What Do I Do? ~ Lauretta Suter
Name: Lauretta Suter
Job Title: Photographer
- What do you do?
I am a freelance photographer and work/live between London and Zurich. I mainly focus on fashion photography, which covers anything from magazine editorials to campaigns.
- Please describe a typical day.
When not out on a shoot (which can be in a studio or on location), I work either from my studio in Zurich or from home/a coffeeshop when in London. I usually start the day with checking my emails and any sort of admin work to then work on upcoming shoots. I do a lot of the art direction myself for commissioned work, and thus I work a lot on creating mood boards and concepts. I also try to invest at least 1-2 hours per day into freelance projects. I get most my inspiration from daily life but of course also all kind of magazines, and the current collections.
Additionally, I reach out to potential new clients, check out locations for upcoming shoots or do retouching for past projects.
Most people probably think that the actual picture-taking would take up most of my time, when in fact it's the pre- and post production which is more time consuming!
- How did you get into your current job? Any tips for anyone aspiring to be a photographer?
I was always interested in undertaking a creative profession and I went to a school which focused a lot on the arts from a very young age. This is where I realised that my skills are the strongest behind a lens. I feel that I can tell a story much better through a camera than a brush or music.
Fashion photography came to me really through my years-long love affair with dance; I have always been fascinated by body language and movement. I felt that fashion photography, with its combination of a garment and a body , would allow me to experiment within this the most.
Tips for aspiring photographers…. I mentioned above that I try to invest time to work on personal projects a lot. My mentor during my studies constantly pushed me to refine my personal style of photography, which is why this is so important to me. I find that if I do not work on freelance projects, I easily lose sight of my personal vision, which would decrease the recognisability of my work.
Furthermore, I would also really push young photographers to keep their portfolio tight and constantly updated. This is not only a good way to present your work to clients, but also keeps your mind fresh and helps you to develop as an artist.
- What skills do you need to bring to be successful at your job?
A head full of ideas! But of course, also solid technical skills. And don’t forget stamina. It is a tough industry with a hell of a lot of competition!
- What’s the best part about your job?
To be able to live every day within what I like to do most, and also to be able to see a finished product at the end of a day.
- What’s the most difficult part of your job?
The fashion industry constantly evolves due to short-lived trends, which you have to be able to adapt to at all times. At the same time you have to try to stay true to your own style, even if this is not the trend of the moment. It is hard to keep yourself motivated when a completely different look might be in much higher demand than yours.
- Does your job involve travelling?
It really depends what you are specialised in. I work a lot of with indoor set-designs, which is the reason why I don’t get to see that many crazy locations. However, I still travel a lot abroad, and you get the odd insane trip, such as my most recent editorial, which was shot in India. Probably the most breathtaking locations I have shot in my career so far!
- What was your best moment in your job?
Probably when you happen to work with an amazing team and everybody just clicks. Usually the final product is so much better because the creativity came to all of you organically, and furthermore it makes me love looking at the story/production afterwards even more. These days are the days which remind me why I do what I do!
- What are your future ambitions?
I want to keep investing everything into my photography. I am hoping that I will always be given the opportunity to work with great teams on different locations all over the world for beautiful publications and great brands. It is incredibly satisfying to put your own ideas and stories into a product that makes someone else happy too.
The most important thing for me really is that my profession creates a sort of happiness within myself.