For our next installment of the Fandom Photographer Spotlight, we’re spotlighting Liz Larson Photography! See Liz’s answers and some of her work below!
Nerds and Beyond: How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started?
Liz Larson Photography: I don’t specifically remember when I started being interested in photography. I remember having cameras as far back as elementary school. I got into it more seriously at 14 when I took a photography class in high school, which I continued taking as often as possible to the point where the teacher had to come up with new curriculum because I’d gotten two or three classes past what they offered. I continued taking classes through college (all on film cameras) and ended by taking one digital photography class my last quarter. So my editing is self taught for the most part. Photography has been the one hobby I’ve stuck with, through many many artistic endeavors that I pick up and put down.
Nerds and Beyond: What originally inspired you to start the doing fandom (cons, concerts, etc.) photography?
Liz: At the beginning it was just so I’d have pictures for me. It was similar to how I took little point and shoots to concerts (because that’s all I could get in with Seattle’s camera policies) so it was just a fun hobby. Then it occurred to me that at cons I could bring in a DSLR and nobody cared, so I started actually trying at Dallas & Pasadena 2015.
Nerds and Beyond: What fandoms are you most known for photographing?
Liz: At this point it’s basically just Supernatural cons and concerts that stem from those (Louden Swain, Station Breaks, Briana Buckmaster, etc.)
Nerds and Beyond: What equipment are you usually using?
Liz: Currently I have a Nikon d7100 with Sigma lenses. I tend to use my 18-35mm & 50-100mm f1.8s at concerts, & my 70-200mm f2.8 at cons. Hoping to upgrade my camera to a full frame sometime next year but this is what I’ve been working with for the past few years.
Nerds and Beyond: Which events are typically your favorite to photograph?
Liz: I’ve always loved the atmosphere of concerts, so concerts outside of cons are my main favorites, then Saturday Night Special, then karaoke. Though the vendor room jams are pretty special as well. I love watching an artist get into their music & whatever emotions come with it & share that with a crowd while the crowd is giving it right back. In that sense, panels tend to make me antsy.
Nerds and Beyond: What would you say right now, is your favorite photo you’ve ever taken?
Liz: I have new favorites on any given day. One of my current favorites isn’t con or concert related at all. I was sitting in my backyard watching the sprinkler water the daisies and got curious about how it would show up in photos so I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures. It goes to show that you can get great pictures out of mundane, every day things. Then this photo of Rob’s shoes from the Swain New York shows in January is also a favorite. I love detail shots of things like shoes that most people may not always focus on, and I adored the colors from the venue.
Nerds and Beyond: If given the opportunity are there any celebrities that you’d like to work with?
Liz: I have so many. Kim Rhodes, Briana Buckmaster, Rob Benedict… those are probably my main three I’d love the chance to work with. Though I’ve had fleeting thoughts of what sort of shoot I’d do with Jason Manns, Richard Speight, jr., Matt Cohen, or Michael Borja if given the opportunity. One of my favorite things to do is do portraits of little groups of friends just because they can bounce off each other and you can grab tiny moments that are more genuinely THEM rather than someone posing for a camera. So shoots with say, Briana & Rich, Rob & Kim, Borja & Ruth, sound so fun to me. In terms of celebrities I’ve never met that would feel entirely unattainable, Chris Evans & Sebastian Stan would be fun. Or Paul Rudd. For other musicians, Matt Nathanson, & Mary Lambert would be awesome.
Nerds and Beyond: Are there any other photographers who personally inspire you or whose work inspires you?
Liz: There are so many talented photographers kicking around our fandom anymore that it gets hard to choose, & there are new ones popping up all the time! As for current favorites, Megan will always be inspirational, she seems to excel at everything she tries whether it’s photos of people, animals, or flowers. I’ve been loving perfmishka’s photos from Rockwood last year. Chris is always amazing, I’ll forever want to pick his brain about photography. Really there are too many to name, I’d be here all day if I tried. You can learn things from everyone’s different style.
Nerds and Beyond: Do you have any advice, tips, tricks or words of wisdom for other photographers/aspiring photographers?
Liz: It’s the easiest thing to compare your work to others & feel lacking. We all get into slumps, & plateaus, & beat ourselves up for it. But the truth is, you bring yourself to your work, if your work was exactly the same as (insert favorite photographer here) then that would make both you & them replaceable, & that’s not how it works. Everyone brings their own unique eye & way of doing things to their art. One of my favorite things is to look at the same exact moment that multiple photographers caught at a con, or look at what friends & I at shows have taken when we sat next to each other all night. It all turns out so different, whether it’s different angles, use of composition techniques, or editing. You can get past plateaus, your style will be ever changing, just keep going, keep trying new things, and challenging yourself.
Nerds and Beyond: Do you have an online store or website where we can see more of your work?
Liz: I’m still threatening making a website but I’m not quite there yet. So right now I’m on twitter, instagram, and facebook as liznlarsonphoto, and redbubble as liznlarson. I also sell prints of non convention photos if you contact me via DM on twitter.
See more of Liz’s work below!