is stick with what you know and knock it out of the park. You can always experiment and try new things, just not right before or during the biggest shoot of your career.

Favorite food?

Macaroni and cheese. I guess my food preferences have not changed since I was 5 years old.

What was your first published work?

My very first tear sheet was a portrait of Latin recording artist JD Natasha that was published in Maxim Espanol.

What inspires you as a photographer? Or who?

I draw inspiration from fairytales, literature and film. My favorite photographer is Joyce Tenneson. I am in love with her style. Her images are soft and feminine yet strong, all at once.

What is the very first camera you ever owned?

My first camera was a purple Minnie Mouse Kodak 110 and I used it for years until it finally broke.

What CD, cassette tape, 8 track or vinyl record do you have on your player right now?

I am currently obsessed with the lovely and haunting folk opera Hadestown by Anais Mitchell. If you haven’t heard it and you like folk music, check it out. You will thank me later.

What piece of equipment or doohickey do you have with you on every shoot?

Gaffer’s tape. Whether I am shooting on location, in studio, product or fashion, this stuff comes to my rescue all the time.

Final words of wisdom on being a first class shooter?

You have decided to enter a very saturated market so work to set yourself apart. Shoot as often as you can, whatever and whoever you can. The more you shoot, the easier it will be to develop your own style.