Meet the Dream Team: Laura

Laura is a Sales Assistant across retail and online and is also our in-house Photographer. She joined the business in 2013 as a shop girl in Collingwood. Like the rest of the “Dream Team”, she is passionate about all things art and design and when we discovered her artistic ambitions we couldn’t wait to get the budding photographer behind the Big Dreams lens. 
In store, she’ll help you find the perfect gift for your little one, and in the studio she makes a great contribution to our regular creative projects.

Most days you’ll catch Laura behind the counter in Collingwood. She’d be pleased to meet you! Here’s what she had to say when we sat down for a chat...

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up?’  
I wanted to be a nurse or kindergarten teacher. 

What’s your creative background? 
I studied at Photographic Imaging College in Hawthorn. It’s very small so it was a great place to go right after high school. All the teachers are photographers so you get a lot of experience.

Work day ritual.
Every day is different! On a usual store day there are deliveries to open and customers to serve. Sometimes there are customers waiting to get in early. On a studio day I’ve usually got a list of products I need to shoot for a mailout, the website or Instagram. I start by choosing colours to match or enhance the product/clothing. When Jen isn’t too busy she helps me style, it’s always good to have a second eye, especially hers! When I’m done shooting it’s editing time. Other times I’m helping Alki with the webstore assessing what needs to be put online and resizing images. 

Best thing about being a part of the “Dream Team”?
I love opening a toy and getting to see what it looks like out of its packaging! Then you get to have a play and see what it does, so yes in the studio I open and play with all the toys. With beautiful products it’s easy to get a great photo! We are really lucky to have the opportunity to be able to do these things for a small business.

Favourite Big Dreams product? 
Oh, I have to pick the Melbourne Iconic Tram. Mini Rodini is my favourite clothing brand.

What are you listening to in store at the moment?
Well Eve and I have been listening to some disco in store. I catch customers dancing sometimes! Up stairs with Jen we’ve had Oscar Key Sung on repeat for a while. When I get a chance by myself I’m listening to some dj mixes.

How do you spend your time away from the store?
I like to cook. Still making my way through Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty and Plenty More book. I like to go out but also enjoy sitting on the couch watching movies. I’m also learning German! 

How similar is your photographic style in your personal work vs. the work you do for Big Dreams? 
They are quite different actually. My own work is mainly on film. The only similarity would be the lighting. I only use natural lighting for both personal and Big Dreams. As most of my own work is quite dark I’ve learnt to turn the brightness up for product and talent shooting.

Which of the creative projects you’ve shot for Big Dreams has been the most valuable/exciting/challenging? Why?
Most exciting would have to be the last Christmas magazine. It’s an arty spin on a catalog.  Shooting with kids on location was a valuable experience. Working with kids aged 3-10 can be difficult but I’ve learnt to get the hang of it. Having activities for them to do or making them hold an object can really help, for the younger ones you just need to make them laugh. I can’t wait till everyone gets to see the latest Big Dreams editorial shoot, it’s my favourite so far.

Who are your photographic idols? What do you like about their work?
I’ll try to make this short! All time favourites are Helmut Newton, Ryan Mcginley and Gregory Crewdson. They have one thing in common which is nudity (and all shot on film). Black and white photography is such an art and much more tricky in my opinion. I discovered Australian artists Lilli Waters and Siri Hayes while studying. I love their work and they influenced me. The blog ‘The Other Kate Berry’ is great. My favourite instagram accounts at the moment are frecklesnur, egrandbazar, mariellamelie and lettucelunch.

What’s your big dream?
To live and work in another country. I’ve got my heart set on Berlin.

Tools of the trade:

I use a Nikon D7000. For close-up shots I’ve got a 35mm f/1.8G lens. I also have a Pentax Spotmatic 1000, a 600 series Polaroid and heaps of point and shoot cameras from the 90’s.


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