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Lauren Maier

I have spent my entire life with an equal love for photography and nature. To my greatest pleasure, the two go together seamlessly! I started out my shooting days in elementary school; my subjects flowers and pets, two things I could actually manage to capture with my little Fuji-film point-and-shoot. If I was really lucky I could get a passing deer or a solitary tree-frog. It didn't take me long to get completely and utterly hooked.

Now more than a decade later I have a more reliable camera complete with a plethora of lenses, a trusty tripod, filters, camera bags and backpacks, a driver's license that takes me all over the lovely United States, and a Passport that takes me further. And my collection is ever growing. In these past ten years my photography has expanded from daisies in my mom's gardens to the waterfalls of the Great Smoky Mountains, the glaciers of Iceland, and the shores of Lake Superior. Though admittedly I never mind a photoshoot of the local flora in my mom's beautiful Wisconsin gardens.

Over time I have learned the importance of what Thomas Mangelsen calls the three key things to photography: patience, lighting, and behavior. It is a frustrating and rewarding experience that I know happily I will never be done with. That is one of the many reasons I love photography; there is always room to learn.

For me, photography is something way beyond a picture and a piece of paper; it's a story complete with its own feelings and its own life. It's all about the vision beyond the frame of the photo. It's about what you don't see. I love the journey of getting there and seeing that thing, whatever it may be, and that exact moment you choose to press the shutter, instantly immortalizing a moment that would otherwise be lost. And that's what I see when I look at a photograph, be it my own or someone else's. I either imagine or remember the story behind it. The smells, the sounds, the wind, the sun, the rain. It is my goal as a photographer to be able to pass on even a fraction of the awe I felt as I photographed my subject.

But overall I aim to capture the full essence of that scene, animal, or person. To give the viewer at least a glimpse of the history and story behind it. I want it to be more than a picture on a screen or paper. I am working every day to be able achieve this with my photography. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't, and that is what drives my never-ending passion.

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  • Ashland, Oregon, USA