I am someone who loves photography and I have great appreciation for the artists/photographers who have the talent & passion to share images that tell a story. Famed photographer, Laura McClure is absolutely one of those people.
Laura McClure is truly a remarkable women and an incredibly talented Western Artist / Photographer and I was honored to spend quality time talking with her recently. She is as genuine and authentic as anyone I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with and that authenticity shows in her images…and in the stories her images tell. Laura was incredibly gracious with her time and I know I could have listened and talked with her all day and it’s one of the reasons I wanted to share her story and talents with you.
Talented, genuine, authentic and passionate about horses, her photography and giving back…I think you’re going to love Laura McClure!
Following is a brief bio and our interview follows.
Laura’s dad’s family lived, farmed and worked on the original major ranches around Stephenville, Matador and all over Motley and Erath County and her family is 12 generations deep which is in part, where her love for the West and everything Western comes from. It’s also one of the reasons she loves to shoot Western type shots which includes new west, funky west or old west…she believes it helps preserve and regard the history and the life she loves.
Laura’s mother’s family is from Guanajuato, Mexico and if you look at some of her work, you will see that she also loves the pageantry and colorful, styled inspiration of Mexico. Combine her Western love and the Mexican pageantry and you’ll have an authentic Tex-Mex mix which is evident in many of her images.
An early career in modeling, gave her a rare insight into lighting, composition and the creativity necessary to make beautiful images. She
will be quick to tell you her first love has always been horses and when you combine her modeling career, love for horses and passion for photography, it’s easy to see how her journey has lead her to a very successful career in photography.
Laura’s work has been featured in a wide-variety of publications, including: Cowgirls in Style, Dressage Today, Cowgirl Magazine, Country Life, America Quarter Association Italy, Southern Nevada Equestrian to name just a few. In addition, her work is also highly regarded and sought after by organizations and designers including: Marrika Nakk, Brit West, Olav Jules Designs By Cat Sandstorm, Sierra Custom Leather, Meredith Lockhardt Collections, Rods Western Wear, Platinum Performance, World of Horses, Heritage Brand Tack, Santa Fe Fashion Week and the Western Design Conference.
For a complete biography, please visit www.lauramcclurephotography.com.
Q: I think a great image has the ability to tell a story and that what your pictures tell a story and that is one of the differences between remarkable photographers & artists and hobbyists. How do you create images that tell a story?
A: You know, it’s interesting because I made friends with a photographer that shoots a lot of the Working Cow Horse Events here in San Diego and he was so kind and allowed me to go practice my moving shots. The things that were interesting to me where different things than what he was shooting. He’s shooting the event, which is fun but I’m not really an event photographer so I had the freedom to go shoot things that were interesting to me. I was just walking around with my camera and I caught a guy who is a good friend, working with the cattle behind the scenes. He had a beautiful blue roan horse and watching him work and the scenery around him made it look like he was in Montana, not Temecula. Don’t get me wrong, Temecula’s really pretty but this guy looked like he was working cattle on a ranch in Montana! Then I caught a girl who came out of the arena and was taking off her horses leg wraps so I captured that. Her chaps were beautiful, so I captured that as well and it came down to the fact that, I saw movement and that movement was actually what I wanted to capture in an image…that movement was telling a story. I think when you see movement and your mind goes to ‘that place’ and ultimately, you have the beginning of a story.
We have all started from the beginning, from somewhere when we started pursuing our passion or career in photography. There are people with cameras at events who really don’t want to do more than snapshots and that’s perfectly ok. There are other people at those events who will begin to explore, discover and broaden their horizons when it comes to their photography and that’s a good thing as well! We each to have to pursue the things that are meaningful to us.
Q: I’ve looked at your website which showcases your spectacular images. How did you get started and how did you find yourself where you are today…one of the most highly-recognized, regarded and published photographers in our industry?
A: I’ve always been creative, going back to when I was a little girl, living in Europe and attending an Episcopalian school. I remember I got an award for being ‘artistic’ at my school and I just knew that I always wanted to be a western artist. I could draw horses & things but I wasn’t so great at drawing people.
I look back at some of the things I drew and sometimes I wish I had stuck with it but, like many of us, someone told me ‘you can’t make a living doing that….you can’t make a living being an artist’. (I need to make a side-note here, I think it’s so important as adults that we encourage our kids to explore and purse their passions…more on that later!)
Anyway, I was always creative, I had a great imagination and I ALWAYS had a passion for horses. I had some ‘token’ Barbie dolls I played with but I preferred and loved playing with my Breyer horses! The whole horse thing, for me it’s been there since day one!
When I was older, my family and I were living in Hong Kong and I got involved in some promotional things with horses. I used to take a 2 hour trip, every day to go ride because my first, true passion is horses. I started doing commercials and over the years, I dabbled in that a little bit. I didn’t feel like I was the prettiest or the skinniest but I was always interested in making good images. I would listen to the photographers talk about composition and light and I learned so much from just listening.
In 2000, I was living in Las Vegas and I took my horse with me to a photo shoot and at that time, you didn’t see a lot of that! I had my horse, my black gown and I decided we were going to go to a dry lake bed and do a shoot. It was so much fun and I was fascinated with creating images in that environment.
Copyright Photos courtesy of Laura McClure / Laura McClure Photography
Facebook – Visit Laura McClure on Facebook
Website – Visit Laura McClure Photography / Photos by Laura M