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27 Frames – Laura Austin

Welcome to our 27 Frames series. We sent 27 single use cameras out to some of our favorite photographers, they shot stuff with it, then mailed it back to us. We developed the film and are sharing the results with you (and the photographers) now. In this instant, digital age, we want to pay homage to a snapshot photo process we grew up with ourselves — waiting for the film to develop and being surprised by the results. These 27 Frames belong to Laura Austin.

Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself.

Well… my name is Laura Austin and I am a photographer by trade and passionate. I was a lot of different things before I was paid to take photos, but that is a long story so I will leave it at that.

How did you first get into photography?

It began with a high school photography class where we had to shoot strictly film and develop it all ourselves. I fell in love with the process – how much work it took to create a single image and how rewarding it was when it came out the way you wanted it to. 

Film or digital?

Film sparked my interest, but these days I shoot mostly digital since I shoot mainly commercial work. The turn-around time that is expected is too quick to deal with film. But I am very thankful that film was where I started because it was there that I learned the intricacies of photography.

When was the last time you used a single use (disposable) camera?

It’s rare, sometimes my friends throw events where they hand out disposables to guests, but besides that I never really touch them.

What did you decide to shoot with your camera for this project?

These photos showcase my day-to-day life. This roll features an interesting cross-section of my love of nature, but also night life in Los Angeles (which not a lot of people get to see). With film there is no editing so you are getting the authentic Laura Austin.

Did you have any interesting experiences along the way?

Nothing in particular that stands out. These photos are a combination of road trips and friends around Los Angeles. It was fun to constantly be carrying a camera to take snapshots with, where as these days I normally only take out a camera for jobs or travel.

What was the biggest challenge (if any) you had with the project?

Simply remembering to take photos in interesting situations. When I was younger I was constantly documenting my life with photos. But these days photography seems like more of a job so I tend to only pull out my camera if I am getting paid. So occasionally I would regret forgetting to shoot images of a situation while I had this camera.

What was your favorite image from the roll?

Probably the one where I am sticking my hand out the window while driving. I think it embodies my free spirit.

Check out more of Laura’s work here:

Laura Austin

Special thanks to Dexter’s Camera in Ventura for developing all of the film for the 27 Frames project. If you are a photographer who loves film and have never visited their shop, go there now, they’re the best.

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