Lauren Max‘s photographs are full of youth and joy, give us a window into her life, her friends and the geography of the American Pacific Northwest. Lifestyle pictures are two a penny these days – we see them all the time on facebook, instagram and on camera phones – but that being said we’re now more visually literate than ever, we instinctively know the difference between a snap and a good picture, an image that has a story,an aesthetic quality, wants to reach out and grab us. And there’s plenty to choose from – the internet is awash with mediocrity – so finding Max’s photo’s is a real joy. Her pictures deserve to be seen, are a cut above the multitude. She has the ability to capture a moment, say everything in a single image, make us want to be there, take part, get involved, check it out. Go there.
Documenting your place, your life, your environment through pictures is a difficult task and from what little I’ve read about Max her fellow Seattle natives believe her photos reflect the nature of Washington state. Her work has been described as:
Grunge is dead and Twin Peaks is cancelled—but 20 years later, we’re proud to say the Pacific Northwest still marches to the beat of a different drummer. To say Max’s photography cherishes the unorthodox might be an understatement. Bottom line, the damp landscapes and sardonic looks on her subjects’ faces make us feel right at home. If you’ve never been: Welcome to Seattle.
Makes me want to go. But then again I’ve always wanted to go. Here’s what Max says about her own work:
I became obsessed with taking photographs around the age of 14, when I wanted to remember everything that was seemingly important, and realized that photography allowed me to do so. My mom gave me her old Canon A1 35mm camera, the same one she had taken photos of me with throughout my childhood, and I documented the people and things around me, suddenly finding my surroundings new and interesting once viewed through a lens.
When originating new work, I draw strongly on sense of place, looking to the Pacific Northwest’s geography, landmarks, and culture for inspiration, This diverse landscape is something that has always surrounded me, a place that I can always seek comfort in, as well as surprises. Hopelessly curious, I’m addicted to experimenting with new ideas each time I shoot. Often I approach a shoot with a loose vision yet remain open to new possibilities. I don’t know exactly the shot I want until I discover it in the moment.
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