Laura is a photographer based in the SF Bay Area.
Raised in the midwestern United States, I received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Michigan in 2005. I completed courses in documentary photography, photojournalism, and studio photography at community colleges in San Francisco and Oakland.
When I moved to Oakland, California in 2007 I was deeply moved by the creative and political movements of the area, and documented many of them. In 2011 I began working as a production assistant for tv and reality shows, while also photographing weddings. In 2013 I began working as a photo stringer at the Oakland Post, the largest African American weekly newspaper in Northern California.
I developed my first body of work, En La Luchita, during multiple visits to a boxing gym in Cuba between 2013-2016, following a core group of amateur boxers as they prepared for exhibition fights or, in some cases, to leave their country for hopeful lives abroad. This project led to related boxing explorations: women fighters, a tournament between three gyms in Nicaragua, and a brief stint as a ringside photographer of professional fights.
From 2016-2017 I produced In My Speakers, a photo series based on a group of Bay Area MCs who I met through a friend in boxing. Deeply loyal to and shaped by their origins in East Oakland and beyond, I followed them through their performances, family lives, and larger-than-life music videos, becoming a personal friend and fan.
Occasionally pivoting from documentary to more introspective work, I became an artist member of the Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) based in San Francisco. In 2015 I was granted residency at A Place of Her Own, a healing arts-based program that builds resilience and creative expression in women, particularly Asian Americans and diaspora. The connections I made at AAWAA lead to In Our Prime, a photo and audio series of elderly Asian American women in 2017. It was directly inspired by a friend who, at age 71, was frustrated by reductive perceptions of women her age.
Guided by curiosity and engaging with empathy, my photographs document communities I meet either deliberately or by chance encounters. In recent years, my photos have been closer to home: my mother’s battle with cancer and her death, and rediscovering joy and wonder through the birth of my twin daughters.