rhythm us photographer, laura austin, is currently in chicago at the pitchfork music festival . the show spans july 15 16 17 and includes musical variation from fleet foxes to curren$y to james blake and laustin was chosen to document/photograph how people expressed themselves through clothing at the event .
we had the chance to sit down with laustin before she left, she actually missed her first flight as a result, to pick her brain and get her in some new gear.
read the interview here | stay tuned for photos from the event | check out laura’s profile for more of her work
( this photo was most likely taken as laura’s final boarding call was announced | true dedication or just stoked on new rhythm gear for the trip )
Name, Age, Hometown:
Laura Austin, 21, currently reside in San Clemente, CA. Born in Colorado… Raised in Vermont.
How did you get into photography?
A high school photography class got me into it. There is nothing like working in a darkroom and putting so much effort into creating one image. I shoot mostly digital now because of how quickly people expect to see results, but the desire to create stuck with me.
What music did you dig when you were young?
Are you implying that I’m old now? I grew up listening to good music thanks to my parents… A little Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Violent Femmes etc. But I have gone through so many weird music stages, everything from Offspring to The Shins when I was younger. My taste in music tends to be pretty broad.
Explain what you’re doing out at Pitchfork Music Festival?
I am working for Heineken through an agency called MSL. I basically get to walk around the festival doing what I would do if I was there for fun…. Shooting people/styles that I find interesting. When it comes to photography I consider myself a fly-on-the-wall…. I tend to just let things happen and document them as I see them. This however is quite a bit more in depth, in the end I have to create a video that seamlessly flips through all the people that I shot. So my goal is to shoot each person in the same spot of the frame so as it flips through the photos, the background and people will change, but their position will not. It’s kind of hard to explain, but it should turn out pretty cool.
Who are you most excited to see perform (If you get out at all)?
I’m probably most excited for Fleet Foxes… I’m pretty into their sound. But then there is also DJ Shadow, I have been listening to his stuff for years and to see that live will be awesome for me. And you can’t forget OFWGKTA, I have a feeling they will just put on a ridiculous show.
Anyone you’re particularly intrigued to photograph?
There are so many interesting characters that go to music festivals… People tend to dress up for the occasion so I will probably come across some pretty wild people. I love that.
Have you been to chicago before? If so, what are some of your favorite spots (music/food/clothing/art,etc). Have you ever been to Akira in Chicago? If not, are you going to do any special touristy stuff?
The only place I have been to Chicago is the airport during layovers. O’Hare has a pretty crazy light tunnel inside of it. But I’ve heard so many good things about the city. I have a few friends out there that said they are more than happy to act as tour guides, however I doubt I will have much free time… We’ll see though.
As a photographer, how will you deal with Shadows? Specifically, Twin Shadow and DJ Shadow?
Haha, you’re clever. Shooting live music in general is always interesting. There are so many factors that go into it… The crowd, the band, the stage lighting. But that’s what makes it interesting. Some of my favorite photos I have ever shot were from live performances because there is so much passion behind the artist, and sometimes you can catch the craziest lighting that you could never recreate if you were trying to do it on purpose.
Would you agree there is a current wave of young, motivated people that are coming to power so to speak?
Yeah it is awesome to see so many motivated young people these days. A generation is coming up that is so independent, everyone wants to be different from everyone else and in turn it is spawning this wave of creativity and drive. It’s inspiring, when I see so many young people… For the lack of a better term, killing it, it puts a fire under my ass to want to work even harder.
How does it feel to be a part of it?
Hahaha… I don’t know if I would say I am “coming to power”. I’m just doing what makes me happy, and it blows my mind that I have been able to make a career out of it. We are lucky that we live in a day and age where it is so easy to share all this information (photos, videos, words) and it is incredibly flattering that people have opened up outlets to me so I can share it with an even larger audience.
Have you listened to the compilation released through pitchfork for the event?
Aw man, I haven’t seen that one. I am going to go find it now though. I only have the compilation that Urban Outfitters put out… http://blog.urbanoutfitters.com/features/pitchfork I’m pleasantly surprised by some of the bands, I always love discovering new music.
If you could lose your mind alongside one person (famous/musician, etc.), who and why?
Lose my mind huh? If you wanted to really lose your mind, Charlie Sheen seems like he would be your best bet. But I don’t want to walk down that path. To be honest it would just be my close friends… Famous people are humans too and I would rather be alongside a human that I knew I could reminisce about the experience with after the fact, than a complete stranger that I will probably never see again.
( mac and ezra )