How did you get your start in photography?
I was first introduced to photography during my school days by a friend. However, I have always been very creative. I have been drawing since I was 3. In the beginning I was more in front of the camera but this quickly lost its charm once I held a camera in my hands for the very first time. I realized that I can be more creative here. It instantly became clear that I wanted to practice photography professionally. So I decided to study photography.
What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?
The area in which I have been active for 7 years now is called Fantasy & People Photography. In a very short time, I defined my own unique photographic style. This has nothing to do with reality. I invite people to dream and give them the opportunity to dive into a world of fantasy. What was my motivation? It was my feeling that guided me. It has always been important for me to live my life and enjoy it. To enchant people, to stage themselves, to design costumes, to travel around the world for my shootings and workshops that fulfill and motivates me every day. Aesthetics have always been important to me and in this genre it is possible for me to portray my thoughts, to tell stories and to realize myself. I am not only a photographer, I am an artist and I give my knowledge as a trainer in workshops and lectures around the world. And even if I love this genre, I am currently at a point where I am no longer satisfied with just making aesthetic pictures. It has always been my will to achieve more, not for myself but also for the environment and nature conservation. Selling luxury and passing on my knowledge is no longer enough. That is why my partner and I are starting this year with a new project, which still moves in the staged human photography, but which is to benefit the environment.
This project is called Project Mother and here we will stage women in the most beautiful and protected landscapes around the world to demonstrate to people what we have on our planet. In this way, we want to support nature conservation and my focus in the field of photography will change.
It is nice to be successful in a field and to be able to say I have come a long way, but the growth and development should never end, so I have to define again and again new goals.
Did you experience any challenges as a woman entering into the photography market?
I do not know if there are similar difficulties for a man when you work in such an extravagant style. In the beginning, I was rather ridiculed for my fairy pictures. I was not taken seriously in the technology-dominated domain. I was the little sweet blonde who was good at promoting herself on Facebook. But even when the style was not taken seriously for a long time I continued and followed my way. Some comments or mails hit me hard, but I just kept my goals and struggled upwards, untroubled by prejudices that were thrown at my feet. Today I can only say that my stubbornness was worth it. I have achieved it all with my style. Some things I could not have even imagined in my wildest dreams.
What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?
In 2012, I visited Photokina for the first time in my life. At that time I was still a student of photography. Here I first came into contact with the job profile professional trainer. People who shared their knowledge in the field of photography and image processing presented in front of a huge audience. I was impressed. I wanted the same for me. In 2014, I gave my first lecture as a trainer for video2brain. In 2016, I was able to stand on the stage for companies like Adobe, Eizo, FotoTV & the Horizons Zingst festival. In any case, I would call this one of my greatest successes. In addition, I can now work internationally as a trainer, so I gave a workshop in Brazil in 2016. I always rise to challenges. So far, it has been the most challenging task for me to dare to go into self-employment. I would never want anything else but the path to success was not always easy. There are always on and offs.
The new challenge that I expected this year is that I will enlarge my company. My partner will join me to support me fully in our new project, Mother Earth. Of course, this decision is far from easy because we are financially completely dependent on my company LauraHelena Photography. Giving up safety is never easy, but great success never comes when you think small and do not take a risk from time to time.
Who and/or what inspires you most?
Inspiration is important in photography. My standpoint is that the wheel is difficult to reinvent, but it should be interpreted in its own way.
Inspirations and creativity I gather by traveling. Leaving the familiar environment behind forces you to start thinking differently which leads to new ideas and different approaches.
I also find books or pictures by other artists inspiring, as well as music. You can also inspire yourself through the Internet but you should be careful not to get flooded by content!
What is your approach? Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?
In terms of my new project, Mother Earth, I want to make a long-term achievement not only for me or my customers, but for the world.
Our mother. We love her. We respect her. We are grateful to her for giving us the miracle of life. It is one of the most important things in our lives.
Mother Earth. We exploit you. We’ll destroy you. It is self-evident to us.
If we treat MotherEearth as our mother – our earth would be a better place. Do you agree?
This is a project that will benefit Mother Earth. The focus is on beautiful, unique and protected landscapes. We have it in our hands to treat these landscapes with the respect they deserve. The goal of the project is to make it clear that we are part of Mother Earth, not vice versa. We will not create a picture book with grandiose landscape photographs, but go a step further. In order to stage the concept of “Mother Earth”, women and landscapes are linked together. The women will merge with the landscape and symbolize the term “mother”. The unique landscape is at the center of the pictures and characterizes the term “earth”. The results should inspire and show the viewer what we have on our planet. I remain loyal to my style to include my community in the project – but in a simpler version of the style that does not falsify the landscape. We would like you to take part in our journey from the very beginning and give you the opportunity to support the project and thus Mother Earth. We will accompany the project on different platforms and develop different products. In the end, a high-quality picture book will be created. A part of the revenue from the project will go directly to nature conservation projects.
This is my next goal and there are a number things to achieve. But this challenge does not frighten me, it motivates me.
Why is accurate color important within your workflow?
Whether in my current genre or in my new project colours have always been an elementary part of my work with which I transport emotions and moods.Therefore, it is fatal, if these colours do not print the effect I had during the processing in my mind. Nothing is more annoying than a colour cast in an otherwise perfect and harmonious picture. Since I stage everything down to the smallest detail, nothing should go wrong in terms of colour. Playing with colours makes my pictures what they are – something special.
Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?
My first and probably most important tip is your own initiative! I would not be where I am today if I had waited for everything to happen to me. When I wanted something I took initiative to reach my goal and did not wait for the solution to be served on a silver platter.My second tip: There are always ups and downs, and even if others seem to be getting more and more successful, think of it like this – everyone is showing you only that what they would like to show you. So never give up. From time to time, you certainly need a time out but to give up was, for me, never an option.
Laura Helena Rubahn
27 years old / born in Germany, Neheim
Photography since 2010
Trainer for Adobe, Eizo, LinkedIn etc…