Friday, March 19, 2010

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT! -- Lauren Withrow

It's back!

Hey everyone! Hope this transition into Spring (in like a lion, out like a lamb, right?) has been treating you all very well.

Winter was long and I'm so ready for some warmth. What better way to ring that in than by a new and shiny Artist Spotlight by a photographer that has mastered warm light and environmental portraiture?

True, you say? That's what I thought. ;)

I am really excited about this month's artist. Not only is she very kind, and incredibly talented, but guess what?
She's 16.

Yes, you heard me. 16.
At first glance, her works scream 'old soul' to me, and continue to do so every time I visit her wonderful stream on Flickr.

Her pieces always feature intimate expressions, emotional messages and superb lighting.

So, without further ado, let's get to it.

The lovely, kind, talented & beautiful artist, Lauren Withrow...

Q: What is your full name?
A: My name is Lauren Nicole Withrow

Q: Where in the world area you located?
A: Dallas, TX USA

Q: Self Taught or Schooled?
A: Self taught.


(Selected Works...)


Q: What made you want to be a photographer & artist?
A: Photography and art had always been an interest of mine. Throughout elementary and junior high I've always enjoyed my art classes the most and I loved looking through different books at photographs. I'd always want to be "head photographer" at birthday parties so I'd steal whoever's little camera and take pictures. Then I was older and my dad got a dslr and I'd take it whenever I could and mess around with it. Of course, I never knew what I was doing but it was so much fun. Then once I hit freshman year in highschool I realized I had lost everything I was good at. I had gone through so many different options of what I was going to do when I was older and I was disappointed in myself. I grew depressed and never told anyone anything. I spent two years living bottled up and I realized I needed a way to express what I wanted to say for others to understand and when I decided (on a whim) to start a 365 project I figured that it would be the best way of expressing myself. And from that moment on photography/art became a part of me, something I know I will never live without.

Q: How would you best describe both your vision and style as a Photographer & Artist?
A: This was difficult to answer because I have heard what others think my style is, but many times I don't agree. Whether manipulated or sooc, my images are real. I want my photos to represent a real moment in time, capturing the emotion felt in that second I released the shutter. I don't think I have a set style yet, other than incorporating a real emotion into the very pixels of the image. I walk around the world as if I am looking though the viewfinder trying to capture each moment in my brain as film would record the light. I take pictures in all circumstances ranging from 'posed' in a random woods behind my house, to candid-me-spying-on-my-friends-at-a-retreat photos. But every photo has some sort of real emotion in them, not put on by an actor. I guess that's what I would describe my style/vision as. I don't want to capture something that is false in appearance, but real down to it's very core.


(Selected Works...)


Q: Who are you behind the lens? What do you like to do in your off time besides being an artist?
A: When I'm behind the lens I'd say I am much more confident. I enjoy taking self portraits since they are my form of emotional release, but when I'm shooting other models I have this sense of not having any fear. I don't like to hold back, and I like to try and incorporate these feelings in everything I do, and when I'm not shooting I enjoy writing and athletics. I love to do all sorts of things so don't be surprised if I take up some random activity like starting a slingshot competition.

Q: What gear do you work with & What piece of equipment could you not live without?
A: I use a Canon Rebel T1i, 50mm f/1.8, remote, tripod, and natural lighting. I'd say I just couldn't live without my camera. I take it almost every where I go. I went on a retreat a few weekends ago and it never left my neck. My camera is to me as a gun is to an FBI agent and since it's grown to be a part of me I'd probably die without it. Over dramatic much? But what can I say, photography is who I am now.

Q: In your career, what has been your single greatest memory or favorite moment thus far? (i.e. award, publication, comment, shoot, etc)
A: So far it's been the process and events surrounding my first book cover. Here in April, the book "How Clarissa Burden Learned To Fly" will be published. Now, this was my very first time involved in any sort of commercial dealing so once the contracts were signed and I got paid I thought it was the end of it until I found the book's fan page, became a fan, and found out that the author was actually a fan of my photography. Just the few words she had written on that fan page really made my day. Well, it was about 5 days before Christmas when I received a friend request from Connie's personal Facebook and we exchanged emails, and it was incredible just to talk to her and get to know a little more about her. I thought that this couldn't really get any better. I was talking to the author, who in turn was a fan of my work, but what really hit me was Christmas morning when I unwrapped a signed advance reading copy of the book. I remember just crying because not only was it fantastic to actually hold the book that held my image, but it was just incredible that Connie would take time out of her day to send me a surprise Christmas gift. That has been the best thing ever so far.


(Selected Works...)


Q: In contrast, what has been your biggest lesson or revelation?
A: I'd say my biggest lesson that I have learned so far is to not let what other people say or believe ruin my love for photography. I want to say that whatever people say won't bother me, but still being young this affects me every day. I had even gotten it into my mind that "being popular" on flickr was important when it's not. I had let "being popular" consume me and let it interfere in my goal to grow as a photographer. Therefore, it's my goal not to let that happen again and to do what I love and not let others get in the way of that.

Q: What is your favorite piece you've ever taken?
A: This one...

A: (cont'd...) I'm sure you'd want to know why, yes? It marks a turning point for me. From that day on I realized that I can't hold back anymore and that I needed to change some things in my life.

Q: Who are your greatest artistic inspirations?
A: I have a huge list of people that inspire me. Majority from flickr. But I'd say my too greatest inspirations are Alexis Mire and Brooke Shaden. I want to be able to combine the two. I love the intense power or Brooke's concepts but I cannot take my eyes of the simplicity or innocence of Alexis'. I just want to mix them both together and see what I can come up with. So those two I'd say are my greatest inspirations.

Q: Do you have any advice for those who are inspired by you and your work that are just starting out?
A: Oh gosh, just go for it. I sit here and regret letting certain things get in my way of growing, and I don't want that to happen to anyone else.


(Selected Works...)


To see more of Lauren's work, you can visit her website at:

Lauren is also available for commissions. You may contact her at:


And that does it for this Artist Spotlight.
I hope you've enjoyed this wonderful photographer. There are several more wonderfully talented artists in the next few months, and I cannot wait to share.

Talk soon,
Ashley | Bottle Bell

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Anonymous said...

Holy wow. She has definitely gotten her style down. Beautiful work! Thank you Ashley for pointing her out!

Martha Coy said...

What a talent for 16. She puts me to shame (even at 37!)

Great spotlight!

Anonymous said...

The 1st & last shot are amaaaaazing! said...

Very beautiful work. Thank you.

Chris Lane said...

Excellent work and in someone so young is fantastic. She will probably go far with her work, so much emotion built into those images.
Great spotlight indeed.

Anonymous said...

Great to see such a young and driven talent. What beautifully done pieces!
So worthy of the spotlight-

Polina ,Julia ,Nastia said...

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