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July - Laurence Laborie.

Laurence was born in 1967 in Northern France and at the age of 14 she became passionately interested in photography. She took a degree in engineering but decided to concentrate on her favourite occupation, namely, photographing fashion and beauty. "Digital photography has become a necessity for a lot of clients, it's an incredible development saving a lot of time while allowing so much creative freedom". Laurence specialises in beauty, lingerie and swimwear.

Born in Northern France in 1967, Laurence’s unique introduction to photography has since seen her become a renowned fashion photographer, specialising in beauty, lingerie and swimwear. Her clients include leading cosmetic and jewellery brands such as Darphin, Dior, Audemars Piguet, Baume and Mercier.

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When asked how she first became interested in photography, Laurence Laborie’s answer is less than conventional: aged 14, she found an abandoned camera on a park bench and saw it as a sign to continue in, as she described it, her curious pursuit of observing the “unique nature” of others. Already a self-confessed people-watcher, she now realised that she could forever capture her observations on film.

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After completing her engineering degree at the age of 24, Laurence made the bold decision to abandon the subject and pursue a career she had a personal interest in and felt passionate about – photography. With no formal training, she started by taking photos of young models and picked up the basics in photo production from photographer friends as well as by personal ‘trial and error’ experience. As time passed, Laurence found herself drawn to shooting ‘close-ups’, focussing on the face and expressions of her subjects. This resulted in her need to undertake some in-depth study on the importance of lighting when working in a studio. She remembers with fondness learning all about lighting from an Italian photographer who told her: “Everything can be beautiful if it is well lit!”

 Laurence believes that success it is not due to chance, but to an ability to react to events and create human relationships, and comments: “In order to want to make somebody beautiful through a photo, I have to build a relationship of trust and respect.” Highlights in her career include being a prize-winner at the 2006 International Festival of Fashion Photography in Cannes and, most importantly, being fortunate enough to have worked with so many great people. Laurence is thankful that she is able to earn a living in a profession that is both her passion and hobby, but looking forward, time to travel and conduct more research come high on her wish list. Like most professional photographers, Laurence finds the juggle between family and working life difficult, but when she does have time to spare she can normally be found relaxing with her family and friends - which normally involves taking photos of them all too!

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Always choosing to work with Hasselblad equipment, Laurence depends on her Hasselblad H2 camera referring to it as her “second set of eyes”, and goes on to say: “Hasselblad is my number one choice of camera system because it simply can’t be beaten. I know that I can always rely on my Hasselblad to produce outstanding results because the image quality and accuracy are second-to-none, and I can’t wait to start working with the new H3D.”

Laurence acknowledges, however, that having the best equipment cannot always guarantee the best results as even professional photographers can get things wrong. She describes one of the ‘less professional’ moments of her career: “One afternoon I was working on a shoot in which the conditions were extremely cold for the model I was photographing, it was only at the end of the shoot that I realised I had no film in my camera!”

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Knowing what she knows now, Laurence’s advice to any young budding photographer is to follow your heart, invest (as far possible) in the best equipment and, most importantly, don’t put yourself under pressure. You should be relaxed and enjoy it!

For more examples of Laurence’s work, please go to: www.laurencelaborie.com