365ers is a series of interviews with members from our fantastic community. The interviews were kindly carried out by Loni. Last week we featured Chris Ross. This is our 2nd interview of the series, andwe're happy to announce Lauren Dahlhauser as our next interviewee. Happy Reading!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Where to start... well, if I had to say something about myself in short: I'm a senior in high school (18 years old) who loves photography. I am a huge supporter of the quote, "Appreciate the simple things in life" and I feel that photography allows me toexpress myself and the true meaning of this quote. But... I can't stop there. Those of you who know me (and read my captions) are aware of my constant rambling, so, allow me to go into a little bit more detail :)
I have lived in Indiana for most of my life. It's really nothing special, so I am absolutely amazed at all of the pictures I have been able to take and been half-way satisfied with in the past year of my life. Sometimes I wish I lived in a tropical area or in the middle of vast rolling hills with endless skies. Sometimes I wish I lived on a beach or on a mountain top with an incredible view of the world. But I don't. I live in the country. A place I have learned to love and appreciate. By living in the place that I do, I have, in turn, developed my own unique view of the world.When I get older, my goal is to travel the world. I want to see everything, step foot into every country, and to take pictures of every place I visit! I know that's a huge goal and I realize traveling is extremely expensive... but right now, as a senior soon to graduate with the world at my feet, traveling is what I dream of doing in my spare time later on down the road. This is one reason I have considered photographing for National Geographic. What could be better than a job consisting of two of my favorite things: traveling and taking pictures? And in the midst of my traveling, I could even come visit some of you ;)
So those are some of my dreams. Now some facts. I live in a family of eight. 5 humans, 3 animals :) I have a twin sister named Elise (we are identical) and a little brother named Quinten, who is 15. Along with my siblings, I have two very loving parents and 3 dogs: Shadow, Sasquatch, and Miley. Sunny Rae is my best friend.I will be graduating high school here in the very near future. Although I am super excited, I am also very nervous about the responsibilites that will be placed upon me as a result. I love the unpredictabilility of life (and believe not knowing exactly what will happen next is what really what makes life worth living), but it is that "not-knowingness" that scares me and makes me worry as much as I do. I want more than anything to make the right choices and wise decisions capable of bringing me happiness and success in life. I do plan on attending college, but I am still not certain what I will major in. Photography isdefinitely a consideration, but it is the instability of this career that scares me away from it. No matter what I choose to do with my life, however, photography will always be a part of it. Photography is my passion and something I can certainly count on to bring me joy in the journeys ahead.
Why did you decide to start a 365 project?
There are two main reasons I decided to start a 365 project. One is for the simple reason that I like to take pictures. The other reason is that I felt it would be a nice simple way of keeping a journal. I love documenting memories and the little everyday happenings that go on in my life; I'm a sentimental person. When I was in middle school, I used to write in a journal everyday. After starting high school however, this journal idea slowly died because well, life just got busy. I heard of this 365 project through a wonderful teacher of mine: Mrs. Smith I'm sure many of you have heard of her. She was my English teacher my sophomore year and I must give all credit to her for suggesting this site to me and for my final decision in starting a 365 project.I absolutely love this site. I wouldn't change a thing about it. I love how this site is so simple and easy to use. I love the idea of the site, the community, and the talent within it. Props to 365project.org for finally encouraging me to start writing about my daysagain and for helping me to discover my passion for photography. It may surprise you, but I didn't originally join this project in attempts to improve my photography skills or to get the chance to bond with all of you; those are just two things that came over time in being involved with this site and such a warm, inviting community. Thank you Mrs. Smith, thank you Ross, and a big thanks to all of you!
Have you had any formal training in photography yet?
Formal training in photography? I do not. Well, I have taken a portrait class at the college where my mom teaches, but as far as editing techniques or exposure basics, no. I would absolutely love learning more about Photoshop though. I have seen so many brilliant pictures edited through that program and would like to try creating some interesting images with Photoshop myself :) I use picnik.com and touch up my images with the basic options provided in Picasa, but to learn all there is to know about Photoshop (or any other high quality editing program for that matter), would be awesome! I am self-taught, but have a lot of learning to do.
What camera(s) do you use?
I currently have and use a Canon Rebel T1i, but before this camera I used a Canon Rebel XT. I guess on top of giving credit to Mrs. Smith for suggesting this site to me, to Ross for simply creating the site, and to you guys who support and encourage me every single day... I must give credit to my dad. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have the camera I have now :) I really love my Canon! I treat it like a baby haha Oh and just so all of you know, I have nothing against Nikon or any other brand of camera; I've just always used a Canon.
If you had to choose one lens and one camera accessory only, what would they be and why?
Okay so I'm really not experienced with the endless possibility of lenses available out there or the many wonderful amazing accessories they currently make for cameras these days... (due to the fact that I just recently found my interest for photography and do not have a good enough paying job to purchase such expensive equipment)... but I must say I am thankful for a good sturdy camera bag and lens caps :) they keep my camera safe. I do not have the newest most awesomest tripod in the world either, but it does come in handy for water photography and times when the lighting is poor.If I haaad to answer this question however, I would choose a macro as my lens choice and a clicker as my one chosen camera accessory (despite the fact that I have neither of the two. My reasoning is based on the pictures I have seen taken with macro lenses, and advice I have gotten from a variety of other photographers who specialize in taking self-portraits.)
Do you see yourself becoming a pro photographer some day?
Oh gosh. Um... let's just say I wouldn't mind becoming a well-known pro photographer ;)
Do you remember the first photo you ever took? What was it?
I honestly can't say... I searched through to the very pit of photos this computer contains and was not successful in retrieving the first photo I ever snapped lol My dad was nice and let me randomly take pictures with his Canon Rebel XT on vacations when I was little though. I just don't know how to distinguish between mine and his for sure haha I definitely take a TON more pictures now than I used to. Now I take hundreds of photos a week.
Is there a photographer out there, pro or otherwise, that has influenced your photography?
I can't say any pro in particular has ever influenced my photography or the way I edit. To be honest, I'm not very studied up on all of the pros out there, but I'm learning. I think there are some pretty amazing photographers on here that influence me everyday, but I remember thinking my dad was so cool with his big ol' dslr and wanting more than anything to take pictures like him. I didn't start REALLY taking pictures until the beginning of my 365 project (which was last January, almost exactly a year ago) and that's when I started hogging my dad's camera. Eventually, I guess because I stole his camera so much, he decided to get me my very own dslr. Now, I have a Canon Rebel T1i haha So I think, of all photographers out there, my dad is the one who influenced me to begin with.
Judging by your project, you have a beautiful view of the world. Your work seems to truly come from your heart. What inspires you most?
Thank you, that means so much to me! Okay, so there are a lot of things that inspire me. I must say though, nature tops it all. Nature is my favorite subject to photograph; I've discovered that that's why I become more uninspired during the winter months as opposed to the summer lol Don't get me wrong, winter is beautiful. I'm really glad I live in a place that gets both warm, sunshiny weather and cold, snowy weather; but I love the seasons that allow me to stay outside for hours and hours just soaking up the sun and taking in all that nature has to offer. When it's cold outside, I don't want to stay out for very long and, as a result, miss out on a bunch of good photo opportunities. I find I am much more successful in the summer when the temperatures are bearable and the sun is out. Oh yes, the sun. The sun is my best friend :) Natural light is my favorite lighting to shoot in. No sun = sad, uninspired Lauren. That's a fact.
Who do you like to follow on the 365Project?
This question is so evil in a way haha I hate to single people out!! I wish I could list so many more people here so if I didn't mention you, I'm sorry :)There are SO many 365ers I have enjoyed following throughout the year. I promise you, these are not the only people I absolutely love following, but I certainly do love these 365ers in particular:
Teresa's photos are just phenomenal. I really admire her talent and eye. I want whatever lens she's using too ;) I want to share at least one photo from her album that I like, but I just can't single any out - they're all good... so just go check out ALL of them! ;)
Anna Agrusti is a joy to follow. She is fairly new to the project, but I have already fallen in love with her photos. I must share my favorite shot from her album: http://365project.org/mad/365/2011-01-23
Frederico has such a unique eye!! I really love how he sees and captures the busy streets of London: http://365project.org/gerard74/365/2011-01-17 He makes me want to move there.
Jill - I'm sure most of you have seen the soft, beautiful, dreamy pictures Jill takes. Even though I have never met her kids, I feel like I know them. She has the sweetest children and so many gorgeous shots!
I believe Ali is going to continue with another year of 365 soon, but even if not, go take a look through her photos. She has a gift for capturing people and producing photos worth a thousand words. Love the light, happy feel to her photos. She is really good!
Bonnie Mieth's photos are absolutely wonderful to look at too :) All of her photos are so true to who she is. She has a very lovely view of the world, which is the reason I'm always checking back in to see what she posts next!
Along with these 365ers, I would also like to mention Brianna Leigh and Nathan Marshall who I feel I have really bonded with on this site. Both of them are so nice and are always making me smile. It may have to do with the fact that we are all about the same age, but I feel like we all write in similar ways. This similarity in itself makes it really easy for me to relate to them. If you havn't checked out either of these guys's photos, please do. They have some amazing photos and are so down to earth. Brianna and Nathan, thank you so much for being such wonderful friends and for all of your amazing comments :)
And... I know I've said this many many times too, but I'd just like to take a moment to thank ALL of you... for everything! Just for me to have this amazing opportunity to answer questions and to share a little bit more about myself means a lot to me! I'm so thankful for everybody and for all of your comments and support. I really can't thank you enough.
What's your favorite photo from your project?
Oh my goodness. Such a hard question! I'm going to have to go with this one though:
For a few reasons:I shot this in manual mode; if I remember correctly, it was the first evening I really tried out this setting on my camera. I am so glad I tried it or this photo wouldnt exist! I absolutely love the colors. It is a picture of my favorite subject - nature! :) Lastly...oh hey, my best friend is in the center ;) hahaha