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Thursday Challenge Interviews...

Laura Akers (Long Story Short)

Here is a favorite photo selected by Laura..

Laura said: The balloon photo is from my favorite photograph outing last year, the Great Reno Balloon Race.

Tell us about a book or magazine that you have recently read.

I recently finished reading a Dilbert collection. I have several favorite comic strips, but I'd never so much as read a single Dilbert strip until I started this book. I received it during a time in which I hated my job and my boss, and I was shocked at how intensely I could relate to everything about the strip. I devoured the entire book, and now I receive daily Dilbert strips in my email.

Tell us about the types of music that you like most. What makes them interesting or stand out for you?

I have such a broad range of musical tastes that I find it hard to pin any down as favorites. I grew up listening to country. In high school, I was into punk, ska, and swing. I still love all of those and more - classical, rock, hip hop, alternative, jazz, music from other countries. I studied music in college just for fun. I was the only one in my Music History II class who was not getting a degree in music.

What do you like about photo blogging?

I like that it motivates me. When I feel like I've "dropped out" of photography, all I need is to look back at my old photos, and look at other photoblogs, and I always feel renewed and ready to challenge myself. I want to be able to post photos that I am proud of, and the idea of others being able to see them forces me to work harder and be more critical.

What type of photography do you enjoy doing the most? Why? What are its challenges?

I always feel most fulfilled shooting a great photo of a human. I tend to admire portraits and candids more than anything. The biggest challenge for me is feeling confident enough to attempt candids, and confident enough to ask people if I can photograph them, and confident enough to believe I can make a good photo of somebody. I feel like there is a great deal of accountibility in it - a flower or building is never going to remember being photographed and ask to see it later.

Tell us about the strangest or most interesting thing that you have photographed or tell us about the strangest or most interesting experience you have had taking a photograph.

Last year I went to a wedding. I wasn't related to anybody, but of course I brought my camera and was shooting away, mostly with the intention of documenting the experience for my family back home. I threw some of the most relevant shots on a website and sent it to the bride's family, just so they could see some more photos of the day. The bride's grandmother later contacted me about purchasing some prints. She'd sorted through 800 photos from the professional photographer, and ended up ordering 3 from him, but she wanted to buy 30 of my prints. That was a very gratifying experience.

What haven't you photographed that you would like to in the future?

I definitely want to do more street photography. I don't generally feel comfortable wandering around by myself, so I usually have to wait for an occasion during which other people will be with me.

Laura said: The father and son were in San Francisco, near Fisherman's Wharf. I just thought it was a neat moment.

To see and read more visit Laura Akers (Long Story Short).

Note: All images are copyright the photographer.