By - Alina Fridman
Laura Munley is a second generation photographer who owns a small photography business specializing in cosplay portraits. She bought her first camera with a loan from her mom and has been clicking away ever since. I met Laura on a multi-photographer styled photo shoot that I was directing and instantly connected with her. She has a unique style all her own, great energy and an outgoing personality. We talked about her career as a photographer and the niche style of photography she is drawn to. She also shared with me that she signed up to her first styled photo shoot looking to build and expand her portfolio that she can market to other industries.
I sat down with Laura to learn more about her niche and where she wants to go next. Here's what I learned:
I've always been fascinated with cosplay. Tell me about your experience as a cosplay photographer.
I absolutely adore cosplay photography- it’s a niche I am so passionate about. I’ve had the best time working with the bright costumes and the ridiculous wigs to capture some incredible shots. At the same time, being known as a cosplay photographer has really pigeonholed me as far as the types of content I can produce. When I reach out to a wedding photographer to second shoot, they look at my portfolio and just see Halloween all year and it’s very hard to be taken seriously as a portrait photographer! I don’t regret diving in to cosplay photography, but I do wish I had maintained more diversity in my portfolio.
If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I would create a more well rounded portfolio from the get go, and market myself to more industries.
Who inspired you and why?
My mom is absolutely my biggest inspiration. She was a photographer when I was a kid, raising 2 girls 13 months apart, and running a mom-blog that turned into her current full time bread-winning business. She’s smart and determined, and always can figure out how to achieve anything she wants.
What’s the most important business or other discovery you’ve made in the past year?
Never underestimate generosity. Try and trust that people innately are good, and that if you’re honest and open, people will be kind and understanding in return!
With events being cancelled, what's a typical day like for you now?
Right now with quarantine things are out of wack, but right now I wake up, make a cup of hot cocoa, and try and make the world a better place. I know it sounds cheesy, but since I’m not able to work my 9-5 right now, I’m doing everything I can to help my family members who are more at-risk than I am with grocery shopping, I’m working on bettering my workflow for editing images, and recently I began accepting bookings for the One-for-One Gratitude Sessions for Essential Workers project!
Tell me more about the One-For-One Gratitude Sessions for Essential Workers project.
During this uncertain time for all of us, LMShoots Photography has partnered with Anastasia Chomlack and hundreds of photographers all around the globe to offer One to One Gratitude sessions for Essential workers. Every session booked with LMShoots Photography will include a complimentary session for an essential worker, nominated by you, the community.
What is something you think everyone should try at least once in their life?
Boudoir photography! Everyone deserves to feel empowered in their own skin. Absolutely everyone. And no, boudoir photography isn’t porn, nor is it the same as the lewd selfies you take in the bathroom mirror at 2 am after 2 bottles of wine.
What are 5 fun facts about yourself?
1. I am a very proud dog mom to a rescue pup named Reese!
2. I am a communications studies major.
3. I want to visit all 50 states before I’m 50, and 30 countries before I’m 30.
4. My second language is American Sign Language!
5. My boyfriend and I met in high school and have been together almost 7 years!
For more information about Laura Munley visit her website:
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