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A CORRESPONDENCE WITH PHOTOGRAPHER LAURA SCHAEFFER

There are a lot talented creatives around the continent, especially in the photography scene where there are many aspiring ones. It doesn’t take much to use a camera but to developing something that stimulates our minds is quite complicated and it doesn’t work often.

Laura Schaeffer is a young photographer from Regensburg, located in South-Germany who is currently studying photography at the “University of Applied Arts” in Vienna, Austria. In the past we have already written about her photographic series “Wild at Heart” and “Dinner is Served” which are undoubtedly insane. We had the 20-year-old photographer, whose photographic idols are Gottfried Helnwein and Lina Scheynius among others, for a chat about the photography scene in Vienna and some of her projects.

Hi Laura how are you doing and where are you currently situated?
So far quite well. Right now I am in my shared flat in Vienna. I’ve got a lot of work to do for my studies…among others we are preparing for our very first exhibition. Hope you are doing well also?

Thanks, yes I am fine. Sounds very interesting! What kind of exhibition is it going to be?
We exhibit our very first project we made in University and also ourselves. The whole Uni is taking part in that exhibition. The topic of this event will be portraiture photographs which we have shot on large format and developed on our own. The portraits show our classmates so the title of this project will be “The class represent themselves”. I am really excited!

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This will be definitely interesting for our readers from Vienna. By the way…how’s the weather like down there?
Oh, unfortunately quite murky and very cold.

This season is disgusting! Munich is miserable these days. Lowered heads and a grey daily routine. Where is the sun?
Yes I can imagine. Same here.

How do you enjoy being in Vienna? You are originally from Regensburg right?
Correct. So far I like it a lot, definitely an improvement to Regensburg. But Vienna is also very particular about their inhabitants and the beginning it wasn’t always easy. But I guess it’s like this everywhere …

True story. I think the same way, especially when you are from a smaller town relocating into a bigger one. Are you happy about your decision moving to Vienna?
All in all yes! At the beginning they weren’t really open minded but now they are. I got in contact with some very interesting people and I enjoy my studies.

In which Semester or year are you?
I started in October.

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…And you can present a quite professional portfolio to the audience! Chapeau!
Thanks. But there are so many impressive talented photographers and they are even younger than me. Somehow you compare yourself with others continuously.

When we stumbled over your work, we were impressed! Most of all we think that you got massive potential to become better and better. At least our readers like your work very much!
I am glad to hear! And there is motivation to improve myself steadily.

We got the impression that the photography scene in Vienna is small in comparison to other similar cities with the same amount of inhabitants (1,8 million). What do you think about this?
I wouldn’t say that! In comparison to Berlin for sure. There are more possibilities to exhibit your own stuff, especially when you get contacts through the Uni. Meanwhile I got in contact with several photographers, but only a few to a really good online presence…maybe that is the reason…

I can imagine…
And the scene is also not that well connected.

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The online presence is a good point! Nowadays you’d like to share your work with the audience and get feedback directly. Other creatives could use this also as a pool of references. Other works could be inspiring.
A while ago we wrote about two other talented photographers named Martin Valentin Fuchs and Nikolas Brummer. Two impressive guys. Following your work or even theirs, you know each other right? So the scene is well connected after all…

Yes, I remember the two articles quite well! We met last summer in the Bavarian Forest on a photographer’s “Meet and Greet”. Martin had become a good friend, he is also living in Vienna. Unfortunately I don’t see Nikolas that often because of the distance.

“Insomnia” is word which we sometimes see on your Facebook Page: Another project of yours?
Indeed! It is actually an ongoing series. Some new stuff is coming up very soon…

We are excited! Which city inspires you to get some new thoughts?
For me these cities are London, Berlin, the whole of Toscany or Sicily to name a few in Europe. North-Africa is impressive too!

I like London quite a lot.

Isn’t it fascinating that we name cities which we are not currently based in? Odd…
Indeed again. But at least following the same logic, that in our daily routine we are dreaming of places, we are connecting with something positive.

With these true words we would like to thank you. Good luck with your upcoming projects!
Oh that’s it? I could talk for ages more, but yes that’s fine… it was a big pleasure!

If you would like to see more of her work visit her website or Flickr-profile.

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